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artist Joel Plaskett

Halifax, NS, CANADA
Pheromone Recordings
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biographical info

 Joel Plaskett returns with one of the most diverse and fan-pleasing albums of his career. Proving that he can be all things to everybody, the rock veteran offers up a wide mix of styles on Joel Plaskett and the Park Avenue Sobriety Test. It touches on his solo acoustic side, his guitar rock work with the Emergency, his happy-go-lucky rhyming talents, carefree memories of growing up in Nova Scotia, and a little bit of anger at the forces making life tougher these days.  There are many moments that draw on previous classic Plaskett, from beloved albums such as Three and Ashtray Rock, right back to his Thrush Hermit days.  And there are new sides to his sounds as well – Joel like you've never heard him.

 

There are plenty of hints as to where his head is at these days -  39 and holding, looking back at how he got there, and ahead past that milestone birthday.  Even the title holds a clue in its anagram: Joel Plaskett and the P.A.S.T.  You'll find references to his salad days, like “On A Dime,” which starts with a blast of downhome Celtic fiddle from Cape Breton great J.P. Cormier.  Then there’s Plaskett riffing on memories of playing road hockey in the liquor store parking lot, and later, traveling to Memphis with his band Thrush Hermit to make their first album.  It's not truly autobiographical though.  These are more observations that have piled up over the last twenty-plus years of being a touring musician, traveling and meeting folks coast to coast to coast, mixing it in with his own life.  If anything, it's the teenager from Ashtray Rock, all grown up.

 

The P.A.S.T. also refers to the cast of characters that helped make the album. With its wide-ranging sound it's not a pure Joel Plaskett Emergency effort, although the band appears on more than half  the tracks. It's more like the Emergency-Plus, as lots of familiar faces from previous Plaskett discs are aboard.  Longtime Emergency cohorts Dave Marsh - drums and Chris Pennell - bass anchor the rhythm section.  Previous group members Tim Brennan and Peter Elkas play on several songs.  From Plaskett's former band Thrush Hermit is old pal Ian McGettigan. Then there are guests, friends and neighbours, such as Cormier, Halifax singer-songwriter Mo Kenney, singer Erin Costelo, and pedal steel player Dale Murray (Christina Martin, Cuff the Duke).

 

In an era when most albums have the best tracks at the start and then a bunch of also-rans to fill up the quota, Plaskett stubbornly remains a throwback. The consummate music fan, even the album cover is a dead give-away, where he reclines on top of his massive collection of vinyl, no doubt filled with personal treasures and rare gems.  Each cut stands alone as a winner, but together, they flow and create a full story.  They are as catchy and melodic as his best work, but on Joel Plaskett and the Park Avenue Sobriety Test he’s gone one step further.  The sequence is carefully planned, there are little linking bits, connections from one song to the next, one ending planned to segue into the next beginning.  There's a story arc about getting through life's struggles and blue periods, and dramatic pacing, like a movie script.  It starts with the rock, gets a little quieter, more serious and acoustic, then breaks the tension with some classy goofy lyrics (“Song for Jersey”) before wrapping up with the electric big band.

 

In other words, this is a start-to-finish, must-listen album. You can pick out favourite lines ("When you're one of a kind, you can't get on the Ark"), new anthems (the title cut) and take a moment to reflect (“For Your Consideration”). You can marvel at new sides to Plaskett's work, from the finger-pointing anger of “Captains of Industry,” where he takes on the one percent, ruining lives through trickle-down greed, to the cover of Stephen Foster's “Hard Times,” a 160-year old protest song that shows times really haven't changed much at all.  It's a rare album where an artist can lean so much on his P.A.S.T., yet still show a great deal of growth.  But after twenty years of music-making mischief, Joel Plaskett never, ever lets you down, and seems to always find ways to get better.

