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Joel Plaskett (born April 18, 1975) is a multi-faceted and eclectic Candian singer-songwriter and musician. Known as a member of the ’90’s alt-rock band Thrush Hermit and as a successful power pop/rock solo artist in his own right, Plaskett hails from Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Born and raised in the fishing village of Lunenberg, Plaskett began playing the guitar from an early age inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, the Sex Pistols, and the Pixies. Following a move to Halifax, the singer-songwriter formed his band alongside friend Rob Benvie and Ian McGettigen. By 1992 that band had transformed into Thrush Hermit with which Plaskett released three EPs, “Smart Bomb”, “The Great Pacific Ocean”, and “Rock and Roll Detective” and a pair of albums “Sweet Homewrecker” and “Clayton Park”. The band called it quits following 1999’s “Clayton Park”, after which the singer joined the supergroup Neuseiland which combined the traditions of folk-rock with krautrock and prog-rock experimentation.
After only one self-titled album with Neuseiland, Plaskett went solo and begun crafting his brand melodic power pop combined with the venom of hard rock. The singer’s debut full-length “In Need of Medical Attention” arrived in 2000 consisting of leftover Thrush Hermit songs. A year later “Down at the Khyber” hit the shelves marking the arrival of his new band the Joel Plaskett Emergency, featuring bassist Tim Brennan and drummer Dave Marsh. The record saw Plaskett nominated for the 2002 Juno Award for Best New Artist, and was followed in 2003 by his breakthrough album “Truthfully Truthfully”. Released via MapleMusic Recordings, the album featured the hit single “Come On, Teacher” and exposed Plaskett to a national audience.
Alternating between Joel Plaskett Emergency albums and solo releases the singer and guitarist issued the solo album “La De Da” in 2005, which subsequently won two East Coast Music Awards in 2006. The same year, with his backing band, the DVD/EP “Make a Little Noise” arrived receiving his highest frequency of radio airplay of any previous release. The Joel Plaskett Emergency went on to release the full-length “Ashtray Rock” in 2007, followed by the compilation “EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations” in 2011, and the studio album “Scrappy Happiness” in 2012.
Returning to solo work after 2007’s “Ashtray Rock”, Plaskett recorded and released the three-disc full-length “Three”, which won the Contemporary Album of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The EP “Three More” was subsequently released in 2009, after which 6 years would pass before new solo material surface, with the 2015 full-length “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test”.