Press Reviews

We Want More Mo

Maria Panopalis from CTV welcomed Mo Kenney to Section Six on Tuesday, July 16. Mo talked about her recent award win for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize and her upcoming Natal Day show at Alderney Landing on Aug. 3rd with Joel Plaskett. To read more about their interview, visit Maria’s blog, click here.

National Post – T.U.R.F. Concert Review

It’s been said countless times, but the legacy of burgeoning Canadian icon Joel Plaskett continues to expand with each passing year, and his inclusion on this bill was the key element to the success of TURF’s opening night. The Nova Scotian songwriter was introduced by sports broadcaster and indie-rock superfan Dave Hodge, who called a Plaskett set “the best time you can have in Canadian music.” Hitting the stage at sunset with his Emergency band in tow, the bright red-shirted Plaskett was liberal with the all-time classic songs from his wide-ranging back catalogue, and the early-going was highlighted by tune-heavy rocker Down at the Khyber and the always anthemic True Patriot Love. Those set the stage for Plaskett’s bread and butter mid-show acoustic-led numbers, which on this night included acoustic tear-jerker Face of the Earth, and On the Rail, a tune he penned a few years back about Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail, and heart-warming traveling tune Love This Town, in which Plaskett paused for a mid-song anecdote about his former bassist Ian McGettigan getting lost on a Quebec highway. And if you’d glanced just off to the side of the stage during riffy set-closer Lightning Bolt, you’d surely have spotted Cohen wind-milling wildly. TURF seems like a festival by and for honest-to-goodness music lovers, that moment confirmed it.

– by Rob Duffy, National Post

[Live] Exclaim! Review Joel Plaskett Emergency / Repartee Olympic Hall, Halifax

In his 20-year career, Joel Plaskett has never played the Olympic Hall. But for the native Haligonian, growing up in the city meant countless viewings at the ancient auditorium, including a rare East coast performance by Fugazi in the late ’90s. But a lot has changed since Plaskett first saw the pioneering punk band play the venue in 1998. Thankfully, the concert hall is no longer used primarily for bingo. And the 800-odd teenagers who once packed the club to witness the Washington, D.C. hardcore stalwarts have gracefully aged into adulthood — adopting receding hairlines and cabs to concerts, while holding onto their flannels and jeans. So it was fitting that on March 28, after nearly a year away from the city, Halifax’s 30-somethings would sell out the historic dancehall to catch a glimpse of Plaskett and the Emergency’s brand of nostalgic, throwback rock’n’roll.

Starting off the show were St. John’s, NL upstarts Repartee. Taking the stage in a fluttery, red-sequined dress, lead singer Meg Warren strutted the stage like a new age Stevie Nicks, blasting through a synth-heavy rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” and filling the rafters with atmospheric hooks off the band’s recent self-titled debut. An odd pairing at first glance for the Dartmouth-transplanted rocker, the Newfoundlanders new wave tones offered an ideal appetizer for the heavy guitar rock shortly to come.

Plaskett and the Emergency walked onto the stage with the same reserved demeanour as Thrush Hermit had more than a decade ago. As his amplifiers buzzed to life, Plaskett took a moment to dedicate the night to local guitarist Jay Smith, who had suddenly passed away while on tour with Matt Mays earlier that day. As Plaskett’s usually assured voice began to tremble, the band took a second before launching into a rousing rendition of Three’s “Through & Through & Through,” converting the song’s Exile on Main Street-inspired sax solos and lackluster strumming into a carousing, riff-heavy scorcher fitting for the fallen Cape Bretoner. After the country-twang of Scrappy Happiness’s “North Star,” Plaskett began to dig deeper into his back catalogue, performing a triumphant rendition of La De Da standout “Natural Disaster,” complete with fuzzed-out guitar theatrics. Commenting on the band’s “recently released” new record, which had come out almost exactly a year to the day, the Emergency sped through versions of Scrappy Happiness ’90s revival “You’re Mine” and “Tough Love.”


Surreal times for Mo Kenney

Although her musical career is just getting started, Mo Kenney is attracting the attention of some big names in Canadian music.

Kenney, who is just 22 and hails from Nova Scotia, is about to embark on her second tour opening for folk veteran Ron Sexsmith — including a stop at the Arden Theatre in St. Albert on Wednesday, March 27 — and recorded her first album under the guidance of possibly Nova Scotia’s most successful musical export, Joel Plaskett.

Having two of Canada’s most respected singer-songwriters take her under their wings like they have is still sometimes a little surreal.


Le Huffington Post, Mo Kenney : charmante visite à Montréal

Voilà un talent à découvrir. Mo Kenney, jeune auteure-compositrice-interprète de la Nouvelle-Écosse sera de passage à Montréal le 12 février, à la Casa del Popolo pour présenter son premier album (éponyme) folk-rock qui recèle de belles pièces sensibles et lumineuses. Enregistré avec la complicité du talentueux Joel Plaskett (Néo-Écossais), qui a assuré la réalisation, ce disque est annonciateur d’une carrière prometteuse. Au bout du fil, la chanteuse raconte son aventure sur la scène musicale canadienne.


