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Virginia Squires

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This modern US bluegrass group comprised Rickie Simpkins (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Ronnie Simpkins (bass, vocals), Sammy Shelor (guitar, banjo, vocals) and Mark Newton (guitar, vocals).
The Simpkins Brothers originate from a musical family from the hills just south-west of Roanoke, Virginia. They played together in a family group but eventually formed Upland Express, a bluegrass band that had an album release on Leather Records in the 70s. They separated in the early 80s, when Rickie worked with the McPeak Brothers and Ronnie became a member of the Bluegrass Cardinals. In 1982 they reunited in Richmond, in a band called the Heights Of Grass, but early in 1983, with Mark Newton (previously a member of Knoxville Grass) and Sammy Shelor (one-time member of the Country Boys), they became the Virginia Squires. Playing a variety of bluegrass, rock, old-time and country, they became a very popular band in their native state and recorded for the Rebel label.

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