by Laura Feeney
Halifax’s Joel Plaskett and the Emergency Band was one of my most anticipated acts at this year’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. His enthusiastic Wednesday night performance surpassed all of my expectations. The night’s folk-rock line-up in the Mojo Tent made it clear that the Harvest isn’t all jazz and blues.
Fredericton’s own Andy Brown, the winner of the 2010’s Galaxie Rising Star award, started off with his award-winning track ‘Crazy’. His unique voice, electric acoustic guitar, and charming song lyrics blended together nicely. His set included a good mixture of his emotion-filled ballads and upbeat tunes like ‘Happiness’, and was well received by hometown fans.
Joel Plaskett and the Emergency Band opened with an exuberant rendition of ‘You’re Mine’ to a packed tent of loyal Maritime fans. Guitar changes enabled Plaskett to breathe life into new and old songs. His set included a terrific 15 minute solo-set featuring ‘Face of the Earth’ and ‘The Island Girls and Harbour Boys’ played on acoustic guitar. He exuded his signature geeky, boyish charm, exemplified through his awkward dancing, stories of songwriting and life on the East Coast, and an encore of ‘There’s a Reason That I Love This Town’. The audience sang, danced, and applauded with enthusiasm – Plaskett certainly is a favourite here in Fredericton!
For more photos from Wednesday night, check out the slideshow: