Margit Gossage and Rod Bandura
The Margit Sky Project is one of the busiest bands that are based in Kamloops. This talented twosome had seventy gigs this year. Margit Gossage, lead vocals and guitar and Rod Bandura, lead guitar and vocals, often appear as a duo and sometimes add bassist Ken Kobayashi to the mix. For their Music in the Park performance this year they augmented the trio with Scott Skulmoski on guitar and vocals, Daniel Heslop on keyboards and vocals and drummer Rob Gretsinger.
Daniel Heslop and Scott Skulmoski Rob Gretsinger
Bandura is a wizard on guitar and Gossage does a great job on vocals. The main body of their show consisted of carefully selected rock and country songs. They covered rock and roll from the days of Buddy Holly & the Crickets with “All My Love All My Kisses”, to Eric Burdon and the Animals’ (and others) “House of the Rising Sun”, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Tragically Hip’s “Fiddler’s Green.” They filled in the chronological gaps with many other fitting songs from both genres. Often you could hear the audience singing along with them, so they really struck a chord with the crowd. Bandura and Skulmoski seemed to really enjoy playing alongside each other and Bandura crossed the stage a few times to play side-by-side. Skulmoski is a big asset to any band he joins.
Kobayashi and Gretsinger made a great pair, providing that solid steady backbeat, to this wonderful rock retrospective.
Heslop is part of a number of other projects and his deftness on the keyboards was a nice addition to the Margit Sky Project. The Music in the Park show had an added bonus; the first two songs they played, “Fresh Off the Reservation” and “I Mourn,” were about First Nations people. The last two songs, “Crimson Morning” and “Common Soldier Man” in Bandura’s words are about “hope and maybe, reconciliation” (for First Nations people). All four were composed by Bandura and Terrance Armstrong. During the last song a group of family members and friends joined the Margit Sky Project and sang in their native tongues and some played drums.
Bandura’s granddaughter, Skye Bandura-Griffore contributed guitar and vocals, alongside her grandfather. It was a very fitting and moving end to a wonderful performance.
Skye Bandura-Griffore and Rod Bandura