Local musicians Rod Bandura and his partner Margit Gossage perform under the name Margit Sky Project. For their latest album they resurrected the songs from, Waskesu. In the early 90s two First Nations songwriters, Rod Bandura and Terrance Armstrong, got together and formed a band. They called it Waskesu. The band was fairly successful and was involved in some important functions, such as the Commonwealth Games, with Susan Aglukark and Kashtin.. Waskesu played for the Prime Minister and appeared on Much Music a number of times, including Snow Job 94 in Whistler, BC, with Chantal Kreviazuk, Crash Test Dummies and the great Bruce Cockburn.
In fact, the only cover song on For the People is Cockburn’s Indian Wars. Rod recalls, “I got to meet Bruce. [Cockburn]. He had the album “Nothing But a Burning Light” out and Indian Wars was on it. I was talking to him and told him, “I got to steal that song.” He said, “Go right ahead.” Eventually Waskesu broke up. Fast forward to 2019. Waskesu was a historical footnote and Terrance Armstrong had died. The tapes of their music were still in the home of Rod Bandura and Margaret Gossage. Recently Rod and Margit decided to put an album together using the music of Waskesu. They applied for a grant through the First Peoples’ Cultural Council of British Columbia and were successful. In February they recorded it at Perry’s Recording Studio. They added Aaron Anderson on drums and Scott Skulmoski on bass. They proceeded to make an album and it was completed before the end of February. Margit said “We, also, would really like to thank Doug Perry for doing an amazing job of producing, engineering, and mastering For the People.“ The resulting album which credits the Margit Little Sky Project, is called that because Rod Bandura’s full native name is Little Sky.
There are eleven tracks and ten are composed by Rod and his late music partner Terrance Armstrong. Some of the songs were work-shopped and played at local coffee houses and Music in The Park in the last year.
Crimson Morning talks of “hope, reconciliation, about everybody getting along together. That’s a message that we would like to send and hope that it gets through one day, as the lyrics say” said Rod. Stacey Lee tells of a woman they met who lived on the streets. The title track explains the vision quest of the Qayqayt First Nation, who are Rod’s people and that they do this “for the people.” Common Soldier was performed at Music in the Park last year with many family and friends drumming, singing and Rod’s granddaughter Skye also played guitar. It was very well received. In all, the album contains great musicianship, with an amazing fusion of rock, blues and First Nation’s music. “For the People, is a beautiful album that is heartbreaking at times and it also has an air of hopefulness in other places.
It is fitting that the Margit Little Sky Project chose June 21 as the album release date for “For the People.” That day was National Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020 in Canada.
You can get Margit Little Sky Project “For the People.” through their website.
Also it will be on iTunes, Apple Music, CD Baby, Spotify
Text of full interview available at: https://www.earshot-online.com/features/2020/June/waskesu.cfm