Joel Plaskett headshot for 2018 promo with short beard, wearing a shirt

One of Canada’s most celebrated songwriters, Joel has dozens of awards to his credit and thousands of tour dates under his belt.  Joel is known as one of the country’s most innovative, hard-working, and fiercely independent artists, whether as a solo performer or with his rock band, The Emergency.

Plaskett’s music career started in 1992 when he was 17, as a founding member of Halifax’s Thrush Hermit. The band was inspired by the so-called “Halifax Explosion” of alternative music lead by Sloan, Jale, The Super Friendz and Eric’s Trip. Signed to Sloan’s Murderecords, the band released two EP’s before being snatched up by U.S. titan label Elektra for 1997’s Sweet Homewrecker album. 1998’s Clayton Park album saw the band back in the Canadian Indie scene, and making the best album of their career. Sadly, it was also their swansong, but at 24, Plaskett was just getting started.

First there was a solo album, In Need Of Medical Attention, in 1999. Next, Plaskett found himself in need of a band for a fast gig, and that was jokingly dubbed The Emergency Band. The name stuck, and in 2001 came the first Joel Plaskett Emergency album, the landmark, Down at the Khyber. Fuelled by his many trips back and forth across the country and into the U.S., Plaskett had developed a writing style that was part-travelogue and part-narrator for a generation of music fans. He showed us how to connect from coast-to-coast-to-coast, without flag-waving. The Canadian identity wasn’t found in provinces and cities, it was shared experiences like falling asleep in front of the TV and waking up to the sounds of the national anthem sign-off.

2003’s Truthfully, Truthfully came next, including the favourites Come On, Teacher and Extraordinary. That was followed by a Juno nominated solo album, La De Da in 2005, which included Love This Town, universally admired everywhere, (except Kelowna, B.C.). Any concerns about mellowing out were dashed with 2006’s Make A Little Noise DVD, with it’s companion EP, which included the hit Emergency tune Nowhere With You. 2007’s Ashtray Rock took everything to a whole new level. The concept album about a teenage romantic triangle featured two band mates and a mutually admired young woman, taking place in a decidedly unromantic part of Halifax suburb Clayton Park, where the kids went to smoke and hang out. It wasn’t autobiographical, but it did have lots of moments inspired by Plaskett’s own teen years. It won a ridiculous six East Coast Music Awards, earned a JUNO nomination for Songwriter of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize.

2009’s solo Three was another kind of concept, this time a triple-album built around groupings of three, in song titles and lyrics, a mind-blowing batch of in-jokes, music nerd references and all-around top level song craftsmanship. This time, the JUNOS awarded Plaskett the Alternative Album of the Year, and the ECMA’s threw another six trophies at him. The rare tracks compilation EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations came next in 2011, followed in 2012 by the most recent Joel Plaskett Emergency release, Scrappy Happiness. That saw the band take on a new challenge, recording a new song once a week for ten weeks, each time immediately releasing it for airplay on CBC (the national broadcaster loves him), and for sale as a single on iTunes, before the entire album was released.

In 2015 , Joel released P.A.S.T.  Joel Plaskett and The Park Avenue Sobriety Test is a metaphysical mind-bender that is part metaphor, part rite of passage, an acronym, an album and a band, all in one. It’s the real life ups and downs of one of Canada’s enduring Rock ‘n’ Roll heroes, mixed with the great storytelling from his active imagination. It’s about sad times and the loss of dear friends, and ultimately, a way to get past all the crap out there and live for the little joys in the present.   The P.A.S.T. also refers to Plaskett’s long-standing style of looking back in his songs, including little autobiographical moments and touches that help paint the bigger picture.

In 2017, Joel shared the spotlight with his earliest musical influence – his father, Bill.  Solidarity, the first full-length musical collaboration between father and son, was a powerful collection of original and traditional songs that reflected the duo’s individual journeys and personal politics.

Joel has been producing most of his own award-winning records since his first solo effort,  In Need of Medical Attention.  In 2006, he applied his producer skills to one of his favourite young bands, Two Hours Traffic.  Since then he’s produced over two dozen recordings for other artists that have won numerous awards and accolades for them,  and for him.


  • Sheri Jones (Manager)
    Management, Jones & Co.
    [email protected]
    Phone: (902) 429 9005
    Cell: (902) 483 9005
    Fax: (902) 457 1187

  • Tom Kemp (Booking Agent)
    The Feldman Agency
    [email protected]
    Work: )416) 598 0067 x 320
    Fax: (416) 598 9597

  • Kim Cooke (Label)
    Pheromone Recordings
    [email protected]
    Work: 1(416) 961 1040
    Cell: 1(416) 509 8359
    Fax: (416) 343 9986