Since spending his teenaged years recording and touring with Halifax indie upstarts Thrush Hermit, Plaskett has been writing his own story. After releasing two critically acclaimed albums – In Need of Medical Attention (1999) and Down at the Khyber (2001) – independently, Joel signed to Maple Music Recordings for the release of 2003’s Truthfully Truthfully, a rock tour de force with his band, The Emergency. That record scored with critics and fans alike and truly put Plaskett on the national radar once and for all. Truthfully Truthfully was nominated for a Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year and won an East Coast Music Award for Rock Recording of the Year.
During a summer break from touring in 2004, Joel responded to a longtime fan’s offer of recording time at a home studio in Mesa, Arizona. The results of that journey are on Plaskett’s MapleMusic effort, a solo album called La De Da. The album is “solo” in the sense that Joel plays all the instruments but it’s by no means a simple acoustic project. It also isn’t a permanent move away from his work with The Emergency. Rather, it’s the mark of an artist at home with his instincts and his creative muse and one that’s willing to follow fearlessly where those imperatives lead. La De Da attracted attention at regional and national media and the hit single “Happen Now” topped the Canadian campus music chart for months running.
Over the last three years, Joel has toured extensively both solo and with The Emergency, to sold-out clubs, theatres and headlining festivals throughout Canada, the United States and Australia, on the heels of great Canadian success with his Make A Little Noise DVD & EP (2006) and Ashtray Rock (2007). Make A Little Noise spawned an infectiously catchy hit single, “Nowhere With You,” that landed Plaskett on the Top 10 at hot Adult Contemporary (AC) radio. He also garnered three 2007 East Coast Music Awards wins for “Nowhere With You,” DVD for Make A Little Noise, and Songwriter of the Year. Ashtray Rock was nominated for the high profile Polaris Music Prize award, and earned Plaskett and his band all six of the 2008 “of the year” ECMAs for which he, and they, were nominated: Recording, Group Recording, Single (for “Fashionable People,” another hit song), Video (also for “Fashionable People”), Rock Recording, and Songwriter. Topping that off was Joel’s Juno Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year and his placement as First Place Winner in the 2008 Great American Song Contest and the Billboard World Song Contest for his single “Fashionable People” (in the Pop Category).
Joel’s latest triple layered album, “Three” (release March 2009) is his most ambitious work to date and features a stellar line up of guest musicians including his father Bill Plaskett, Rose Cousins, Ana Eggie and his band, The Emergency (Chris Pennell and Dave Marsh). Received with over whelming response from media and radio programmers across the country, the lead single, “Through & Through & Through” is positioned to go straight to the top of the charts. Most recently, Joel and his latest effort, “Three” were also nominated for the prestigious 2009 Polaris Music Award chosen by national media critics and recognizes the best Canadian recordings in the last year. Without a doubt, another personal career highlight for Joel and his band was sharing the stage opening for the legendary Paul McCartney (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) performing to an audience of over 50,000 fans….and so begins another chapter for one of Canada’s finest songwriters.
Joel Plaskett's web site