Joel Plaskett is a Canadian singer, songwriter and musician whose music fuses the energetic melodies and hooks of power pop with the muscular strength of hard rock; as he once quipped, his music "combines the best of Big Star and Led Zeppelin." Born in Nova Scotia on April 18, 1975, Plaskett was raised in Halifax and he began making music in his early teens. In 1992, Plaskett formed the indie rock band Thrush Hermit with guitarist Rob Benvie, bassist Ian McGettigan and drummer Michael Catano. Plaskett was the group's lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter, and they released two full-length albums and three EPs before parting ways in 1999. That same year, Plaskett launched his solo career with the album In Need of Medical Attention, and on his second album, 2001's Down at the Khyber, he introduced his new band, the Joel Plaskett Emergency -- Plaskett on vocals and guitar, bassist Tim Brennan and drummer Dave Marsh.
Down at the Khyber earned Plaskett a Juno Award nomination as Best New Artist, and 2003's Truthfully, Truthfully finally provided Plaskett with a commercial breakthrough in Canada. Plaskett traveled to Arizona to record his next album, 2005's La De Da, which was a solo effort with Plaskett handling most of the instruments himself (though his former Thrush Hermit bandmate Ian McGettigan played bass on the sessions and Jon Rauhouse sat in on pedal steel). Plaskett reconvened with the Emergency for 2007's concept album Ashtray Rock, before striking out on his own again for 2009's ambitious solo set Three. A three-CD set, Three earned Plaskett a Polaris Music Prize nomination and a Juno Award for Best Adult Alternative Album. Plaskett has also served as producer for artists such as Little Miss Moffet and Two Hours Traffic, appeared on the CBC series Rock Camp, and made his acting debut with a small part in the film One Week. ~ Mark Deming
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