Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content

Midnight Shine Receiving Rave Reviews on Third Album

It's a little bit cliche to say it's been a long road for Midnight Shine to get to where they've reached today. It's a little bit ironic, too, considering they come from places you can't even get to by roads. 

The roots/rockers who have been lighting up the music world all the way from remote Northern Ontario just released their highly-anticipated third album, High Road this spring. It's an album 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."

Two producers worked on High Road, helping take Midnight Shine's music and talent to new places. John-Angus MacDonald (The Trews) recorded seven songs at Jukasa Studios in Ohsweken, Ontario, and Tim Vesely (Rheostatics) recorded two tracks at The Woodshed in Toronto.

Something new for Midnight Shine is adding touches of cultural embellishments to their music, like hand-drumming, occasional Cree lyrics, even a little creatively-placed pow wow. The result is a roots/rock band pushing musical boundaries and boldly taking new strides, while staying true to who they are and where they come from. 

The lead single is an exceptional cover of Neil Young's Heart of Gold, recorded with permission from Young's publisher Wixen Music Publishing Inc. It brings a timely new sound to this timeless classic and is distinctly different, yet honours the heart and soul of the original. Neil Young's Biographer and Music Historian John Einarson had this to say: "This is quite a fascinating version of Neil's song. Love the First Nations' feel of it. Very cool."

Midnight Shine has two performances happening in Toronto this month. 

They'll play Canadian Music Week with the Julian Taylor Band at Lee's Palace on May 10, and in the CBC Music Festival lineup at Echo Beach May 26. Other shows on the horizon include Stars and Thunder Festival in Timmins with Blue Rodeo and Colin James (June 25), Trackside Music Festival in London (July 1), and the inaugural SKOOKUM Festival in Vancouver (September 8).

RoseAnna Schick is a freelance writer and entertainment publicist. If you'd like to see your story in next month?s Entertainment Beat, please email her at

Search Articles
Feature Video