HALIFAX — When P.E.I. musician, record producer and recording engineer Jon Matthews learned he was to be one of this year’s recipients of the Stompin’ Tom Connors Award from the East Coast Music Association, he was thrilled but somewhat stunned.
Matthews, who will receive his award at the East Coast Music Association’s industry brunch Saturday, said it sort of came out of nowhere.
“When I got the call a few months back obviously I was stunned, but I was also delighted and very deeply honoured by the whole thing,” Matthews said. “Now with the passing of Tom and the fact a lot of people are talking about the legacy he left and everything he brought not just to the East Coast music industry but to the entire Canadian music industry receiving an award named after him is even more special.”
Still Matthews said he couldn’t have been more surprised by his selection as a Stompin’ Tom Award recipient.
“When you think of these sorts of retrospective awards you tend to think of people who typically are a little older than me. So yes I was very surprised. Obviously music is a passion and a love of mine and I know that I’ve been involved in music in a lot of different ways over the years, whether performing or the broadcasting side or as a producer and engineer. I knew I was involved in a lot of things but its always surprising when you get recognized this way.”
Matthews says this award is particularly special for him because it’s chosen by the ECMA’s board of directors, it carries Stompin’ Tom’s name and there is such a history behind it.
“It means a lot to me,’’ Matthews said.
"What I’ve always taken away from Tom and what I loved most about him was his authenticity. The songs he wrote about the people he met and the places he went, always very authentic. That’s the way he lived his life. He did exactly what he wanted to do all the time. He was authentic to himself and who he was. I looked up to him as a man and as a musician.”
During the same industry awards brunch at which Matthews will be honoured, awards will be presented to music industry professionals in 10 different categories.
The following people, companies and organizations from P.E.I. are up for awards.
The Festival of Small Halls and the Indian River Festival are nominated for event of the year.
Doug Gallant of The Guardian is nominated for media person of the year.
St. Mary’s Church and the Trailside Café & Pub are nominated for venue of the year.
Colin Buchanan of Paper Lions is nominated for producer of the year.