Jon Matthews

Jon Matthews

 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, CAN

Imagine what would happen if Barenaked Ladies moved into a house with Fleetwood Mac and all they listened to was Beach Boys albums.

Band Press

A snowed-in CD soirée – The Guardian, Charlottetown PE

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 for more information on this Cape-Bretoner-turned-P.E.Islander and his rise to fame.