Virginia Squires

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…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography

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.