Indio is the stage name for Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Peterson who released one album, Big Harvest in 1989, which includes the top 10 hit "Hard Sun."
2 Big Harvest,
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Peterson grew up in Dundas, Ontario.
The name Indio came to him while recording the second half of the album Big Harvest in California with Larry Klein. One afternoon, he drove down to Mexico and the last town before he crossed the border was named Indio. At that point Peterson decided he didn't want to use his own name on the album and decided to use Indio.
Big Harvest took two months to record. It involved several high-profile artists including Hamiltonian Bill Dillon and David Rhodes (Peter Gabriel) on guitars. Larry Klein played bass. Brenda Russell, also of Hamilton, sang background vocals, as did Joni Mitchell. Other collaborators included Indian violinist L. Subramaniam. "Hard Sun" was released as the lead-off single from the album, with a stripped-down acoustic version of the song on the record's B-side.
"Hard Sun" was a top 10 hit in Canada, peaking at #10 in September, 1989; however, the follow-up single "Save For The Memory" stalled at #67. Furthermore, none of Indio's material charted in the US, and Big Harvest did not sell up to the record company's expectations. Peterson was subsequently dropped from his label and left the business. He remains a reclusive figure to this day.
In 2007, Indio issued a new song, entitled "This Way Down", to a small number of fans and friends via email. The song features modern recording techniques including heavily processed vocals, accompanied by an electric guitar.
Big Harvest has become a collectors item, with used copies commanding up to $400 on eBay. On January 27, 2009 Big Harvest was reissued by Pacemaker Entertainment, a Canadian CD reissue label.
The album is, nowadays, often noted for its connotation towards conservation and spirituality through nature. The singer said that his eye for nature and conservation came from working on his grandfather's tobacco farm in Canada as a child.
Peterson re-emerged into the public when he filed a lawsuit in December 2009 against Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, alleging infringement resulting from usage and alteration of "Hard Sun" without Peterson's permission, although Universal Music, Peterson's former label, granted permission. Vedder recorded the song for the Sean Penn-directed movie Into the Wild.