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Intimate feel accompanies acoustic tour

Pictou County has been treated to Joel Plaskett owning the stage multiple times at Glasgow Square for the Riverfront Jubilee, but next week will feature a more laid back feeling as his acoustic tour rolls into town for the first time.

He’ll be on stage Oct. 30 with his father Bill, the second show of his acoustic tour that will go as far west as Ontario. Plaskett said he thoroughly enjoys coming to New Glasgow, although this time will be a different experience.

“I love those Jubilee gigs and there’s always been a great vibe the four or five times I’ve been there for that,” he said. “There is such a community feeling when I’ve played there. This time will be a different show as I bring my acoustic set and my dad with me. It’ll be different not coming out swinging like I have with my rock and roll show, but when I was planning my acoustic tour I thought it’d be nice to bring it up there.”

Although his father has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember, playing in folk groups and socially in Lunenburg where he grew up, it wasn’t until his album In Need of Medical Attention that they really started to play together.

When they moved to Clayton Park from Lunenburg is when Plaskett met the members of what eventually became Thrush Hermit. By the time he was 13 he was playing guitar with Bill teaching the basics.

It wasn’t until he was 17 (1992) that the foursome of Rob Benvie, Ian McGettigen and Michael Catano became Thrush Hermit. Seven years later that came to an end, but Plaskett’s first solo album came out that year.

“When I started to do the solo thing under my own name we (he and his father) started to play more together,” he said. “He helped with my record In need of Medical Attention and has played a role on most of my records since.”

It’s that support and the fact that his father taught him how to play that makes touring with him special according to Plaskett. First and foremost he said it’s a good chance for them to spend time together, while sharing the stage is a bonus.

“I think us playing together is really an extension of the social environment of music I grew up around,” he said. “We have a good musical connection because he taught me and partially because we’re related. I think we’ve developed since starting to play together too. It’s a great duo because he’s done more finger picking and I’ve played more rock guitar. During our shows I play a lot of four-string tenor and he plays six-string, which really weaves together for a great sound.”

Growing up Plaskett said he always had the support of his parents when it came to him playing music and trying to make a living at it. There was no major degree of resistance when he said that’s what he wanted to do as they recognized his passion for it.

“I credit my mother as much as my father even though she wasn’t a musician,” he said. “My mother was a dancer so music always figured into her world as well, but she never played. They used to let us jam in the basement as we shuffled around between houses in early days of the Hermit. It was suburban racket, but we were lucky to have that support. I give them (parents) a lot of credit that I’m still playing today.”

Not only is Plaskett still playing, but he recently opened up his own recording studio, New Scotland Yard. He’ll be recording Mo Kenney’s new album in November and eventually his next one, which he’s in the process of working on.

“It can be a little more difficult finding time to record now that I have the studio because you can book yourself up,” he said. “I wanted to give my next record time though. I learn from recording with others as it feeds my own a little bit. I can learn from things they do and vice versa. I love being in the studio, but love live shows as well.”

Tickets for Wednesday’s show are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m.

by Christopher Cameron, The News