By Amanda Perreault
THUNDER BAY – ENTERTAINMENT – Midnight Shine, a well rooted Indigenous rock band from Northern Ontario has released its third album titled High Road.
Adrian Sutherland, the frontman, brings positive meaning with the Bands lucid sound, emphasizing through positive lyrics the band’s message.
To me that message speaks out to current issues that Indigenous people across Turtle Island are voicing, like a broken child welfare system, violence against Indigenous women, domestic violence, lateral violence, and all of the aftermath of residential School era.
The first song, LeatherSkin, brings reality to this for me personally; “You can knock me down as hard as you can, I’ll get back on my feet”. That lyric has been in my mind and stayed there for weeks, as do many of the songs in this album.
This Album speaks about resilience, something Midnight Shine’s frontman Adrian Sutherland knows firsthand.
“Growing up in Attawapiskat was a real challenge. Kids can be cruel to each other, and I was bullied a lot,” says Sutherland, who’d seek escape though music, or by spending time out on the land, learning about his Mushkegowuk Cree culture and traditions. “Resilience is something I had to learn at an early age, and it became part of who I am.”
“Living in Attawapiskat today, as an adult with a family of my own, requires even more resilience. There’s no hiding the truth about life in the North, and the fact that many of our communities are in a horrible state. We face frequent hardships, and struggle every day to find our way through it all. But we still have a choice to feel hope, and to empower ourselves to find peace.”
“A lot of the songs I’m writing these days keep coming back to being resilient, and not giving up. Through my music, I hope this message will resonate with people from the James Bay coast, and other isolated places. This album is for them.”
The enlightening album contains a re-interpretation of a classic song, Heart of Gold, written by Neil Young in 1972. Midnight Shine brought ancestral life, with pure and simple pow wow singing background and the beautiful melody ending in Mushkewgowuk Cree leaving you feeling the pride of our beautiful heritage.
“Growing up in a very isolated area, I listened to a lot of music – especially once I started playing guitar. Neil Young was one of my biggest musical inspirations, and Heart of Gold is still one of my favourite songs. I’ve performed it many times, so why not record it, and give it a little something of our own.” –Adrian Sutherland
Seventy-two-year-old Canadian folk singer, Neil Young, who is a long-time advocate for indigenous rights, who raises his voice for the environment, rallied behind Standing Rock situated along the border of the North and South Dakota protecting the surrounding earth and waters from the destruction of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.
After eight long established years, along with their supporting family and home life, Producer John Angus MacDonald brought to life seven songs at the Jukaska Studio in Ohsweken, Ontario.
Producer Tim Vesely recorded two more songs to complete the album at the Woodshed Studio in Toronto, Ontario in collaboration with real-life experiences straight from the truth about the feelings of the importance of family and empowering oneself.
Right from the beginning to end, this album has a way of getting right inside your inner spirit. The songs become fixed in your mind and chances are you will find yourself singing or humming the songs for days.
To get Midnight Shine’s latest album go to MidnightShineOnline
Manager, RoseAnna Schick, tells NetNewsLedger that although nothing is booked as of yet, Midnight Shine is hoping to get back to Thunder Bay this summer.
In this exclusive interview recorded last summer with Adrian Sutherland, he explains how the Sister Love song, came about, which is on this album.