Born Murray Shuping, this bluegrass banjo picker may have gotten all around on the fretboard, but he stayed pretty close to home most of his life. He became a professional musician after graduating from high school in 1969, playing with the Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and the Sunny Mountain Boys, the Little Roy and Lewis Family, Jim and Jesse, and Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. It was with bluegrass legend (and some say inventor) Monroe that Shuping first got a chance to perform at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville. He was also a bandleader in his own right, including the group Wild Country, and he was a member of several successful democratically run bands such as the Bluegrass Alliance. Through his involvement with the latter band, he acquired a reputation as something of a progressive player, true indeed but not limited to his picking from only that period. His work on the Jim and Jesse recordings, reissued by Pinecastle as The Old Dominion Masters box set, shows that forward-thinking melodic phrasing was already something Shuping was quite adept at well long before anyone dreamt up the term "newgrass."
Shuping died in his late forties following a fight with pneumonia and upper lung infection. He died on the table while waiting for tests, apparently of a heart attack. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi