Juno award-winning musician Joel Plaskett is returning to Peterborough, for the first time in almost eight years, to perform an acoustic show at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday, March 22nd, as a fundraiser for Peterborough Musicfest.
Although the 47-year-old Nova Scotia native last performed here at the 2015 Peterborough Folk Festival, he has a strong connection to Peterborough in local musician Benj Rowland.
Not only did Plaskett produce Rowland’s 2022 10-song album Community Garden, which was recorded at Plaskett’s Dartmouth studio before the pandemic, but the two musicians also performed together on two of the songs from the record (“Accident” and “Mountain Road”) as well as Plaskett’s song “Absentminded Melody.”
The tunes appear on Plaskett’s latest release The Window Inn Sessions, a series of songs he recorded with his musical friends — Rowland along with Dave Marsh, Erin Costelo, Garrett Mason, Bill Stevenson, and Mo Kenney — and which was supported by his Patreon fans.
Plaskett’s connection to Rowland dates back to the 2014, when Mayhemingways (Rowland and Josh Fewings) were performing at the Peterborough Folk Festival. Unbeknownst to them, Plaskett was in the Nicholls Oval Park crowd and caught up with the duo at a festival after-party. He invited them to his Dartmouth recording studio the next time they visited the east coast, which they did in the summer of 2016, and Plaskett caught their act in a neighbouring Halifax pub.
At the time, Plaskett was completing work on Solidarity, an album written and recorded with his father Bill — also a musician and a cofounder of the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. Later that fall, Plaskett contacted Rowland and Fewings and asked them to join him and his father on a cross-Canada tour in early 2017, performing as the opening act as well as the backing band.
VIDEO: “The Next Blue Sky” – Bill and Joel Plaskett with Mayhemingways
VIDEO: “Frontlines of the Hard Times” – Joel Plaskett
VIDEO: “Accident, Absentminded Melody, Mountain Road” – Benj Rowland and Joel Plaskett
A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Plaskett began his musical career as lead singer and guitarist for the 1990s Halifax-based alt-rock band Thrush Hermit and then, in 1998, as drummer for experimental band Neuseiland. After both bands broke up, he released his first solo album, In Need of Medical Attention, which featured previously unrecorded songs he had written near the end of his days in Thrush Hermit.
While his debut was well-received by critics, Plaskett’s break-out album came with 2001’s Down At The Khyber, which he recorded with his new band The Emergency (Plaskett with bassist Tim Brennan and drummer Dave Marsh). Calling themselves Joel Plaskett Emergency, the trio earned a 2002 Juno nomination as best new artist. The band’s next album, 2003’s Truthfully Truthfully, was Plaskett’s first commercial success. Joel Plaskett Emergency went on to record five more albums, including 2007’s Ashtray Rock, which won six East Coast Music Awards.
During his time with Emergency, Plaskett also continued to release solo records, with 2009’s Three earning him the Juno for adult alternative album of the year, as well as multiple Canadian Folk Music Award and East Coast Music Awards wins.
His 2015 album The Park Avenue Sobriety Test received another Juno nomination, and 2017’s Solidarity with his father Bill received multiple East Coast Music Awards nominations and a Music Nova Scotia Award win as folk recording of the year. On his the eve of his 45th birthday in 2020, Plaskett released the quadruple album 44, with each 11-song record having its own title and theme.
Joel Plaskett performs at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22nd at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre in downtown Peterborough. General admission tickets are $45, with all proceeds supporting the 36th season of Peterborough Musicfest — Canada’s longest-running free-admission outdoor summer concert series.
Tickets are available in person at the Market Hall box office at 140 Charlotte Street from 12 to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday or online anytime at tickets.markethall.org.
Joel will be playing an acoustic show in Peterborough at The Market Hall February 23rd. Get your tickets here: Peterborough Musicfest
Posted by Joel Plaskett on Friday, February 3, 2023
This story has been updated with the new date for the rescheduled concert.