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EYE WEEKLY TORONTO REVIEW

Joel Plaskett: Three

MAPLEMUSIC

BY ADAM RADWANSKIÂ Â April 01, 2009 21:04

EDITORIAL RATING: ***** – Five Stars

If you’ve seen Joel Plaskett live, you know he’s one of the very few musicians who could get away with releasing a triple album. The furthest thing from an ego trip, listening to Three is like inviting the unfailingly earnest Plaskett, along with his guitarist father and a pair of female backup singers, into your living room to provide an evening’s entertainment. What you get in return is an unapologetically but never self-consciously Canadian reflection on life as a travelling musician, gliding seamlessly from rambling road tunes on the first disc, to achingly homesick ballads on the second, to a perfect marriage of both sensibilities as he returns to Nova Scotia on the third. By the time the epic 12-minute closer, “On & On & On,” encapsulates all the themes, you’ll find yourself feeling exhausted in the best possible way. This is the sound of Plaskett — who’s moved from playing half-empty bars after the breakup of Thrush Hermit to filling Massey Hall next month — taking the next step towards establishing himself as a national icon.