In 1992, Joel created alternative rock band Thrush Hermit with Rob Benvie (vocals, guitar), Ian McGettigan (vocals, bass), and Michael Catano (drums). Joel was the lead singer and guitarist for the Halifax based band as well as the band’s primary songwriter, until their breakup in late 1999.
After the breakup of Thrush Hermit, Plaskett embarked on a solo career. His first release, In Need of Medical Attention, consisted of left-over songs that were written near the end of his days in Thrush Hermit. It was successful, but not until the release of 2001’s Down at the Khyber with a new backing band, The Emergency, did Plaskett get the critical attention he had received while in his former band. The Emergency consisted of Plaskett, drummer Dave Marsh and bass player Tim Brennan, though special friend Ian McGettigen can often be seen playing bass at their shows. The third album of Joel’s solo career and second of the Emergency’s, Truthfully, Truthfully was a commercial success. Maple Music is the current recording label for both The Emergency and Plaskett’s solo efforts. Joel and the band have toured throughout North America and Europe with such performers as The Tragically Hip and Kathleen Edwards.
Plaskett and The Emergency have been nominated for two Juno Awards and won two East Coast Music Awards. The Emergency won in the Rock Recording of the Year category for the album Truthfully, Truthfully, and Joel himself won for Male Songwriter of the Year in 2006.
In recent years, Plaskett has embarked upon a number of projects. He has acted as producer (and collaborator) for Atlantic Canadian artists such as Two Hours Traffic (THT) and Little Miss Moffat (Miss Canada). As well, in 2004 he made his television debut as a rock coach on the CBC documentary television series Rock Camp. He has recently released his second solo album, La De Da, and his first DVD, Make a Little Noise.
Plaskett has done much to promote the local music scene in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia as well as the Canadian indie rock scene in general. He has won a following of loyal fans, and recognition from such media outlets as MuchMusic.