Fans of Canadian rock music have likely heard Joel Plaskett.
From hits like “Nowhere With You” to “Through & Through & Through”, his career has spanned more than 20 years, with 17 studio releases albums and multiple Juno Awards.
He shows no signs of slowing down with the release of his new album, “Solidarity”, which is a collaboration with one of his earliest musical influences, his father, Bill.
P.E.I. fans will get a chance to enjoy the music of both Plasketts when they perform in concert on Oct. 24 at Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Plaskett describes the experience of performing with his father as a welcome change.
“He’s always been a social musician and I rarely play music socially.” He goes on to say, “This record has allowed him to step onto a professional stage and for me to feel like I’m playing music socially again – it’s the best of both worlds.”
Plaskett and his dad have always talked about making an album together. This year they finally saw a window of opportunity and decided it was time to stop talking about it and do it.
“Making a record that has both our names on it and features songs that we worked on together has been really rewarding. He’s been a huge influence on me and I’m proud that this record showcases the musical connection we have.”
So where does Bill Plaskett come from? For that, look across the pond. He grew up in Dagenham on the east side of London, England. He started by playing tenor banjo that he learned from his father, but graduated to bass guitar and playing rock ’n’ roll in a cover band called Section 62 in 1962.
In the late 1960s, he immigrated to Canada and bought a used Gibson from a pawnbroker in Vancouver that he still plays to this day. With that guitar in hand, he re-discovered his roots in the English folk music revival, listening to iconic artists like Bert Jansch, Richard, and Linda Thompson.
When Bill moved to Lunenburg in the 1980’s, he played in an old time band called Starb’ard Side and helped to found the Lunenburg Folk Festival. Joel has fond memories of hearing them rehearsing at the house.
“He has always been playing music and has a deep knowledge of folk music, but this is the first album that has his name on the cover.”
Solidarity is a collection of original and traditional songs that reflect both father and son’s individual journeys and personal politics. Fans can expect to hear all the hallmark sounds, but his dad’s involvement puts this album in a unique place.
“It leans more towards acoustic instrumentation, but there a few rocking moments that nod to my other work,” says Plaskett, who adds for him, the album is all about togetherness, strength, and sharing the experience with his dad.
“I really enjoy the moments when dad is singing a few songs every night and I get to accompany him and watch the audience.”