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Winnipeg Free Press: Album a family experience for Plaskett

Bill Plaskett (left), joined his son, Joel, to make the album Solidarity. They are performing together at the West End Cultural Centre, tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Bill Plaskett (left), joined his son, Joel, to make the album Solidarity. They are performing together at the West End Cultural Centre, tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Musician says creating Solidarity with his dad was a different dynamic for him

By Erin Lebar, Winnipeg Free Press

One day last year, Joel Plaskett entered his Dartmouth studio, New Scotland Yard, in Nova Scotia and saw a dragonfly on the floor.

The singer-songwriter had never seen a dragonfly in Dartmouth, let alone in his “bunker of a studio,” but recently had been experiencing some paranormal activity in the recording space (and even brought in a medium to try figure it out), so he took it as a sign. After a bit of research, Plaskett discovered dragonflies are a symbol of spirits that have moved on.

“For me, through the course of a few weeks of this stuff going on, I think there was actually a sense of like what I saw happening in the world… I didn’t have a religious upbringing, I’m not a big spiritual guy, but I think for me the past year or more has kind of had this sort of personal recognition where I’ve started to recognize the interconnectedness of things and acknowledging energetic things happening that go outside of just like a conversation or something you’re doing on a physical level,” says Plaskett, who ended up writing the song Dragonfly about these experiences.

“There’s a mental energy and maybe like an energy that carries from the past or from other presences that we don’t know or we don’t see but we do feel. That has to be going on because look at what kind of tailspin the world is in right now. I really believe that there’s some big shifts going on, and for me, Dragonfly is about that. ”

Dragonfly is the opening track of Plaskett’s new record, Solidarity, which he made with his dad, Bill Plaskett. Joel and Bill are no strangers to working together but Solidarity is the first time Bill — an accomplished player in his own right — is sharing the spotlight with his son, including doing press and playing a major role in live shows.

“It’s funny though because some of the stuff I sort of take for granted or am very used to, and I can just go, ‘Oh yeah that’s fine I’m no going to worry about that.’ My dad’s like, ‘Hey, so what are we doing about this?’… I have to remind myself it’s new for him, so I don’t want to brush aside the fact that a) he’s excited about it and b) he wants to be prepared,” says Joel, 41.

“And when you’re doing things together, you have to prepare yourselves for how it’s going to work when there’s two of you when previously I was just rolling on my own steam and the Emergency (his band) has such a groove when we’re actually together that it just sort of is what it is. This is a different dynamic, but dad and I get along great and vicariously, I’m sort of enjoying the fact that he’s kinda new to it but he also has so much to bring to it.”

Working with a parent on any type of project, let alone one that will end with weeks of touring together in a confined space, is always bit of a gamble, but Plaskett says he and his septuagenarian dad have always had a “casual and agreeable” relationship, so there weren’t any major hurdles to get over while they made the record, minus the few moments where Joel says he “got a bit quick.”

“You know you get kinda quick with your parents or you get short and say things you wouldn’t say to your friends, which for better or worse, there’s that comfort level there,” Joel says, laughing. [READ MORE]