 

Awards and Achievements


2015

Polaris Music Prize Long List - The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

ECMA Award Winner Producer of the Year


2014

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Producer of the Year


2013

CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award Winner Lifetime Achievement

ECMA Award Winner Rock Recording of the Year – Scrappy Happiness

ECMA Award Nomination Entertainer of the Year


2012

Polaris Music Prize Long List – Scrappy Happiness

CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award Winner for The Golden Bucky – “Lightning Bolt”

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – “You’re Mine”

Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination Entertainer of the Year


2011

The Coast voted “Best Songwriter”


2010

Juno Award Winner Adult Alternative Album of the Year – Three

Juno Award Nomination Songwriter of the Year – “Through & Through & Through”

Finalist International Songwriting Contest “Through & Through & Through” Performance Category

CMW Indie Award Winner Favourite Solo Artist

CMW Indie Award Nomination Favourite Album – Three

ECMA Award Winner Male Solo Recording of the Year – Three

ECMA Award Winner Entertainer of the Year

ECMA Award Winner SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – “Through & Through & Through”

ECMA Award Winner FACTOR Recording of the Year – Three

ECMA Award Winner Single of the Year – “Through & Through & Through”

ECMA Award Winner Pop Recording of the Year – Three

ECMA Award Nomination Single of the Year – “You Let Me Down”

ECMA Award Nomination Video of the Year – “Through & Through & Through”

The Coast voted “Best Local Solo Male”

The Coast voted “Best Vinyl” – Three

The Coast voted “Best Local Album” – Three


2009

Polaris Music Prize Nomination – Three

Canadian Folk Music Award Winner Contemporary Album of the Year

Canadian Folk Music Award Winner Producer of the Year

Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination Solo Artist of the Year

Canadian Folk Music Award Nomination Pushing The Boundaries Recording of the Year – Three

ECHO Songwriting Prize Nomination – “Through & Through & Through”

First Place Winner Great American Song Contest – “Face of the Earth”

ECMA Award Winner Entertainer of the Year

ECMA Award Nomination Single of the Year – “Face of the Earth”

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Album of the Year – Three

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Male Solo Artist of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Pop/Rock Recording of the Year – Three

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner SOCAN Songwriter of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination Entertainer of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination Video of The Year – “Through & Through & Through”


2008

Juno Award Nomination Songwriter of the Year – Ashtray Rock

First Place Winner Billboard World Song Contest Pop Category – “Fashionable People”

First Place Winner Great American Song Contest – “Fashionable People”

CMW Indie Award Nomination Favourite Rock Artist/Group of the Year

CMW Indie Award Nomination Galaxie Rising Star

COCA Mainstage Artist Award

ECMA Award Winner Recording of the Year – Ashtray Rock

ECMA Award Winner Group Recording of the Year

ECMA Award Winner Rock Recording of the Year

ECMA Award Winner SOCAN Songwriter of the Year

ECMA Award Winner Single of the Year – “Fashionable People”

ECMA Award Winner Video of the Year – “Fashionable People”

ECMA Award Nomination Entertainer of the Year

The Coast voted “Best Local Solo Male”


2007

Polaris Music Prize Nomination – Ashtray Rock

CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award Winner “Song Most Likely to be a Future Classic”- “Nowhere With You”

CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award Nomination “Best Falsetto” – “Fashionable People”

ECMA Award Winner SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – “Nowhere With You”

ECMA Award Winner Single of the Year

ECMA Award Winner DVD of the Year – Make A Little Noise

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Album of the Year – Ashtray Rock

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Pop Rock Recording of the Year – Ashtray Rock

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Entertainer of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Group of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Songwriter of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Video of the Year – “Fashionable People”

The Coast voted “Top 50 CDs of the Year Award” – Ashtray Rock

The Coast voted “Best Canadian Male Musician”

The Coast voted “Best Canadian Solo Artist”


2006

Juno Award Nomination Songwriter of the Year – La De Da

First Place Great American Song Contest – “Nowhere With You”

Verge Award Winner – Album of the Year Award

Chart Magazine The Golden Toque Award Nomination – Best Canadian Album

Canadian Radio Music Award Nomination – Best New Solo Artist Hot AC

CBC Radio 3 voted #1 Top 94 list – “Nowhere With You”

ECMA Award Winner Male Artist of the Year – La De Da

ECMA Award Winner Songwriter of the Year Award – “Happen Now”

ECMA Award Nomination Album of the Year

ECMA Award Winner Single of the Year

ECMA Award Winner Video the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Songwriter of the Year – “Nowhere With You”

