A new stage in his career
After performing in musical theatre productions Aaron Hastelow ready to launch solo career
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.”
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”.