ARTISTS

Joel Plaskett Emergency

Rock

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 happygo-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.

Showcases:

Sat 05

Royal Canadian Legion Br 26 - Truro

10:15 PM - 11:30 PM

Alana Yorke

Pop, Alternative

Alycia Putnam

Traditional / Roots

Amanda Riley

Modern Country

Andre Pettipas and The Giants

Rock

Andrew Frelick

Country

Andrew Hunter & The Gatherers

Rock/Pop

Anna Ludlow

World/Celtic

Arsoniste

singer-songwriter, synthpop, pop

Asia & NuGruv

R&B, Soul, Funk and Motown

Baroque N' Fiddle String Quartet

World, Celtic, Instrumental, Classical

Beauts

Rock

Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald

Celtic/Roots

Cassie and Maggie

Folk/Roots/Celtic

Ced Marty & Dave

Blues, R&B,

Chaos Theory

Hard Rock/Metal

Charlie A'Court

Blues Rock

Christine Campbell

Rock

City Natives

hip-hop

Classified

Hip-Hop

Còig

Celtic

Dali Van Gogh

Rock

Dan Doiron

Rock/Blues

Décota McNamara

Folk / roots

Devarrow

Folk/Roots/Alternative

DJ IV

Don Brownrigg

Adult Alternative/Folk/Pop

Dub Kartel

Reggae, Dancehall, Pop

E.B. Anderson & The Resolutes

Americana

Erika Kulnys

Singer-Songwriter / Americana / Folk / Alternative / Rock / Pop

Erin Costelo

Soul/Adult Alternative

Fiddles & Feet

Traditional Celtic Dixieland Swing

Fiona Alone

Baroque Pop

Floodland

rock

Gabrielle Papillon

Orchestral Folk/Indie-Folk/Folk-Pop

Garrett Mason

Blues

GHETTOSOCKS

RAP/ HIPHOP

Gillian Head

Celtic, Traditional

Gordie Sampson Songcamp

Hello Delaware

Pop-Rock

Hillsburn

Indie Folk Pop

Horse

Ian Janes

Soul/Pop

Ian Sherwood

Folk / Pop

In-Flight Safety

Indie Rock

J-Bru

Hip Hop

Jason MacDonald

Folk/Celtic/Songwriter

Jason Price

Country

Jay Mayne

hip-hop

Jeff Jodrey

Acoustic Instrumental

Jessie Brown

Rock / Doom Soul

Joe Murphy & The Water Street Blues Band

Blues

Joel Plaskett Emergency

Rock

JONT & THE INFINITE POSSIBILITY

uplifting indie rock

Josh Lake

Funk, Soul, Blues, Inspirational

Keonté Beals

R&B/EDM-Dance

Kestrels

Shoegaze

Kilmore

Rock/Hard Rock

Kim Dunn

Americana/singer songwriter/adult Alternative

LACEWOOD

Pop-Country

Last Call Chernobyl

Metal

Laurenn Marchand

Folk/Pop

Like A Motorcycle

Punk Rock

MAJE

HipHop/Spoken Word

Makayla Lynn

Country

Mardeen

Indie Rock, Indie Pop

Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac

Gaelic, Traditional

Matt Steele

singer-songwriter

McGinty

Maritime / Celtic

Mitchell Bailey

Hip Hop

Mo Kenney

Pop, Folk, Alternative

Mojo Martin

Blues

Natalie Lynn

Pop/Rock

Nicole Ariana

R&B/Urban

Norma MacDonald

Americana/Singer-Songwriter

Nuallan

Celtic

Old Blood

Hard Rock

Orchid's Curse

Metal

Owen Meany's Batting Stance

Indie-folk-rock

Papilio

Roots, Traditional, World, Folk

Party Boots

Pop, Urban, World

Port Cities

Pop, Singer-Songwriter

Pretty Archie

Americana

Quiet Parade

Indie

Rain Over St. Ambrose

Rock

Rawlins Cross

Celtic, Rock, Pop and Worldbeat music,

Ray Mattie

Country/Roots

Reeny Smith

R&B/Soul

Rhapsody Quintet

Instrumental

Ria Mae

Pop

Roxy & the Underground Soul Sound

Funk/Soul/R n' B

Shannon Quinn

Celtic/Folk/Original

The Barrowdowns

Alternative Folk

The Brood

psychedelic rock

The Carson Downey Band

Blues

The Mellotones

R&B, Soul, Motown, Funk and Disco

The Mike Bochoff Band

pop-rock

The Stanfields

Rock/Roots

The State Of Alaska

Féminin

The Terry Edmunds Band

Blues

The Town Heroes

Alt Rock

The Wicked Deadlys

rock

Thom Swift

Folk-Roots-Blues

Three Sheet

Alternative Hip Hop

Thrillah

hip-hop

Tj King

Country Rock

Tommy Green Jr

Acoustic Pop Folk Rock

Troy MacGillivray

Celtic

Villages

Traditional, Folk

Vogue Dots

Electro Pop

Walrus

Rock

Wayne Nicholson and the Eastenders

Willie Stratton

Alt Country

Witchitaw

Southern Country Rock

MAJOR PARTNERS

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We acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s private radio broadcasters.