Attawapiskat ON via Winnipeg MB – Canadiana classic Heart Of Gold is turning 50 this month! Released on Neil Young’s Harvest album on February 14, 1972, the song has surely inspired countless musicians since it first hit the airwaves.
Jump ahead 20 years since it’s release… In 1992, 16-year-old Adrian Sutherland in the remote northern community of Attawapiskat borrowed a harmonica from an Elder, fashioned a homemade harness using a coat-hanger, two sticks and elastic bands, and taught himself to play Heart Of Gold: “I grew up in an isolated area and 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 one of my favourite songs,” says Sutherland.
Jump ahead another 27 years… In 2018, Adrian and his band Midnight Shine released a unique version of Heart Of Gold:“We wanted to cover it, but in a way that’s different from everyone else. So we gave it a little ‘shine’ of our own.” Their timely take on the timeless classic honours the heart and soul of the original, yet is distinctly different. It features heavy drum beat and slide guitar, and pays homage to Sutherland’s Indigenous culture with pow wow singing and chanting, and a verse in Mushkegowuk Cree.
One year later… In 2019, a music video for Heart Of Gold was released. Shot in Attawapiskat, it features some of Adrian’s family and friends enjoying a ‘boat ride’ – with a fun reveal at the end that you won’t see coming! Since its release, the music video has earned over 266.5k views on YouTube, while the song has been streamed more than 133k times on Spotify.