The inclusion of Joel Plaskett as opener for the Barenaked Ladies on their debut Sans Page tour, making a stop at the GM Centre tomorrow, brings the treasured Nova Scotian troubadour back to a city scene that knows him well. Many Shwakats took in his recent gig at the Park Playhouse in Cobourg, so his return to Oshawa is most welcome.
Joel Plaskett has control of a melody like no other. He is a force unto himself, a true individual with such a grasp of a hook I’d bet his hands bleed. His songs have an easy, immediate humility that belies their depth of craft. His lanky laid-back style hides a driven work ethic that never seems to allow him rest. He’s a one-man kitchen party. He is the real deal and worth the price of admission alone.
I have too little space here to go over his remarkable song catalogue, but let’s look at his achievements: he began in Thrush Hermit, opening for Sloan on their first tours; he began the Joel Plaskett Emergency when TH broke up and released three albums; that Zellers song, Nowhere With You, is his; he produced Two Hours Traffic’s records; in 07 he played six consecutive nights at the legendary Horseshoe; he was chosen to open for Sir Paul McCartney in Halifax last year; his third solo release was a triple album brought to you by the number Three and the letter freaking fabulous; he has his own label, New Scotland; he won seven ECMAs this year and a JUNO; he’s been nominated for the Polaris; as evidenced by the recent Thrush Hermit reunion gigs, he is still equally at home rocking out grungy electrics as he is with a folkie acoustic singalong; and, Wayne Petti (no slouch in the talent department) considers him this generation’s Gordon Lightfoot.
So do yourself a favour and make sure you get to the BNL gig early enough to be fully, completely entertained by this East Coast paragon of pop who sets the standard for song.