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Plaskett’s Folk Harbour Festival roots

Father-and-son duo Bill and Joel Plaskett will share the spotlight as the headliners of this year’s Bordertown Festival.
Father-and-son duo Bill and Joel Plaskett. — Contributed

34th edition of the festival will run from Aug. 8 until 11

From Thrush Hermit to his solo recordings, Joel Plaskett has earned a name across the Maritimes for his clever wit and catchy songwriting.

It’s a name that carries a little extra weight in Lunenburg — especially around the time of the Folk Harbour Festival — but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

Usually it’s Joel’s father, Bill Plaskett, who is asked if he’s the dad of a guitar-slinging, award-winning musician.

“But when I got to Lunenburg, everyone says: ‘You’re Bill Plaskett’s son!’” recounted Joel during an interview with the South Shore Breaker.

In fact, Bill is one of the Folk Harbour Festival’s co-founders, a legacy from when the family lived in town during the early ’80s.

It’s a legacy that Joel is happy to continue as he is slated to perform in the festival’s 34th iteration.

“It feels familiar because I grew up around the festival,” he said.

“My dad was involved in the early days, as you know. It’s an honour to be a part of it but it also feels like a familiar and natural place to go and make music because I was always around music there when I was a kid.”

Joel spent eight years in Lunenburg and he relishes the opportunity to go back to the streets of his childhood.

There’s an added connection — e recently-released an album with his father in 2017.

“The connection between places and people is a strong one,” he explained.

“My relationship with my dad over the last few years has deepened in some ways, like on a musical level, but we’ve also spent more time together over these past couple years.”

Although he wasn’t sure if Bill would join him on stage, Joel said he was proud of his father’s musical and heritage work in town.

“Getting the opportunity to get down and play (in Lunenburg) is not something I take for granted,” he said.

Plenty of performers

Joel is just one of dozens of musicians who will play tunes in town from Aug. 8 until 11.

Headliners include groups like the LYNNeS, Matt Andersen, The Jerry Cans, Good Lovelies and Bon Débarras.

Performances will also take place at various locations throughout town, including the Folk Harbour Society’s recently-purchased opera house.

Society president Harold Pearse said the festival was a great opportunity to showcase some of the work that’s been done to the building, including the addition of a second washroom.

“In this case, it’s an opportunity and we’re looking forward to using this prime venue for one of our series of performances,” he said.

He added that everything is in place for another successful Folk Harbour Festival.

“It’s an amazing amount of work and the pieces just miraculously all fit together,” said Pearse.

More information about scheduling and tickets is available at https://www.folkharbour.com.

joshua.rj.healey@gmail.com

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