Toro Magazine Interviews Mo

Mo Kenney stares from the cover of her debut album with a Mona Lisa smile — an ambiguous expression that suggests many different feelings. The same elusiveness extends to her music, which is isn’t really folk, as her numerous acoustic performances would suggest. It isn’t really rock, either, retaining an intimacy even when filled out by a full band. While her demeanour is plain-spoken Kenney’s first, self-titled album — recorded with the help of Canadian indie rock hero Joel Plaskett — offers a rich array of moods.

In anticipation of her upcoming Toronto performance, we spoke to the Halifax songwriter about being compared to other artists, choosing a cover photo, and her one-time obsession with Danish pop group Aqua.


Herohill reviews 45s series

Anyone that’s ever had the chance to talk music with Dartmouth’s patron saint of rock n’ roll knows how much music – the process, the creation, the curation, and the collection – means to Joel. It was with that in mind that Plaskett launched a series of 45s recorded at Scotland Yard with a collection featuring artists he hand picked.

The collection is a timeline in the truest sense. The artists range from up and comers to people that JP first met when he was still french inhaling. Names like Elkas, Gunning, Grimson and Messick have been around since Shane was shaving Saints logos into the back of his head, but over the years Joel has become more involved in production and sonic relationships with newer artists like Mo Kenney and Myles Deck grew from hours spent together finding the sound.

The final installments of the 45s collection go from coast to coast, with songs from Vancouver’s Jeremy Fisher and Dartmouth’s Mo Kenney.


Exclaim! Splits on 7″

Last year, Joel Plaskett and Shotgun Jimmie joined forces for a split seven-inch that was released through Plaskett’s own New Scotland Records. Now, Plaskett has rolled out his latest split single, this time with fellow folk rocker Jeremy Fisher.

The seven-inch contains two songs; “When You Come Around” is on the A-side, while “Paper Crown” is on the flip. The former is billed as “Joel Plaskett & Jeremy Fisher,” while the latter is credited to “Jeremy Fisher & Joel Plaskett.”

The single is not yet listed on iTunes or the New Scotland Records website, but it’s available for purchase from Zunior.

Of course, Plaskett and Fisher have both been busy doing their own thing as well. Plaskett just released his latest solo album, Scrappy Happiness, while Fisher made his Beatbox Demos available as a free digital download.

by Alex Hudson, Exclaim!

Bob Mersereau’s Review of Under Your Shadow

Tuck’s sounding pretty old these days. Not that he is, he’s just sounding more and more steeped in bygone sounds, or what could generally be called folk music. Nothing’s out of step for Tuck’s taste, whether it’s the gentle crooner style of None But Your Mother (mixed with a lovely country steel guitar), or the Irish flavoured Slappin’ The Make On You. Yet that last fun number, complete with pipes and bodhran, is also the poppiest number here, as it’s produced by Joel Plaskett, and features a lascivious lyric that gives you a good touch of the famous Tuck wit.

Plaskett’s just one of a handfull of folks who helped produce this in various ports of call around Atlantic Canada, including guitar champ Duane Andrews in St. John’s, and a couple of stripped-down guitar songs from his new PEI home. Tuck’s always been more comfortable away from the main stage, and certainly doesn’t require a lot of polish. He’d actually bristle at that, as the roughly-recorded Hello, Prince Edward Island shows, in all its off-mic glory. It sounds like Alan Lomax might have stumbled on Tuck in some legion in the late 50’s or something, and I’ve heard 78’s with better fidelity. But listening closely is part of the joy of discovering Tuck, and it’s about the feel here, not about the gloss.

As always, Tuck gives us ridiculously inspired lyrics to go along with the whole captivating package. And that’s where we discover why so many East Coast musicians (and lots of others from away too) consider a huge influence. His clarity, and insight, is chilling, as is his wordplay. Check out the internal rhyme here in Yawnsville: “How completely you have been deceived/Your thoughts were bought cheap/your stupidity’s deep as the sea/And your eyes they are blind and can’t see.” But he’s not sarcastic all the time, more funny in fact, and sincere, too. Ducktown is a pretty friendly shout-out to his old home in Sackville, NB.

The tracks are pretty evenly split between the folkier side of Tuck, and the small, funky core band sounds. He certainly knows how to write a groove. There’s no question he’s the inspiration behind Joel Plaskett’s solo work. So, if you like Joel….you know what to do.

