Steve Mramor was born into a family blessed with musical talent and was raised in a home where singing and playing seemed as natural and necessary as breathing. His father played in a well-loved local band; his mother and her sisters sang a cappella harmony; and both of his parents were members of a group that perpetuated and celebrated their Slovene heritage and culture, including its music. Steve and his two sisters were all given music lessons, and though Steve’s lessons were not on an instrument of his choice, the experience provided a foundation for what was to come. He quit the lessons, became a self-taught guitarist, and began performing in a high school band in his hometown of Euclid, Ohio.
He set performing aside during the ensuing decades, until the evening he heard Raven Dana and her daughter singing in a local coffee house. His love of making music was reawakened with that experience. He and Raven soon formed a band called Witch and Toad, and collaborated on the album titled “You Can Never Go Home Again.”
With “Uncle Johnny,” Steve drew on a family story so true to the common experiences of the time and place that he was asked to perform the song when the Smithsonian Institution brought its traveling exhibition, “The Way We Worked,” to the Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, Kansas, in the summer of 2013. Franklin is where his mother and her family lived at the time the events that form the basis of “Uncle Johnny” occurred, and where a number of family members still reside. Several of Steve’s cousins joined him in the performance, as did Susan Gaydos, who created the video that accompanies the song. The video and song remain a part of the permanent exhibit at the Miners Hall Museum.
Although Steve enjoys performing, his first loves remain composition and songwriting. In addition to continuing with Witch and Toad, he pursues a solo career and currently is working on an album of new originals titled “The Ghost.”