Saint John — The beloved Saint John-born singer-songwriter Stompin’ Tom Connors, believed to have been dead since 2013, dropped an unannounced new project just before midnight last night.
The album is available for purchase through iTunes, and is streaming on Spotify now. It has been receiving rave reviews from fans and music critics alike.
“Who would have thought that 48 years after Bud The Spud and Other Favourites, Tom Connors would still be stompin’ out the competition?” wrote Stephen Thomas Erlewine for Allmusic.com.
The new album, simply entitled Stomp, is an 18-track, stripped-down country album with a concentration on dense, poetic lyricism — a significant departure from his traditional Maritime-based anthems.
“I can’t really say I’m surprised,” said music blogger Jean Litmus. “Connors has been shaking up the game since 1993, when he declined to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. There’s no telling what this guy will do.”
In a telephone interview, the “Hockey Song” hit-maker said that a surprise album drop was “the only way to do it.”
“I’m 79 years old, now,” said Connors. “I didn’t just want to do a ‘comeback’ record. I wanted to make something that mattered, and I felt the only way that I could do that was to avoid the press altogether.”
Stomp comes on the tail of other surprise releases, such as Beyoncé’s self-titled album in 2013, and more recently, major projects from hip-hop elites Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
“Well I’ve got to give a shout-out to Bey, because she’s just been running this shit for far too long to be denied,” Connors said. “Kendrick and Drake, too, man — they’re doing their thing.”
The album has already been streamed an astonishing 800, 565, 7421 times, making it Spotify’s most listened-to Canadian album of all time. And how does the artist feel about this late-period success?
“I’m just happy that people like it,” said Connors.