Exclaim! Review Shines for Under Your Shadow

By Vish Khanna

Living legend Al Tuck is on a prolific tear and there’s a superb quality to the quantity of his output, as evident on this gorgeous, unexpected record. After going years without easily accessible new albums, Tuck’s affairs have been in particularly great shape since 2010’s Food for the Moon, his most cohesive and brilliant release until now. His focus remains sharp on Under Your Shadow, another gorgeous collection from one of the keenest minds in all of songwriting. The musical accompaniment is sparse and tasteful, performed with the deepest sense of craft and innovation, yet steeped in folk and blues traditions, where its sophistication might easily be underestimated. The focus though is on Tuck’s cool, alluring voice and playfully dark, endearing lyrics, which help songs like “Slappin’ the Make on You” (produced by Joel Plaskett), “Every Day Winning,” and “Ducktown” charmingly cut a rug through your mind. One of a kind, Al Tuck’s genius is brightly exhibited on Under Your Shadow.

Southern Souls Review for Under Your Shadow

Audiences are usually taken aback at the lack of illusion and abundance of authenticity that takes the stage while Al Tuck is performing. Personifying so many characteristics songwriters aspire to emulate, Tuck tours and writes his songs because there is no other version of himself. His songs are undeniably his own while borrowing from familiar blues structures and Dylan-esque deliveries, and while those comparisons come to mind at first they lose validity with each listen.

Never has Tuck been captured onto tape so fittingly and accompanied so tastefully as on Under Your Shadow. The rhythm sections on tracks like “Wishing Well” and “Ducktown” frame and freshen the album while tasteful golden guitars fill in the negative spaces. The songs feel cinematic as the album plays out with variations of instrumentation and emotion while maintaining a vision.

Al Tuck has always been that brilliant inspiring sunset you saw with your own eyes and tried to capture with your camera only to get the film back of a scene that fails to capture the colour and light. Under Your Shadow may just be Tuck’s best release to date, shining and inspiring in all the right places.

– Andrew Sisk

Ground Control Magazine – EMERGENCYs

Now twelve years after breaking away from Thrush Hermit and striking out on his own, there’s no arguing that Joel Plaskett has established himself as one of the best songwriters in Canada. Since 1999, the singer has successfully managed to translate the small wonders in life (small towns, small town kicks, small town girls, small town bars and the love, loss and leaving of all four) into rock music capable of filling concert theaters in big cities across Canada. The language he uses is superb (who else in rock or folk has been able to turn a single five syllable word like “Extraordinary” into the perfect hook that drives a rock anthem?) and the heart expressed by his voice is undeniable – but is it something he’s able to just call forth on command? As is turns out, being as kitschy-cool and loveable as Joel Plaskett is takes hard work – as EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations confesses.

Review: Quick Before It Melts – EMERGENCYs

I’m in a pretty bad place these days. I won’t trouble you with details, but the long and the short of it is: long term commitments are hard. Bloody fucking hard. I’m at a point in my life where I can’t go on living the ways things have been for the last 10 years, but the roadblocks stopping me from taking that next great leap forward into a whole new world are just too big. They’re insurmountable. It’d be easier to take off, leave all this behind and start over somewhere where I have no ties, no history.

Times & Transcript – EMERGENCYs

EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, Fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations. 1999-2010

Well… a title like that doesn’t leave much space for a review but it’s a Joel Plaskett album which, if anything, is a guarantee for great music.

This is a collection of demos, outtakes, rare tracks and B-sides covering Plaskett’s earliest days to his last release. The compilation is a real treat for any Plaskett fan and should keep you happy while waiting for his new album, which should be released this fall.

Highlights include: On The Rail, A Million Dollars, and Snowed In.

Uptown Magazine – EMERGENCYs

For true Joel Plaskett fans, it’s been a wonderful year or so. With last year’s release of the sprawling eight-disc set from Plaskett’s teenage outfit Thrush Hermit, listeners got a little insight into the evolution of more than a few tunes. This collection is the missing piece, with 20 demos, B-sides and castaways to flesh out your Joel-ection. Extraordinary and A Million Dollars aren’t much different than their pre-released renditions, but this gentle take on Nothing More to Say is more than worth the purchase, while Drunk Teenagers (both from 2007’s Ashtray Rock) sounds bigger and dirtier than ever. All in, this works as both a must-have for fanatics as well as a quasi-greatest hits for newcomers.

Chart Attack – EMERGENCYs

Temperance is not a virtue that Joel Plaskett seems able or willing to grasp.

He gave us 27 tunes on Three — a maneuver that would have exhausted most musicians’ song banks — and here we are two years later, stumbling through a Fiona Apple-worthy album title and another 20 tracks.

EMERGENCYs isn’t meant to be an entirely new collection. A few of these songs — like “On The Rail” and the cover of Irma Thomas’ “Hurt’s All Gone” — were previously available, and several are early or alternate versions of well-known Plaskett (or Joel Plaskett Emergency) tunes like “Snowed In” and “Come On, Teacher.” It’ll be handy, though, for fans to have all these extras in one easy-to-access location.