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Entertainer of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Nomination Single of the Year

The Coast voted “Best Canadian Male Musician”

The Coast voted “Best Local Male Musician”

The Coast voted “Best Local Album” – La De Da


2005

MIANS Award Winner Male Artist of the Year

MIANS Award Winner Album of the Year – La De Da

MIANS Award Winner Pop/Rock Recording of the Year

ECMA Award Winner Rock Recording of the Year

ECMA Award Nomination Album of the Year

ECMA Award Nomination Group of the Year

The Coast voted “Best Canadian Male Musician”

The Coast voted “Best Local Male Musician”

The Coast voted “Best Local Song”


2004

Juno Award Nomination Best Alternative Album of the Year

MIANS Award Winner Group of the Year – Truthfully, Truthfully

MIANS Award Winner Alternative Recording of the Year

MIANS Award Winner Entertainer of the Year

The Coast voted “Best Local Band”

The Coast voted “Best Local Album” – Truthfully, Truthfully


2003

The Coast voted “Best Local Band”

The Coast voted “Best Local Live Act”


2002

Juno Award Nomination Best New Artist of the Year – Down at The Khyber

ECMA Award Nomination Rock Recording of the Year

ECMA Award Nomination Best New Artist of the Year

ECMA Award Nomination Video of the Year – “Maybe We Should Just Go Home”

The Coast voted “Best Local Album” – Down at The Khyber

The Coast voted “Best Video” – “Maybe We Should Just Go Home”

The Coast voted “Best Male Solo Artist”

lineup

Sheri Jones Manager
The Park Avenue Sobriety Test
Pheromone Recordings
March, 2015
List Tracks ▼
Scrappy Happiness
Independent
April, 2012
List Tracks ▼
EMERGENCYs. False Alarms...
New Scotland Records
June, 2011
List Tracks ▼
Joel Plaskett/Shotgun Jimmie
New Scotland Records
April, 2011
List Tracks ▼
Three More 7"
New Scotland Records
June, 2009
List Tracks ▼
Three
MapleMusic Recordings
March, 2009
List Tracks ▼
CBC Radio 3 Sessions: Volume 3
Maple Music
October, 2007
List Tracks ▼
Ashtray Rock
Maple Music
May, 2007
List Tracks ▼
Make A Little Noise CD/ DVD
MapleMusic Recordings
April, 2006
List Tracks ▼
La De Da
MapleMusic Recordings
November, 2005
List Tracks ▼
Truthfully Truthfully
Maple Music
January, 2003
List Tracks ▼
Down at the Khyber
Multiball
May, 2001
List Tracks ▼
In Need of Medical Attention
Independent
September, 1999
List Tracks ▼

upcoming shows

Sep 04 Hubbards The Shore Club
Sep 06 Portsmouth Prescott Park Arts Festival
Sep 18 Ballydehob Levis
Sep 19 Clonakilty Clonaklity International Guitar Festival
Sep 20 Clonakilty Clonaklity International Guitar Festival
Sep 22 Dublin Whelan's
Oct 03 Iqaluit Inuksuk High School
Oct 04 Iqaluit Inuksuk High School
Oct 06 Igloolik Alianait Arts Festiva
Nov 07 Stephenville Stephenville Arts & Culture Centre
Nov 08 Corner Brook Corner brook Arts & Culture Centre
Nov 09 Grand Falls-Windsor Grand Falls-Windsor Arts & Culture Centre
Nov 10 Gander Gander Arts & Culture Centre
Nov 12 St. John's Arts & Culture Centre
Nov 20 Hamilton Melrose United Church
Apr 27 London The Aeolian
Apr 28 London The Aeolian

Video

You Let Me Down 2:30

You Let Me Down

Joel Plaskett - You Let Me Down

Fashionable People 4:25

Fashionable People

CD: "Ashtray Rock" (2007)

Through & Through & Through 4:29

Through & Through & Through

Joel Plaskett, Rose Cousins and Ana Egge in Through & Through & Through

where to buy
230 Richmond Street West, 11th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5V 3E5
1-877-944-5144
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