Jon Matthews
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Jon Matthews

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF
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Theoretically speaking, Jon Matthews picked a wise weekend to launch don’t leave, his muchly-anticipated new CD — the Saturday of Easter weekend, a time when people normally flock home, with not too much else to do but go out and have a good time before gorging themselves on chocolate the next day.

But then, of course, Matthews did not factor a flu with a high fever and a freakish Easter nor’easter into his plans.

In the words of a stuffed-with-the-cold, yet still happy and excited Matthews that night, it all quickly became, indeed, a very snowed-in soirée.

Accompanied by his band that featured Greg Stapleton on drums (and acoustic guitar and great backup vocals), Chris LeClair on electric guitar and Brian Maxwell on bass and backing vocals, Matthews strapped on his acoustic guitar and stepped up to the mike to deliver the title song of his new record: Don’t Leave.

With that folky-Barenaked Ladies-Blue Rodeo-y kinda’ twang, propelled by a voice that I think sounds more full than both Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor put together (even with a cold), Matthews kicked off his set with gusto with that catchy and fun opening tune.

“Anybody else get that flu bug that’s been goin’ around?” Matthews greeted his crowd in between songs.

He then began to describe his cold medication-induced hallucinations: “It’s actually not a crowd of people in front of me right now, but a group of different coloured animals,” he squinted.

“A tequila’ll fix that right up, Jon!” someone hollers from the audience (ah that Tony Doyle …).

Matthews then proceeded into some more songs from the new recording, including tunes like Helpless, and one of my favourites from the night, Someone Less Like Me — a real pop rocker that could be the radio hit of the record.

The evening also played host to some special guests on stage. Cynthia MacLeod added some lovely fiddle to the mix at a couple of points, and David Cyrus MacDonald and Colin Buchanan of The Chucky Danger Band, home on a brief stint from their West Coast touring, added some distinct touches to the timbre of the night.

Matthews’ son, Aaron Hastelow, also briefly performed backing vocals as well, doing a superb job adding to the melodic blend.

You can buy Matthews’ new CD at CD Plus, Music World or online at Apple Itunes. Also check out his website at www.jonmatthews.net for more information on this Cape-Bretoner-turned-P.E.Islander and his rise to fame. - The Guardian, Charlottetown PE


Discography

don't leave (second self-produced solo album - released in 2006)

Jug In Hand - Delirium (Jon co-produced, played bass, guitar and sang - released in 2002)

Party of Four - Gently With The Tide (CD single - Jon co-wrote, sang, played guitar/harmonica, co-produced - released in 2001)

Bridges (first self-produced solo album - released in 2000)

Photos

Bio

“If you pulled up to a drive-thru to buy a burger, you could expect to be asked, “Want fries with that?” If you pull in to a concert to hear a favourite fiddler or band, expect to be asked, “Want Jon Matthews with that?” – The Buzz, September 2009

Few people on the Prince Edward Island music scene could claim to be any busier than Jon Matthews. A native Cape Bretoner who moved to P.E.I. in 2002, Matthews has carved out a full time career in music by wearing a number of different hats: singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer and broadcaster. He wears each of them very comfortably.

With two solo albums to his credit, Matthews’ songs have won him accolades both globally (honourable mention, 2007 Singer Songwriter Awards) and in his chosen home province (four nominations, including Songwriter of the Year, 2007 Music PEI Awards). He has appeared at prestigious venues such as The Stan Rogers Folk Festival and the PEI International Shellfish Festival, and opened for, or performed with, such Canadian music luminaries as George Canyon, J.P. Cormier, The Barra MacNeils, Dave Gunning, Rose Cousins, Nathan Wiley and James Keelaghan.

Onstage, you just never know what role he’ll be playing: frontman, guitarist, bassist, drummer/percussionist, or background vocalist. That versatility has kept Matthews constantly in demand and on the move. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has worked with a long list of collaborators, most notably Cynthia MacLeod, The Celtic Ladies, and Colette Cheverie, performing in concert halls and festivals in Canada and the U.S. and at major events like the East Coast Music Awards and Ontario Council of Folk Festivals.

Then there’s his work in the recording studio. Jon is owner/operator of Big Grey Sound Studio, winner of the prestigious Music PEI Studio of the Year award for the past two years, and a 2009 East Coast Music Award nominee for Studio of the Year. Jon himself was nominated for 2009 ECMA Engineer of the Year for his efforts in the studio, and has produced, engineered, or performed on albums by top-notch artists like Joey Kitson (Rawlins Cross), Meaghan Blanchard, and Grass Mountain Hobos. In his “spare time”, he is an on-air personality for local radio station Magic 93.

For almost fifteen years, Jon Matthews has been cultivating his fan base onstage in pubs, theatres and festivals all over the country, including national and regional television appearances on CTV's Canada AM and Breakfast Television. He is an emotionally real performer and songwriter whose musicality and dedication to his craft will leave you spellbound and smiling.

“Please…don’t leave.”