On the opening verse of this rarities collection, the famously mild-mannered Joel Plaskett enjoys an uncharacteristic ego moment: “I want a place named after me,” he hollers, “is that too much to ask?”

The Nova Scotian songwriter’s demand is bold, but not unreasonable, especially since the 20-song historical expedition heard on Emergencys… is the best illustration yet of how Plaskett continues to evolve into a Canadian rock icon.

McNutt Against The Music – EMERGENCYs

A few months ago, I was having drinks with a fellow music writer who admitted to me that she strongly disliked Joel Plaskett. That she felt this way didn’t surprise me, but in hindsight, it’s a bit strange that I didn’t even try to mount a well-reasoned response.

I could have argued that he’s the closest thing we have to a Springsteenian archetype in Canadian music, achieving an oft-masterful balance of playful rock motifs with soul-searching folk sentiments. I could have made a song-by-song case, because even if he’s yet to make a true CanRock masterpiece of an album (though Thrush Hermit’s Clayton Park may fit the bill), Joel’s song catalogue ranks among the strongest of our country’s working musicians (particularly those working in the past decade). Or I could have staked a claim for him as one of the most entertaining live performers going, shamelessly performative and endlessly playful whether solo or with the Emergency.

Exclaim! Magazine – EMERGENCYs

Joel Plaskett Looks Back with ‘EMERGENCYs’ and Forward to Next Album

Multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician, producer and low-key music mogul Joel Plaskett continues to dig through his vault of long-lost songs and present them to the world. Last year, he curated a sprawling eight-disc Thrush Hermit box set to commemorate his beloved old band’s short but sweet reunion tour, essentially presenting every single track they had ever laid to tape. Now, as he prepares to compose a follow-up to his Polaris Music Prize-nominated triple record, Three, Plaskett is presenting fans with a 20-track rarities comp of his own solo material called, EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations.

Grayowl Point
Review- “EMERGENCYs, false alarms…”

For convenience’s sake I shortened the full title of this “album.” The full title is EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, FRAGILE creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations. It’s a lengthy title, no doubt, but it’s completely suited to Joel Plaskett, one of Canada’s national treasures whose career has spanned decades.

Plaskett is set to release a new album this fall (!!!) but in the meantime he has provided fans with another superb treat- this compilation of 20 songs consisting of demos, outtakes, rarities and b-sides. And what a treat this is. The compilation encompasses Plaskett’s work from 1999-2010.
Album Review: Joel Plaskett – Emergencys, False Alarms…

It’s not quite a greatest hits collection, or a collection of leftovers. It isn’t a sign of an artist running out of steam and releasing past material. The new Joel Plaskett compilation album Emergencys, False Alarms, Shipwrecks, Castaways, Fragile Creatures, Special Features, Demons and Demonstrations: 199-2010 has a little bit of everything on it. There are tracks like “On the Rail”, a track about the Cabot Trail that was previously only available digitally as part of the CBC Songquest. It also features early versions of a number of favourites such as “Extraordinary”, “Come On, Teacher”, “Drunk Teenagers” and more. People who know Plaskett’s catalogue through and through (and through) may be thrown for a curve ball during a song like “Drunk Teenagers” where the melody is the same but the lyrics are very different from the final version that made it’s way onto Ashtray Rock.

Chipped Hip
Loose Lips Sink Ships

Joel Plaskett certainly has a knack for putting out a lot of songs all at the same time. In 2009, he released Three, a triple-disc album with 27 tracks. This year, it’s the 20-song B-sides collection EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations.

Here’s the acoustic ballad “When I Go,” which finds Plaskett in stripped-down, folksy form. It features little more than his voice and guitar, plus a few distant harmonies. It’s truly lovely.

Go to Exclaim! to read my piece about the album. Thanks to The Broken Speaker for the stream.

Ion Magazine

Canada’s sometimes underappreciated heartthrob, Joel Plaskett shakes hands with Shotgun Jimmie on this whimsical new 7”. On one side, you’ve got Joel singing a song about Jimmie, and reflexively Jimmie does the same for Joel on the flip. Two maritime boys singing songs about each other being buddies; more maritime than that wrestling match between Rick White and six puffins drunk on screech.

MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: JOEL PLASKETT – EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, FRAGILE creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations. 1999-2010

Hey, Joel sure isn’t the first one to do this, release a collection of b-sides, demos, alternates, and the like. Rarely do they hit the high quality mark this one does though. It reminds me of that Elvis Costello disc, Taking Liberties, another 20-track collection that became a must-have instead of an interesting aside. Like Costello, Plaskett’s meanderings take us to different spots that are just as interesting as the regular tracks. Plus, the guy is a workhorse, so there’s lots of killer around, and here, no filler.


Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Michael Barclay

Peter Elkas is a smooth operator — you can hear it in every tiny guitar lick, piano flourish, seductive swing of the saxophone and laid-back but soulful vocal performance on Repeat Offender, a record that’s readymade to romance you.

