Iris drops for Shannon Bielski & Moonlight Drive

Patuxent Music has released a debut single for a new artist, West Virginia’s Shannon Bielski & Moonlight Drive, who they has signed to the label.

The group has been together since 2018, led by Bielski on fiddle and lead vocals. She formed the band while a student on scholarship in the Bluegrass, Country, and Roots Music program at East Tennessee State University. A first album, Tennessee Heart, was released in 2021, and they soon started work on a follow up.

Shannon explained a bit about the group, their new single, Iris, and some changes in lineup over the years.

“In 2021, we still had all of our original band members. It was a full-effort collaboration with Rob Benzing on banjo, Kyle Windbeck on guitar, Greg Mulley on bass, and myself. We each put a lot of thought into capturing the emotion of the melody and lyrics of Iris. I always knew that I had to record Iris. It was calling out to be shared; every time we performed it, the audience really loved it.

Between 2021 and now, we have had a few personnel changes. We now feature Cody Brown on bass and Jack Dunlap on guitar. I brought the original Iris idea to a band practice in 2023, and collaborated with our new members to make it the version it is today.

As musicians and artists, we are always growing and evolving. I am very proud of what we created here; I think this version of Iris is the best yet and am very happy to share it with the world.”

Alt rockers will recall this song, which was originally recorded by The Goo Goo Dolls in 1998, written by their guitarist and vocalist John Rzeznik. Their’s was a power ballad love song, but Shannon and Moonlight Drive give it a far gentler reading, still leaving the classic version to be felt in the track.

Have a listen…

Iris from Shannon Bieleski & Moonlight Drive is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.