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no shortage of shows on the 22nd


bONES
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Plaskett is awesome. I have seen him a number of times (at least 5 with the Emergency band and once solo) and he never disappoints. I always tell people, however, that if they're bringing newbies out to see him, it's best to lend them a disc and let them dig it for a couple weeks beforehand. He grows on you in a MAJOR way. Here's a little history, off the top of my head.

Plaskett hails from Halifax, where he was the frontman with Thrush Hermit, beginning about the time he was 17. They were considered part of the post-Sloan Halifax Pop Explosion, and their earlier work does hint very strongly towards the Sloan side of things. Their last record together though, Clayton Park, moves far and away from anything remotely related to mid-90's Halifax (except the lyrics). The record is packed with pianos and layered guitars and runs the gammut from heavy Sabbath-like rockers to quieter country-rock ballads. Neil Young's influence was at its highest on this record, compared to the other Hermit records, which are hit-and-miss for me. I highly recommend it.

Sidenote: Thrush Hermit was booked to play the 2nd stage at Edgefest 1995 in Barrie, due to the strength of a single from one of their early records (I don't remember which one). They hated being treated like "Canada's next-best thing" and being asked in every interview whether they were trying to follow in Sloan's footsteps, so they thumbed their noses at the press by using the set, an opportunity to play a high-profile gig, to play an entire set of Steve Miller Band covers :).

Anyway when all was said and done, Plaskett released his first solo record called In Need of Medical Attention. It was partially recorded on the road while on tour with Hermit, and partially recorded afterwards. It's a pretty heavy singer-songwriter record, a complete departure from the loud guitars of Clayton Park. Sort of sad-bastard countrified folk with light at the end of the tunnel. A good dose of pedal steel and accordian adorns the record, too.

Following that, he put together the Emergency band, comprised of Dave Marsh on drums and Tim Brennan on bass. His second solo record (first with the band) was called Down At The Khyber, and was a happy medium between the heavy Zeppelin/Neil Young with Crazy Horse vibe of the last Hermit record and the vastly developed songwriting of his first solo disc. Plenty of guitar, bass, and drums, but some excellent use (again) of pedal steel and guest vocalists, among other things. I suggest that any interested parties start with this album, it's just been re-released by MapleMusic and I found it at HMV for $14.99 (before the reissue, the only release I could get my hands on by the time I got into Plaskett was a vinyl copy of this album).

His newest release is Truthfully, Truthfully, it came out around the end of 2003. It continues in the same vein as Khyber, and in my opinion is an equally fantastic record. Tim Brennan has since taken somewhat of a hiatus from the band, and Ian McGettigan - producer of Khyber and Truthfully, and former Thrush Hermit bassist - has stepped in on bass.

So much for being brief, eh? As you can tell I'm quite a fan. I find that for some people, his voice takes some getting used to, in the same way that Neil Young's does. It's raw and emotional, but in a Rick Danko sort of way (as opposed to an At The Drive-In sort of way). In my humblest of opinions, Plaskett is one of the best Canadian songwriters to emerge since Gordon Lightfoot. Make no mistake, though; if you're going to see him with the band, you're going to see an upbeat rock and roll show. If you decide to check him out, have a good time. I'll be at both Toronto shows and the Hamilton show.

Here's a great promo pic taken around the time that Khyber was released. That's Tim Brennan on bass.

jam_01.jpg

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WEIRD!! I just got to work, just listened to 'truthfully truthfully' for the first time on the bus- a coworker lent it to me last night, and this is the first thread i looked at today! wow, what in hell, i feel all cosmic and sh!t.. yeah, im definitley going to go see that plaskett/cuff show in ottawa- the 21st. awesome rockin stuff.

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Right on, monkey and dave-o. Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread, maybe I'll move my post over to the Casbah thread where we're talking about him too. That JSB/King Sunshine show looks awesome, but I'm hoping to catch JSB at the Pepper Jack with Contact, and apparently King Sunshine has a Hamilton date coming up (listed as 'McMaster University', maybe the campus pub?). Are either of those your shows? I have heard good things about King Sunshine, looking forward to catching them.

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He mixes it up a little bit, but he's got his determined sections that flow into each other. I've seen him open with all different tunes, including The Red Light (a wicked opener) from Truthfully, and any number of fast ones from Khyber (Maybe We Should Just Go Home, Waiting to be Discovered, It's Catching On, Love in the Air, etc). You can probably expect a short acoustic portion of the show, and the end of which he'll start with the slow opening to Light of the Moon, and the band will come back on and finish the tune with that massive open-G Zeppelin-esque riff. On the last tour he had a thing going that he called 'mixtape' where he was grooving in open G (I think on the tail end of Love in the Air) and would plug a bunch of different songs like Honky Tonk Women and Casey Jones among others before finishing the tune. I would expect to see that part of the show again, too. But I'm going to see three shows in the next couple weeks, and by no means will they all be the same setlist (especially since two are in Toronto).

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