Elkas has been a peripheral player in the last 15 years of Canadian music. His underrated teenage band Local Rabbits were shepherded by Sloan, and more recently Elkas has been part of the Joel Plaskett Emergency, while quietly releasing several solo records. Apparently Elkas was ready to retire his solo career entirely and start paying his bills by becoming a professional dog-walker — which he still does, but thankfully he decided to rally his resources and make Repeat Offender, easily the best thing he’s done since his days as a young Rabbit.

Elkas is older, wiser and laid back now, leaving rock’n’roll behind to indulge in the softer side of Springsteen and ’60s and ’70s soul music. His writing retains its signature complexity — Elkas has never settled for a mere three chords—but he’s more successful at pop songs than his previous solo work, with a few tracks here he could easily convince Al Green to cover.

Peter Elkas continues his Thursday residency for the month of March tonight at the E-Bar in Guelph, with guests Sister Euclid and Christine Bougie. Opening acts on March 17 are Shotgun Jimmie and Jay Crocker; on March 24 it’s with Glory Glory Man United and Pat Lepoidevin. Finally, he’s also playing acoustically at Folkway Music on March 31 with Jessy Bell-Smith and Rich Burnett.

Here Weekly

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender

Listeners brilliant enough to check out the newest record from Montreal native Peter Elkas should be nothing short of thrilled with what emanates from their speakers. Elkas delivers Springsteen-like cool, but in a very understated kind of way. There are no hints of bravado to be heard, only some of the most soulful songs you could treat your ears to hearing. Highlights worth checking out include “Tiny Valentine”, “Cruel Thing To Do” and “Anticipation”.


Peter Elkas Repeat Offender

We’re hearing an incredible number of new singer/songwriters lately whose music recalls classic FM soul/pop radio artists from the 1970s and 1980s. Canada’s Peter Elkas has been making music for quite some time now…originally with the band Local Rabbits (who received a great deal of of praise before disbanding)…and now with his solo career. Repeat Offender is Peter’s first attempt at recording his band himself. The results…are indeed impressive. The tracks on this album have a great deal of commercial appeal. They’re smart, they’re slick, and they have that peculiar quality that makes most listeners want to hear them over and over and over again. Elkas has a super smooth velvety voice that is the perfect central focal point for his tunes. Soulful, direct, and instantly hummable…this is the kind of music that could equally appeal to kids as well as their parents. Nifty cuts include “Anticipation,” “The Blue of You,” “Repeat Offender,” and “Cool Thing To Do.”


Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Sarah Greene

Journeyman singer/songwriter/session musician Peter Elkas delivers a welcome injection of soul into Canadian indie-rock with his latest, Repeat Offender. Clocking in at a brisk 37 minutes, the album is full of well-crafted pop-rock songs that would not sound out of place on an oldies radio station. Although Elkas’s pop, rock and soul influences are all familiar, an underlying vitality and originality underscores the album. Taken together, this creates a dichotomy where an original listening experience also elicits nostalgia for childhood road trips listening to radio hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Ex-Local Rabbit Peter Elkas is back with his third solo album after taking a bit of a break after 2007’s Charlie Sexton-produced Wall Of Fire. Evidently he revisited the soul and R&B crates for Repeat Offender, an early rock ’n’ roll love-in recorded mostly at home with the help of Ian McGettigan (Thrush Hermit) and out on Joel Plaskett’s boutique New Scotland label.

Elkas’s songs are the dramatic, crooning sort, and he and his band pull off an easy blue-eyed soul with nostalgic hooks, sepia-stained backup vocals and horns. The tunes veer toward comfortable homogeneity, and would make the perfect iPod soundtrack for long dog walks. (Makes sense, considering Elkas is a dog-walker in his other life.)

That said, it’s not without surprises. “Tiny Valentine” bursts with almost absurd earworm potential; swaggering, screeching sax and staccato piano on “Misery” shake things up; and soaring vocals make “Melody” kind of brave.


Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Greg Hutton

Journeyman singer/songwriter/session musician Peter Elkas delivers a welcome injection of soul into Canadian indie-rock with his latest, Repeat Offender. Clocking in at a brisk 37 minutes, the album is full of well-crafted pop-rock songs that would not sound out of place on an oldies radio station. Although Elkas’s pop, rock and soul influences are all familiar, an underlying vitality and originality underscores the album. Taken together, this creates a dichotomy where an original listening experience also elicits nostalgia for childhood road trips listening to radio hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s.


Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Alex Hudson

Since the breakup of his band Local Rabbits, Montreal-raised/Toronto-based songwriter Peter Elkas has released a pair of solo LPs, most recently 2007’s Wall of Fire. On February 22, he will put out his third solo disc, Repeat Offender, via New Scotland Records.

