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Joel Plaskett

Pop-rock singer-songwriter

Song – "On the Rail" - Now playing...

Canada has produced some of the world's most enduring songwriters and passionate performers, and Joel Plaskett belongs on the top shelf with the best of them.

Since spending his teenage years recording and touring with Halifax indie upstarts Thrush Hermit, Plaskett has been writing his own story. After releasing two critically acclaimed independent albums, he signed to MapleMusic Recordings for the release of 2003's Truthfully Truthfully, a rock tour de force recorded with his band, The Joel Plaskett Emergency. That album scored with critics and fans, put Plaskett on the national radar, earned a Juno Award nomination for Alternative Album of the Year, and won an East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for Rock Recording of the Year.

During a summer break from touring in 2004, Plaskett responded to a longtime fan's offer of free recording time at a home studio in Mesa, Arizona. He drove across America with his songwriting notebook in the passenger seat. The results of that journey are documented in Plaskett's La De Da album (2005), on which he plays all the instruments, comfortably following his instincts.

Plaskett’s DVD release, Make a Little Noise (2006), is a collection of his typically electirfying live performances, featuring the excellent Emergency band as well as solo material. The DVD package included a bonus CD with three Emergency band recordings. The first single, “(Can I Go) Nowhere With You” – in addition to being used in a summer 2006 television ad campaign for the Zeller’s retail chain – became a staple at radio from coast to coast, charting at No. 3 on Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) radio.

Plaskett’s next recording, Ashtray Rock (2007), was a concept album about two teenage boys whose band breaks up when they compete over a girl in a messy love triangle. It earned widespread critical and fan praise, and a great many award nominations.

Three (2009) is a triple album featuring an eclectic blend of styles, ranging from drum-machine rock ‘n’ roll, to stripped-down acoustic folk, to a deep-country vibe and rollicking pop. Three marks another landmark in the career of this great Canadian songwriter.

On June 14, 2011, he released Emergencys, False Alarms, Shipwrecks, Castaways, Fragile Creatures, Special Features, Demons and Demonstrations, a collection of demos, outtakes, rarities and B-sides from morer than a decade of music-making.

Over the years, Plaskett has received literally dozens of awards and nominations, inlcuding several SOCAN-sponsored Songwriter of the Year honours at various awards shows. He swept all five categories in which he was nominated at the 2007 Music Nova Scotia Awards (MNSAs), and won six of the seven for which he was nominated at the 2008 ECMAs. He also won a Juno Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year (for Three) in 2010.

Performances/news this month
June 18 - Millville, New Jersey, Southern Shore Music Festival
June 19 - Croton-on-Hudson, New York, Clearwater Great Hudson River Festival
June. 25 - Summerside, PEI, Summerside Concert Series
June 30 - St. John's, NL, Canada Day Weekend, George Street Stage
July 10 - Sarnia, ON, Sarnia Bayfest Festival of Performing Arts
July 15 - Vancouver Folk Music Festival


Emergencys, False Alarms, etc. (rarities compilation, 2011)
Three (triple album, 2009)
Ashtray Rock (2007)
Make a Little Noise (DVD, 2006)
La De Da (2005)
Truthfully Truthfully (2003)
Down at the Khyber (2001)
In Need of Medical Attention (1999)

SOCAN Connection
* Member since 1993
* Feature, Words & Music, Summer 2005
* Cover Story, Words & Music, Summer 2009
* ECMA SOCAN Songwriter of the year in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010