A new stage in his ca­reer

Af­ter per­form­ing in mu­si­cal theatre pro­duc­tions Aaron Hastelow ready to launch solo ca­reer

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - Sally Cole Sally Cole is an en­ter­tain­ment writer with The Guardian. She wel­comes com­ments about her col­umn as well as sug­ges­tions for fu­ture col­umns from read­ers. She may be reached at sally.cole@the­guardian. pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.

Aaron Hastelow is known for his heart-warm­ing por­trayal of Anne Shirley’s love in­ter­est, Gil­bert Blythe, in “Anne of Green Gables – The Mu­si­cal” at the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts for the past two sum­mers.

The P.E.I. na­tive is also rec­og­nized for his pow­er­ful per­for­mances in mu­si­cal theatre pro­duc­tions like “Evita”, “Rent” and “Mamma Mia!” The­atre­go­ers will be able to see more of that power when he stars as Ham­let in the Char­lot­te­town Fes­ti­val’s “Kron­berg 1582” on July 28 at St. Mary’s Church in In­dian River at 7:30 p.m.

Now, in ad­di­tion to his the­atri­cal work, Hastelow is step­ping onto an­other stage.

He is pre­par­ing to launch his ca­reer as a solo artist with the re­lease of his de­but mu­si­cal col­lec­tion.

“Grow­ing up on the Is­land, I’ve al­ways loved folk and acous­tic mu­sic; a voice and a gui­tar. That’s where I re­ally wanted to go with this al­bum. I wanted it to be about the voice and the mu­sic,” says the tenor of the self-ti­tled de­but EP, which will be re­leased on July 29.

But, the re­ally cool thing, he tells me is, it’s all Cana­dian con­tent.

“It’s Canada’s 150th birth­day and, more than any­thing, I wanted to sup­port Cana­dian com­posers and artists be­cause I’m one of them. There are also some beau­ti­ful songs out there,” says Hastelow.

Recorded at the Sound Mill Record­ing Stu­dio in North Wilt­shire, the al­bum con­tains six tracks in­clud­ing a cover of Joni Mitchell’s clas­sic “A Case of You”, which is the first sin­gle.

There are other well-known cov­ers in­clud­ing in­clude Gordie Samp­son’s “You (or Some­body Like You), Amanda Mar­shall’s “Let It Rain” and Dal­las Green and Ali­cia Moore’s “You and Me” (fea­tur­ing his best friend, Michelle Bouey).

One track that’s es­pe­cially mean­ing­ful to him is “Bridge”.

That’s be­cause his fa­ther, Jon Matthews, wrote the song when he was 25. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to be the same age he was when he was imag­in­ing these lyrics.”

Then, in recog­ni­tion of his role as Gil­bert, he’s recorded a lovely new ar­range­ment of “Wond’rin”, (a num­ber he sings with A J Bridel in “Anne of Green Gables – The Mu­si­cal”).

“This song means so much to me and it’s been so mean­ing­ful to re­visit it in this way.”

Be­sides the beau­ti­ful vo­cals, ses­sional mu­si­cian Jon Rheder came up with a beau­ti­ful gui­tar line. “Then Karen Graves came in and did her own take on the vi­olin line.”

Lis­ten­ing to it cer­tainly sent shiv­ers up my spine. Ku­dos also goes to backup artists Ian Toms, lead gui­tar, and Bouey, backup vo­cals for their stel­lar work.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of the al­bum re­lease on July 29, the first song from the EP will be re­leased to­day (Satur­day) on­line. It will be free and avail­able at soundcloud.com/hastelow and youtube.com/hastelow. Hastelow hopes that peo­ple will check out his new project.

“I’m very proud and ex­cited about the work that has gone

into the mak­ing the al­bum of the past year.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Aaron Hastelow is hav­ing an ex­cit­ing sum­mer. He’s re­leas­ing his de­but EP on July 29. The P.E.I. na­tive will also be star­ring as Ham­let in “Kron­berg 1582”, pre­sented by the Char­lot­te­town Fes­ti­val at St. Mary’s Church in In­dian River on July 28 at 7:30 p.m. Hastelow also plays Gil­bert Blythe in “Anne of Green Gables – The Mu­si­cal”.

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