The Moon Shells

The Moon Shells are a project from Maggie Shar, Brian Slattery, Laura Murawski, Molly Merrett, and Charlie Shaw, who connected through the Appalachian fiddle community and started playing together as often as they could. Maggie Shar, Laura Murawski, and Brian Slattery met in 2015 and were drawn to each other by a shared sense of rhythm and improvisation, grounded in the Appalachian fiddle tradition but drawing from the many kinds of music they love from Louisiana, West Africa, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, to create a sound that’s emotional and groovy at the same time.

In 2018 Maggie and Brian found themselves writing songs and tunes together as well—enough for an album—and began recording them in earnest. The result was their first album, Seaside Asylum, out now. They asked Laura, Charlie, and Molly to join them in bringing the songs to life for a live crowd. They’re booking shows into 2020 across the Northeast and are already conspiring on future recordings.

Maggie, Brian, Laura, Molly, and Charlie also recorded another album, Screech Plank, in early 2019—a way of circling back to, and moving forward with, the fiddle tunes that brought all of them together in the first place.




“Fireworks,” “Seaside Asylum,” and “Sally in the Rye” are from Seaside Asylum and produced by Joseph DeJarnette of Studio 808A in Floyd, VA. Maggie and Brian wrote the music and lyrics to “Fireworks” and “Sally in the Rye” through long chains of emails. The music to “Sally in the Rye” is based on Harvey Sampson’s “Sally Coming through the Rye.” Maggie and Brian wrote “Seaside Asylum,” a fiddle tune, spontaneously at Clifftop in the summer of 2018.

You can listen to the whole album here. You can buy our music through Bandcamp or CD Baby.


“Flowers and Olives” (by Judy Hyman of the Horse Flies) and “Lone Prairie” (from the fiddle playing of Jon Bekoff) are from our stringband album, Screech Plank. It’s got the full five-piece band—that would include Molly Merrett and Charlie Shaw, old friends and musical compatriots, playing the music that brought us all together.

You can listen to the whole album here. You can buy the album through Bandcamp or CD Baby.




November 24, 2019: Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT. 8 p.m. Opening for Lula Wiles.

January 24-26, 2020: Spice on Snow Festival, Montpelier, VT.




October 20, 2019: Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival, Riverfront Park, Glastonbury, CT. 1:45 p.m.

October 12, 2019: House concert in Albany, NY

October 5, 2019: Montague Book Mill, Montague, MA. Doors at 7:30 p.m.

October 4, 2019: Chatham Berry Farm, Chatham, NY. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

August 8, 2019: Pratt Street Patio lunchtime performance, Hartford, CT. 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

August 1, 2019: CD release party at the Appalachian String Band Festival, Camp Washington-Carver, Clifftop, WV. With Tui.June 1, 2019: Best Video in Hamden, CT. With Kat Wallace and David Sasso.

May 27, 2019: Campfire Festival, Club Passim, Cambridge, MA.

April 28, 2019: House show in Brooklyn, NY.

April 27, 2019: House show in Suffern, NY. With Nate and Mary.

April 26, 2019: House show in Florence, MA. With Burikes.


PHOTOS and videos


Photo credit: Lucy Gellman


Photo credit: Jake Blount; Leo Slattery

Katherine McCusker: video; Jessica Harwood: best boy. Produced using open media from Northampton Open Media

The Moon Shells celebrated their album release of "Seaside Asylum" at Clifftop 2019 with special guests Tui. Special thanks for Craig Evans for video footage.




“Listeners are transported by pieces like this:: it’s impossible to listen to these songs without seeing a cluster of friends together on the well-stomped grass somewhere, jamming together for the first time in months.”

Lucy Gellman, The Arts Paper

“A rare and pleasing combination of sweet innocence combined with accomplished musical virtuosity."  

June Drucker

“The Moon Shells work their way down the dusty paths and across the sandy shores of American music history, leaving their own original take on it along the way. It’s music that both soothes and inspires.”

Chip McCabe, The Metal Dad


To contact us for booking or anything else: 

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