The Mainely Country Band - Bios

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   Jeff Simon started performing at the early age of  10, along with his sister, Jolene, on a local television show which was televised weekly from WEMT-TV Channel 7 (now WVII-TV) studios  in Bangor, Maine. He and his sister, Jolene, performed regularly on “Frankensteins’s  Country  Jamboree”, which in later years became “Stacey's Country Jamboree”.  While being featured performers on Stacey’s Country Jamboree, Jeff and Jolene made frequent appearances throughout Canada with the cast of the TV show. Jeff’s dad was also a part of the musical talent on Stacey*s Country Jamboree.  Jeff and his sister also made occasional appearances on The Curly O'Brien Show. Jeff played several dance performances at the grange hall in Wesley, Maine while in high school with Gene, Flo, and Sharlene Hooper.

   During his latter years of high school, Jeff's interest in music influenced him to start his own band, The Mainely Country Band.  In 1979, Jeff recorded his first album, "Journey Through The Country", with liner notes written by Maine's own, Dick Curless. Later, in 1988, Jeff recorded another album with Bob Fillion, titled "From Us To You", which won first place honors in 1989 by one of Maine's premier country music organizations, The Down East Country Music Association.  

   In 1992, Jeff and his band were the house band for several tapings of  The National Country Music Jamboree,  taped in Ellsworth and Cherryfield, Maine and was televised weekly throughout North America via satellite.

   In 2007, Jeff was in a backup band playing for International recording artist and performer, Johnny Tillotson, for a performance in Southwest Harbor, Maine at a music festival. Then a few years later, in 2012, Jeff played with another group of musicians backing up Nashville comedian and impressionist, Johnny Counterfit, at another music festival held in Jefferson, Maine. The Mainely Country Band was also the backup band for Nashville recording artist, Ira Allen, for Maine's annual Pioneer Show in 2008 for three performance locations in Maine.

   Jeff, along with the band, has received numerous awards throughout the years from the Down East Country Music Association, Maine Country Music Association, Pine Tree State Country Music Association, Maine Academy of Country Music and the Tennessee based international country music organization, North America Country Music Associations International. Jeff was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame on May 17, 2014. Jeff also received the Denny Breau Guitarist Award from Denny Breau and the Pine Tree State Country Music Association on May 18, 2014.






    Richard Knipping started playing the drums at age 8 on a kiddie drum set . After reaching the age of 13, he got a set of Ludwig's and had been taking lessons for a few years. Richard played his first professional gig at the age of 13.

  After his high school years, he then hooked up with “The Central Park Band”, a five-piece club/show band performing at various locations on the Jersey Shore and in Philly. The Central Park Band then gained popularity and recognition and were added to the roster and being booked by the prestigious Rothbard Agency in Philadelphia. The band performed at many society gigs, hotels, clubs and casino’s, working with individual singers and comedians. Then after several years of traveling up and down the east coast, Richard relocated and started playing with the Portland, Maine based band, ”One Last Swing”.

  In the early 80’s, Richard joined the “Hot Wax” band, a very popular Bangor based band. “Hot Wax” later became “The Rockin’ James Band”. Then after the departure of their lead vocalist, Chuck Jameson, the band became “The Sista Sadie Band” with Sara Peavey as their new vocalist.

  In 2012, his musical adventures led him to become the drummer for the popular local country band, “Desperado”.  Richard performed for a couple of years with “Desperado”, and is presently laying down the groove with “The Mainely Country Band”.

  Richard is a very experienced and versatile drummer who has the ability and finesse to play big band, swing, rock, blues and soul, ragtime, celtic, bluegrass, and country music. As an independent drummer, Richard has also worked on stage and in the studio with Bill Chinnock, John Kay, Mark “Guitar” Miller, Blind Albert, Derrick Semler, Big Daddy and The Accelerators, The Bad Daddy’s, Dave Wooley, Nevah, St. Huckleberry and a host of others.

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