Joel Plaskett
Joel Plaskett - Solidarity
Region: Nova Scotia
Genre: Rock

SOLIDARITY: The debut album from BILL AND JOEL PLASKETT

Many Canadian music fans know Joel Plaskett. Multiple JUNO Award winning songwriter. Multiple times on the Polaris Music Prize Short List. Sold out clubs and concert halls from one side of the country to the other.

But in 2017 he’ll be sharing the spotlight with his earliest musical influence- his father, Bill.

Solidarity, to be released on the Pheromone label in February is the first full-length musical collaboration between father and son and will be followed by a cross-country tour in the spring.

The album is a powerful collection of original and traditional songs, reflecting the duo’s individual journeys and personal politics.

From the introspective opening track, Dragonfly, a song about a paranormal experience that Joel had, to On Down the River, Bill’s closing track about leaving his home in England, the album is grounded in folk music but informed by rock and roll history.

Here’s Joel’s take on the title track: “As a starting point, I wanted to write a simple, folk song chorus that Dad and I could sing in harmony. The word solidarity came to mind as representing togetherness, strength and shared values. I wrote the song to celebrate unity, wherever you can find it, in an increasingly fractured world.”

Joel’s reference to a “folk song chorus” speaks to his father’s musical history. Born in 1945 in London, England, Bill spent the early 1960s playing tenor banjo (learned from his father) in a traditional jazz band and skiffle group and later graduated to playing electric bass in a high-school rock and roll band called Section 62.

In 1966, Bill traveled through the United States on a 99 days for $99 Greyhound bus pass. He immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1967 before moving to Nova Scotia where Joel was born in 1975. Through much of the 1980s the family lived in historic Lunenburg, a town transitioning from a fishing village to a tourist economy, where Bill played in an old time band called Starb’ard Side and helped found the beloved Lunenburg Folk Festival. Moving to Halifax in 1987, Bill immersed himself in the local folk music scene and watched with pride as his son picked up the guitar and eventually built a full time music career through the 90s with his first band, Thrush Hermit and more recently with his band, The Emergency.

“I’ve been impressed with the scope of the music Joel continues to make,” Bill says. “I’ve joined him on the road before, and it’s enjoyable traveling across the country and spending time together. On stage, I just play and pick up on the energy in the room that Joel is able to bring out of the audience with his charisma and stage presence. The upcoming tour to support this new record is exciting as it will be more ambitious and collaborative than anything we’ve done in the past.”

The 11 songs on Solidarity are varied and personal, yet expressive of interconnecting themes.

Folk-based political songs like “We Have Fed You All for a Thousand Years,” and “Jim Jones” sit side by side with contemplative love songs (“No Sight Compares” and “New California”), a touch of rockabilly country blues (“Help Me Somebody Depression Blues”) and more fully arranged folk rock songs of contemporary social commentary (“Blank Cheque” and “The Next Blue Sky”).

Solidarity is a surprising and unique album, full of strong guitar playing and thoughtful, accessible songs. An excellent addition to the Plaskett catalogue and hopefully the first of many for the Plasketts.


Awards and Achievements

2016

The Coast voted “Best Songwriter”

The Coast voted “Best Producer”

The Coast voted “Best Male Solo Artist”

JUNO Award Nomination Adult Alternative Album of the Year – The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

ECMA Award Nomination Producer of the Year

ECMA Award Nomination Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year

2015

CBC’s “50 Best Canadian Albums of 2015″ – The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

Dave Hodge’s Annual Best of Albums 2015 – The Park Avenue Sobriety Test (#3)

CBC Music’s Top Songs of 2015 – “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test”
Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Entertainer of the Year

Music Nova Scotia Award Winner Producer of the Year

The Coast voted “Best Songwriter”

The Coast voted “Best Producer”

The Coast voted “Best Merch By An Artist/Band”

Polaris Music Prize Long List Nominee – 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"