Adrian Sutherland: Magic Hits

Plaintive yet robust vocals and a full production sound impress on this rootsy cut.

Adrian Sutherland: Magic Hits

By Kerry Doole

Adrian Sutherland - Magic Hits (Independent): Previously known for his work as leader of Northern Ontario Indigenous roots-rock band Midnight Shine, singer/songwriter/Indigenous advocate Adrian Sutherland has now gone solo. Earlier singles, especially Politician Man, were well-received, and his debut solo album, When the Magic Hits, came out on Sept. 17.

It has already made a splash, via CBC coverage and placements on major Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music playlists, and the (near) title track has just come out as a single. It was co-written by Sutherland and previous collaborators Chris & Matt Gormley (The Trews, Daylight for Deadeyes), and is one of seven album cuts produced, engineered and mixed by Grammy-winning roots veteran Colin Linden.


Sutherland's vocals are plaintive yet robust, and a full production sound incorporates organ, Linden's typically fluent guitar, and backing vocals. The cut's feel suggests The Band, and we sense it has airplay potential.

Describing the album in a press release, Sutherland notes that "the record is about deeper meaning for me. These songs allowed me to explore some personal stuff I've never been able to on past albums. Some of the themes are sensitive but it was important for me to write about them, like fighting through losses and traumas, and learning to appreciate everything I have today, because it hasn't always been clear to me.”

“The songs are emotional, and powerful for me to listen to now. They move me in ways like nothing else I have written. The talent who came together to help me make this album – from the producers to the musicians, to the songwriters who collaborated with me – their passion shines through in every song. I absolutely love this album and hold it close to my heart.”

A talent-heavy list of album credits includes co-writers Tim Vesely (Rheostatics), Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo), Jay Semko (The Northern Pikes), Scott Dibble (Hemingway Corner), and Serena Ryder. Guest players include Janice Powers, Jerry Roe, Gary Craig, John Dymond, Cripps, and Chris Carmichael, while Vesely produced, engineered and mixed two album tracks.


Of note: Sutherland is presently writing his first book for Penguin Random House Canada about growing up in Attawapiskat – a remote and sometimes troubled community he still chooses to call home.






Publicity: Beth Cavanagh, What's The Story

Management: RoseAnna Schick, RAS Creative

Booking agent:  Nicole Rochefort, AIM: Artists In Motion

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