Born in Dublin, Ireland, Fergus emigrated to Canada in 1967 and, while living in Toronto, became a founding member of the Irish folk band, Ryan’s Fancy. The group moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1971 and for the next fourteen years, Fergus toured extensively throughout North America and Ireland as part of the trio. They were featured on the CBC network series, Ryan’s Fancy, for five years, and on the Tommy Makem/Ryan’s Fancy show, which was syndicated throughout Canada and the world. Ryan’s Fancy was also featured in the CBC TV production of The Last Run, which is part of the Newfoundland curriculum for Music (Exploring Music) at the intermediate level.
Ryan’s Fancy recorded fourteen albums during its tenure and songs from these albums can still be heard on local and national radio playlists. As a solo performer, Fergus has performed on numerous anthologies and collections of folk music, and has contributed to recordings by Newfoundland artists such as Great Big Sea, Jim Payne, Minnie White, The Sons of Erin, and Christina Smith. He recently produced a double CD collection called Ryan’s Fancy: What a Time, featuring material culled from the Ryan’s Fancy vinyl recordings of the 70’s and 80’s.
In 1987 Fergus graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a degree in Education. Since then he has been bringing folk music to children both as a classroom teacher and a performer. He has developed a program of songs, stories and slides related to his native Ireland for use in schools and leads a series of initiatives around the province through the auspices of the St. John’s Folk Arts Society called Young Folk at the Hall, designed to get young people playing traditional music.
Originating from one of Canada’s special wild places, Labrador, and presently residing in the midst of one of Canada’s most celebrated national parks, Gros Morne, it is no wonder that Shirley’s writings are filled with nature’s imagery. Through recordings and performances, she has reached into the hearts and homes of many.
She has worked with many respected musicians from Atlantic Canada and is considered a pillar of the music industry, mentoring and inspiring others.
Shirley is the founder of the annual Trails Tales Tunes Festival and she continues to be very instrumental in the growing arts and culture scene in the Gros Morne region. Shirley still makes time for some performing, when the right situation arises, and she thoroughly enjoys making music with others.
Sally Goddard grew up in London, England, at the time of the folk revival of the 60s and 70s, when folk clubs sprang up in pubs all around the country, and folk music became accessible to anyone with the price of a pint. From that time onwards, she was captivated by the traditional songs of the British Isles and although she plays guitar, bodhran, concertina (and sometimes the spoons) her passion is for a cappella singing of the old songs.
Sally has been actively involved in learning, playing, collaborating and performing traditional music in clubs and pubs since the 1970s, in all the places where she has lived – London, Wales, Hampshire and, Newfoundland. Since arriving here in 1987, she has performed solo, and in good Newfoundland tradition, she has had the great satisfaction and fun of collaborating with many fine musicians. In 1995 she was one of the founding members of the band Atlantic Union, which is still going strong.