Willie Dunn in the Rearview

A memorial for First Nations activist Willie Dunn

Hank & The No Goods

It was around about 1996 that Shelley Niro came up with the idea of a travelling B-circuit bar band for her film Honey Mocassin. Although the whole band never appeared in the film, Hank showed up at the end singing Honey on Fire through the closing credits from the back of a five ton equipment truck which was ‘loading out’. He bore a striking resemblance to Willie Dunn, whom I had recently met again after a long gap of 25 years. We wrote and recorded a few songs based on Shelley’s script. She used everything that we sent her. Some bits and pieces, some in their entirety, according to the film’s needs.
These songs were the start of a seven year recording and performing period for Hank and Slim from 1997 to 2004. The ‘record’ button was often ‘on’ at the coffee houses, rez arenas, folk festivals, university radio stations, and studios, both upscale and the duct tape kind. I carried a loaded Walkman Pro in my holster just in case. So, from the kitchen table to soft-seat European concert halls, we have a well travelled and intensely interesting backdrop for this music. We sounded good together, dressed well for the occasion, and were still attractive lads.

Willie had a great sense of humour and I gave it room on this record. He liked to tell stories as well, so I made sure that some had their place here.
After rummaging around the basement, bumping my head a few times, through dusty cobwebs, then lugging cardboard boxes full of tape hiss upstairs, I tried to bring enough good elements and variety together to share some of what we were doing and what we were up to in this mighty and creative period. I listened to everything while sorting and assembling the material. It was difficult in the beginning, hearing my old friend’s voice in the headphones so close and yet......bittersweet.
So Slim put on his producer hat – the one with the
rumpled feather. He created several new songs and pulled enough pieces together to be able to ask other musicians and artists for their helpful voices. Some were longtime friends of Willie, while others had never met him but trusted Slim anyway. Good move. They added a strong sense of family which, after all, was so important to Willie. They brought more than they imagined and are, now, officially ‘No Goods’. It’s with that thought that I respectifully dedicate this album to the family and friendsof my big brother, who gave me this chance to heal.
Wela’lin, Willie Dunn

Ron Bankley

Free MP3 Downloads
from the CD

(Instead of buying the CD, folks ought to throw that money to a good cause in Willie's memory, be it smelling the flowers or spiking the wine. - Slim)

1- Spirit Flute 1:18

2- Distant Warrior 2:06

3- Our Native Land 3:22

4- Seven-O-Nine 4:56

5- Walking Eagle 2:37

6- Peruvian Dream 4:10

7- Great Lakes People 4:46

8- Schwartz Katz 3:32

9- Hypochondriac Blues 3:56

10- I Pity the Country 2:50

11- Where Eagles Soar 5:06

12- Yellowhead’s Song 5:36

13- Yellowhead Reprise 4:54

14- Rear View 4:35

15- Nanabush Dogs 3:37

16- Son of the Earth 1:08

17- Heartbeat of our Mother 0:35

Song 8 - W. Leiderschmitt
Song 15 - Algonquin Traditional
Songs 1 & 17 - D. R. Maracle
Songs 2,13, 14 - R. Bankley
All other songs - Willie Dunn

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Any reproduction of this work for UN-authorized commercial purposes
is strictly forbidden and intensely frowned upon. - Slim