Toronto Star

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By John Sakamoto

A former member of Local Rabbits, Elkas has since gone on to join Joel Plaskett’s Emergency, and that serves as a useful touchstone for what he gets up to on his follow-up to 2007’s acclaimed Wall of Fire. This title track opens with a riff straight out of the Keith Richards songbook before moving into a territory adjacent to Tom Petty’s “Here Comes My Girl.” In between is the kind of high-level craftsmanship that Plaskett practises without ever drawing attention to itself. And every once in awhile, there’s a lyric like this one: “He’d kill a true love just to feel it die.” (From “Repeat Offender”)

Bob Mersereau’s Top 100 Canadian Singles

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Bob Mersereau

When a disc’s opening track includes background vocals that go “shoo-bop-shoo-bop”, I know I’m gonna love it. Elkas, ex-Local Rabbit and a member in good standing of The Joel Plaskett Emergency, has delivered a smooth soul tour-de-force on his third solo disc. This is a disc that takes you directly to that warm spot in your heart, the place where you hold your deep abiding love of music.

Grayowl Point

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Michael Thomas

If you’re into the Canadian indie scene you probably won’t need much of an introduction to Peter Elkas. But just in case you don’t know him, here’s a brief intro.

Elkas was the front man of the Local Rabbits, a band that had big success in the 90′s and toured a lot with Thrush Hermit, Joel Plaskett’s old band. Elkas is still friends with Plaskett now and even joined The Emergency as a full-time member.

With such a vast musical history, one can only expect great things from Elkas. And no one should be disappointed by this latest musical offering. Elkas plays rock and roll in the most classic sense of the word- his music is music to groove and sway to. There isn’t a single note wasted here and every song is thoroughly enjoyable.

Buying Shots For Bands

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Catherine Lecbay

Toronto-based Peter Elkas is set to release Repeat Offender, his 3rd full-length album and a follow up to 2007’s Wall of Fire and 2004’s Party of One. Although I’m not as well versed in his previous solo work, Elkas continues to mature and hone in on his own sound, growing more and more after the demise 90s alternative rock band Local Rabbits. Furthermore, Elkas exercised his recording ability, as this album was mostly recorded in his basement with co-producer Ian McGettigan (Thrush Hermit), with some work done at Giant Studio (owned by Sebastien Grainger and James Shaw).

Late Greats

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Duke of Straw

I’ve been a fan of Peter Elkas since his 2007 release Wall Of Fire. He’s back four years later with a mostly self-recorded album that Peter worked on in his basement. (I can relate.) He worked with Ian McGettigan and calls the new album “buddy rock”. Take a listen here and get ready to put Elkas on your “Laidback Sunday Afternoon” playlist.


Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Jessica Lewis

If you like light-hearted country, classic rock melodies and dancing, Peter Elkas and his band have a new album that will be right up your alley. Elkas is back stronger than ever on Repeat Offender, his followup to 2007’s Wall of Fire. Full of warm guitars, a horn section and Elkas’ great voice, this album is definitely one to look forward to in these next few weeks. If you find yourself turning into a drooling fan, check the band out in March at the Dakota Tavern for a five week-long residency. They played the first night of Jason Collett’s Basement Revue in December and it was a performance I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

The Broken Spear

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Jonathan Briggins

The original plan was to get a review for the new Peter Elkas record Repeat Offender on the blog on Valentines Day. Not just because he always performs with a certain amount of charm, or the fact his new album has a song called “Tiny Valentine” on it, or because the album cover features ten dogs lounging around in a basement den.

Chipped Hip

Peter Elkas Repeat Offender
By Alex Hudson

Hey everyone, I think that Peter Elkas might be trying to start a dog band. By my count, the album cover of his brand new Repeat Offender has nine dogs and seven guitars. That’s one guitar per dog with two animals left over to play drums and keyboards. I’m suspicious. Go to Exclaim! to read about the album.

Here’s the horn-laden (I’m trying not to say “horny”) single “Cool Thing to Do,” which is a romantic soul pop tune that draws on vintage doo-wop and Elvis Costello with just a hint a bar blues. As far as I know, there aren’t any dogs playing on this song, but I can’t be sure.

Pop Matters

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Jennifer Cooke

He keeps it real by releasing his efforts on his own 98 Pounder imprint and recording and selling each and every live show he plays, which is nothing to sneeze at, considering the man is on the road at least a third of every year. Standout tracks on Dreamhouse include “License Plate Eyes”, “Wish the Wind” and an arresting and non-ironic take on Streisand’s “The Way We Were”.

City Beat – Cincinnati

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Brian Baker

Steve Poltz’s success with The Rugburns on the band’s 1996 college radio hit “Taking the World by Donkey” was like a cherry bomb compared to the megaton attention that mushroomed around the singer/songwriter when he co-wrote the worldwide hit “You Were Meant for Me” with his friend Jewel.

