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Exclaim!: Joel Plaskett Announces ‘The Park Avenue Sobriety Test’ LP, Shares New Song

Album cover "Joel Plaskett & The Park Avenue Sobriety Test" featuring Joel's legs in jeans lying on a bench with LPs underneath and polaroids above

After more than two decades in the music business, East Coast icon Joel Plaskett will spend the coming months doing what he does best: releasing an album and then touring in support of it. The latest chapter in his career is Joel Plaskett & the Park Avenue Sobriety Test, which will be out on March 17 through Pheromone Recordings.

A press release says this about The Park Avenue Sobriety Test: “Is it the name of a band? A metaphor? A Dartmouth rite of passage? An acronym? It’s a bit of all those, and a bit of a mystery too.”

Either way, the album was created by the songwriter and his longtime touring band the Emergency, plus past members of the group along with onetime members of his old project Thrush Hermit. Other guests include Mo Kenney, Tim Brennan, JP Cormier and others.

Plaskett said in a statement, “The album is about a 39-year-old wrestling with his place on earth and society, navigating it. It sounds banal, and it kind of is, but it’s important to me. And maybe if you’re at the same point in your life that I am, it will make sense. As you get more experiences as an adult, you start notching up the lost friends, and the missed opportunities, and the way things could or couldn’t have gone. You can choose to crumble or retreat, temporarily or permanently. Or you power through it and look for the joy. I think I try to strike the balance of the two perspectives here, I really can feel both of those at certain times, and even the same time.”

See the tracklist below. Title cut “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test” is streaming at the bottom of the page.

Also below, see Plaskett’s tour schedule. It runs through the spring and will take the songwriter from coast-to-coast in Canada, with 18 shows currently booked.

The new album marks the follow-up to 2012’s Scrappy Happiness.

Joel Plaskett & the Park Avenue Sobriety Test:

1. Illegitimate Blues
2. On a Dime
3. Alright/OK
4. The Last Phone Booth
5. When I Close My Eyes
6. Credits Roll
7. Captains of Industry
8. For Your Consideration
9. Hard Times
10. Broke
11. Song for Jersey
12. Broken Heart Songs
13. The Park Avenue Sobriety Test

Tour dates:

04/28 Miramichi, NB – Carrefour Beausoleil
04/29 Saint John, NB – Imperial Theatre
04/30 Charlottetown, PE – Confederation Centre for the Arts
05/07 Victoria, BC – Alix Goolden Performance Hall
05/09 Edmonton, AB – Union Hall
05/10 Lethbridge, AB – University of Lethbridge, University Theatre
05/11 Medicine Hat, AB – Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
05/14 Saskatoon, SK – Broadway Theatre
05/15 Regina, SK – University of Regina, The Darke Hall
05/16 Winnipeg, MB – West End Cultural Centre
05/19 Waterford, ON – The Old Town Hall
05/20 Kitchener, ON – Center In The Square
05/22 Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
05/26 Parry Sound, ON – The Stockey Centre
05/27 St. Thomas, ON – Elgin Theatre
05/28 Montreal, QC – The Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre
05/30 Moncton, NB – Tide & Boar Ballroom
06/04 Halifax, NS – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

by Alex Hudson, Exclaim!