For over three decades, Joel Plaskett has proven himself a spinning wheel of reinvention. The Nova Scotia songwriter's eclectic body of work reveals a restless and playful spirit, always transforming and expanding.

While continuing to celebrate—and be celebrated for—his regional ties and embrace of East Coast musical traditions, Joel’s omnivorous appetite for new sonic horizons is an integral part of his work. His discography includes heavy riff epics, like Thrush Hermit's now-classic swansong Clayton Park (1999); low-fi and wide eyed solo records like In Need of Medical Attention (1999) and La De Da (2005); lean, loose and lyrical rock and roll with the Emergency on Down at the Khyber (2001) and Truthfully, Truthfully (2003); and a father-and-son nod to English folk traditions with Solidarity (2017). Then there are the endeavours that push the envelope further: the Emergency’s romantic epic concept album Ashtray Rock (2007); the months-long songwriting challenge Scrappy Happiness (2012); and Three (2009) and 44 (2020), Joel’s sprawling, multi-record ventures exploring love, loss, and existential investigation. For his latest release, the 4-track project One Real Reveal (2024), Plaskett strips his songwriting down to its raw materials, allowing everything in—all the human touches the tape could pick up—and letting (almost) everything out. 

Coast-to-coast and the world 'round, Joel has rocked crowds at clubs, festivals and grand old theatres with longtime Emergency bandmates Dave Marsh and Chris Pennell as well as drawn audiences close with intimate acoustic shows, both solo and with his father, Bill. Then there are the special events that have really allowed Joel to reach the rafters, like headlining Toronto’s Massey Hall with everyone in tow, playing the NAC in Ottawa backed by the national orchestra, and warming up huge stages for artists like The Tragically Hip and Paul McCartney.

Joel and the Emergency have also been roundly celebrated within the music industry for their work, racking up awards and nominations from the JUNOs, the Polaris Music Prize, the East Coast Music Awards, Music Nova Scotia, and numerous others. 

While Joel’s songs are beloved far beyond the community that helped forge his sound, his creative heart is still found at home in Nova Scotia. At 45 Portland Street in Dartmouth there’s Fang Recording, the studio where he’s made many of his albums and produced records for other great artists like Mo Kenney, Steve Poltz, Shotgun Jimmie and Jimmy Rankin. 

And through the door to the front of the building lies Taz Records, Morley's Coffee and Friction Books. Since 2023, Joel has used the space to present Window Inn Wednesdays, a monthly, no-phones-allowed variety show that pushes back—like most of his projects—against the speed and din of modern life, making space for real engagement between art, artist, and audience.

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