The MusicNerd Chronicles Steve Poltz: Have guitar, will travel

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Joshua Kloke

Steve Poltz is a hell of a busy guy. He is spending the summer of 2010 playing shows just about anywhere that will have him, whether it means playing major festivals events such as the Ottawa Bluesfest or at the Petite Riviere Vineyards in Crousetown, Nova Scotia. And actually, if you take a peek at his schedule on his website, he is also playing numerous house parties over the course of the summer as well. Clearly, when it comes to spreading the gospel of his music, no reasonable offer is off limits.

Skope Review- “Dreamhouse”- Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Joshua Kloke

The comfortable, seemingly nonchalant sway of Steve Poltz’s latest, Dreamhouse may very well be a nod to East Coast singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett, long one of Canada’s undiscovered strumming charmers. After all, not only did Plaskett produce Dreamhouse, he played six different instruments and provided backing vocals. But maybe Plaskett simply adds fuel to Poltz’s fire. Both artists share an affinity for the casual, down-home sort of finger-picking that reminds you of home, no matter how far away you are from your home.

Grayowl Point
Review- “Dreamhouse”- Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Michael

Once again, I have found an album with a very fitting title. This is Dreamhouse by Halifax-born Steve Poltz. I had honestly never of Poltz before listening to this, and after listening to the record a few times I realized that I had missed out on a truly talented musician.

Babysue Review

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Babysue

Steve Poltz – Dreamhouse (CD, New Scotland, Pop)
Wow. This is one of those cases where all the pieces fit together just right. Dreamhouse will definitely end up being one of our top favorites albums of 2010. Steve Poltz is just so…good. We could come up with all kinds of reasons why and comparisons to give you an idea of where he’s coming from… But the important thing to remember is that Steve Poltz is a truly great artist whose music will most certainly stand the test of time. To say we’re blown away by the songs on Dreamhouse would be a vast understatement. These songs aren’t just good. They are…incredible. Not much more to say…except get your hands on this one. Eleven cuts here…with our initial favorites being “Dreamhouse,” “Digging For Icicles,” “License Plate Eyes” (this one is so beautifully resilient…!), “Wish the Wind,” and “The Way We Were.” We can’t recommend this one highly enough. An easy and obvious TOP PICK. Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW…

The Coast Review

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Dave Hayden

On La De Da, Joel Plaskett sang about being on the road, writing songs and recording with friends for the love of the process, not for the money. The song ‘Natural Disaster’ is also a song about the security of home in the face of oncoming uncertainty, which is a theme Steve Poltz explores frequently on the Plaskett-produced Dreamhouse (‘Wish the Wind’ and ‘Love What You’ve Done with this Place’). This is essentially a companion piece to La De Da, considering Poltz, a Nova Scotian who now lives in the States, has made a road record—also adorned with Rebecca Kratz’s gorgeous woodburn—in Plaskett’s Dartmouth studio. With flourishes of Jenn Grant and Plaskett’s production and guitar work, Dreamhouse is a gorgeously lyrical record. Poltz’s trademark charm and whimsy is here, but there are also more difficult sentiments too (‘Dreams #23’, ‘A Dog in Bosnia’). See Steve Poltz live, May 9-11 at The Carleton.

Chart Attack Review

Steve Poltz Dreamhouse
By Valentina D’Aliesio

The name “Steve Poltz” might not be immediately recognizable, but chances are, you’ve heard his work one way or another.

Now Review

Steve Poltz
Dreamhouse (New Scotland)
By Carla Gillis

At 50, Steve Poltz has been in the music game for decades, yet there’s an undeniable youthfulness to his newest album, which might finally make him a household name. (If you’re a Jewel fan, perhaps you already know of him. Poltz co-wrote You Were Meant For Me on her debut, a song that rode the charts for over 14 months.)

The Journal – Queen’s University
Traveling Troubadour

With undying enthusiasm and zest for life singer-songwriter Steve Poltz is coming to Kingston with a new record that promises to inspire
By Ally Hall

It would be insufficient to say singer-songwriter Steve Poltz is a well-traveled man. His last few decades in the music industry have stroked his affinity for exploring uncharted territory taking him everywhere from your Uncle’s living room to the lush land of Australia.

Dim Star Music
Steve Poltz – Dreamhouse

By Kyle DeCoste

Nova Scotia-born and San Diego-raised Steve Poltz is no rookie when it comes to the craft of songwriting, in fact, he co-wrote the longest-running song on the Billboard Top 100- Jewel’s You Were Meant For Me to be exact. Drawing influence from an eclectic and humourously random assortment of life experiences, Poltz has forged his character and his craft and secured his place in the songwriting landscape as an honest and amiable chap.

The Toronto Star
Troubadour Steve Poltz reintroduces himself to Canadian audiences

Expat Halifax native teams with Joel Plaskett for Dreamhouse
By Ben Rayner

As any expat Maritimer can tell you, the East Coast exerts a peculiar magic over its scattered sons and daughters — one that peripatetic singer/songwriter and Halifax native Steve Poltz recently experienced for himself.

