Biography

Steve Gidora email
Steve Gidora

The group's name evokes images of Irish and Ukrainian agriculture, which sums up the heritage of its founder, Steve Gidora. Both sides of the family were very musical, and Steve received his first mandolin from his Ukrainian grandfather at the age of 10. Since then he has played with many Vancouver artists and served in the schools as a music teacher in Langley, BC, as well as providing vocals, mandolins and guitar with the band. In recent years a passion for songwriting has overtaken him, resulting a many new originals, some of which now grace the fourth CD. Steve has shared the stage with folk singers such as Ann Mortifee and Charlotte Diamond and his groups have opened for the legendary Pete Seeger and Odetta.


Victor Smith email
Victor Smith

Another well-known member of the group is Victor Smith, a gifted Celtic music interpreter respected for decades of outstanding work with other outstanding Vancouver folk groups such as Under the Moss, The Stoaters, Fear of Drinking, Shenanigan and the Paperboys. His instrumental arsenal includes accordion, whistles, violin, flutes, guitar, bohdran drum and bones. His discerning ear is evident in Grandad, the group's second CD, which he co-produced together with Steve, as well as producing several tracks on After the Battle and full production credit on Can't Draw the Curtain.


Mark Dowding email
Mark Dowding

Woodwind specialist Mark Dowding,also a co-founder of the respected Gypsy jazz group The Hot Club of Mars, is a veteran of numerous folk festivals and concert stages across western Canada. He creates elegant melodies, harmonies and counterpoints on a wide range of wind instruments, including various types of flutes, whistles, saxophones and harmonicas. Over a long and storied musical career, he has guested with many Canadian folk music icons such as Valdy, The Paperboys, Sylvia Tyson and Stan Rogers. Mark also handles the group's website and multimedia production through his new-media production company, WindGod Productions.


Nicole Scoffield email
Nicole Scoffield

The group's newest member is violinist Nicole Scoffield, whose brilliant improvisations and lively stage presence add a sparkle to their live performances. She also sings beautiful lead and harmony vocals and occasionally switches to guitar. Nicole is also seen with her own group and other projects, and teaches violin several days a week in her private studio in Vancouver, BC. She has recently released a solo CD, Colouring. The title track and other original songs of hers have become a part of the group's regular concert material.


Mickey Hovan email
Mickey Hovan

Mickey Hovan, the group's guitarist and bassist, brings to the group's concerts the energy and excitement developed through years of playing the rock and country music scene around British Columbia. He adds driving rhythms and blazing flat-picked melodies that make the group's concerts take off, complete with a wacky sense of humour. He has also been heard around British Columbia with a number of popular pop-rock and country groups.


Ed Johnson email
Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson, who provides bass and percussion, is a graduate of White Rock's Semiahmoo Secondary School music program, where he received a scholarship to attend the Columbia Academy of Recording Arts. He is a full-time professional musician and sound engineer who operates and maintains the group's sound equipment, and can often be found making good things happen at Turtle Recording in White Rock, BC. Ed is also a member of one of Vancouver's premier blues bands, "Brickhouse".