THRUSH HERMIT Reunites Ahead of Box Set Release

Thrush Hermit Reunites Ahead of Box Set Release
By Pete Nema

When Thrush Hermit announced they were planning a reunion tour, the shrieks of indie-rock excitement from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario could probably be heard country-wide.

Thrush Hermit

Although Thrush Hermit has more than enough material to fill a show, the band only produced two full-length albums before breaking up. The split occurred shortly after their 1999 release of Clayton Park, the album that, without a doubt, contained their best work. And now over 10 years later, Lee’s Palace was packed to capacity on a Friday night for the first sold-out Toronto show, filled with fans, many who had likely come of age during the 90’s. I suspect another large portion was made up of Joel Plaskett (vocals, guitar) fans who had the initiative to discover his previous work.

THRUSH HERMIT – Winter 2010

Flush with Thrush
By Carla Gillis

Thrush Hermit’s The Complete Recordings box set (New Scotland) includes eight discs and a 32-page booklet with illuminating liner notes by Rob Benvie.

THE COAST – Joel Plaskett – Winner of Best Vinyl

Best vinyl – Joel Plaskett, Three
by Sue Carter Flinn

To say that response to Joel Plaskett’s ambitious 2009 triple album Three is positive is as big an understatement as Lady Gaga’s lightning- bolt headpiece. Shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, Plaskett now has a bunch of ECMAs and Best of Music awards to add to the mantle too. Recorded with “talented family and friends,” Three is the magic number—a spell of personal storytelling, easy-breezy harmonies and Westerbergian rock.

January 2009 : CD Review

The Joel Plaskett Emergency’s Dave Marsh releases his quirky debut solo effort, the first release on Plaskett’s new label, New Scotland Records.

The record is interesting. It comes across almost like a scrapbook of songs that weren’t necessarily written or recorded together with the intent of releasing them as an album. They range in length from a minute and a half up to nearly four minutes and they run the gamut from the punk-leaning “The Way We Live Today” and garage rock of “Move You Around” to the mellow, funky title track, the dreamy pop of “I Know Nothing Anymore”, moody acoustic number “Got No Kids Of Our Own” and the just plain odd “Nav Com Tav.”

October 2008 : CD Review

Dave Marsh is a gifted songwriter and his fixation on edgy pop rock has yielded the best record from Halifax’s over-30 set in years. Sitting behind the Super Friendz and the Joel Plaskett Emergency as a solidly inventive drummer, Marsh is more than an unsung sideman and, on rare occasions, his distinctive compositions have snuck onto records by these aforementioned bands. The True Love Rules is Marsh’s first opportunity to stretch out and explore a crossroads that finds punk, glam rock, new wave and folk colliding beautifully. He invites past and present collaborators to help his shape infectious compositions, many of which celebrate Halifax. The big rock of “Backstreets Thread” is a fun roll call for local cronies, while traces of ’70s era Bowie are all over “Darling You, Nothing Else Matters” and “Move You Around.” There’s a cool kind of passion on The True Love Rules, a thoughtfully layered bit of cocky rock’n’roll by Dave Marsh. (New Scotland)

-By Vish Khanna / Exclaim Magazine

August 28, 2008 : CD Review

After having spent many years behind the drum kit anchoring fellow Halifax artists like The Superfriendz and Joel Plaskett, Dave Marsh enlists many of those very people to make musical contributions to The True Love Rules, his first solo record.

BLOG: CBC Radio 3
August 27th, 2008
Vish Khanna Best Music of August

August 8th, 2008 – Album Review

August 5th, 2008 – Feature and Listen to Tracks

BLOG: – July 31, 2008 , 2008
Feature and Listen to Tracks

July 30, 2008 : Plaskett drummer Marsh Takes A Solo
By Bob Mersereau

Anxiously awaiting Joel Plaskett’s follow up to the EMCA record-setting Ashtray Rocks? Don’t forget it’s a band, the Joel Plaskett Emergency, not just Joel. While the group wasn’t conquering Canada, the U.S. and Australia last year, Joel took time to help timekeeper Dave Marsh produce his first solo disc The True Love Rules (Fontana North).

July 24, 2008 – Interview with Dave Marsh

HERO HILL REVIEW -July 24, 2008 : Dave Marsh The True Love Rules

It’s very fitting that the first release of Joel Plaskett’s new label, New Scotland Records, is a musical journey that pays homage to the greats that have influenced us for decades. Joel received critical acclaim for his voyage back to high school and the tales of two friends starting a band and now it seems Emergency drummer and solo artist, Dave Marsh is happy to reminisce as well.

– June 23, 2008
Interview with Dave Marsh

When Joel Plaskett decided to start his own label, he didn’t have to look too far to find his first signing. That’s because Dave Marsh sits behind him at the drum kit whenever The Joel Plaskett Emergency take the stage.