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Three sides to life on road

Joel Plaskett, former Thrush Hermit lead singer, releases his new triple album Three.

It’s nothing special to put out a double record these days — if you’ve got enough songs it’s easy to stuff another disc in the package. But a triple album release? That’s exactly how many CDs come with Nova Scotia native Joel Plaskett’s new release, appropriately titled Three.

The folk rocker and former Thrush Hermit lead singer says the idea to release three records together was simple. “Not a lot of people do it,” he says matter of factly. “And I had a lot of songs first and foremost to hang it on.”

It also helped that he inadvertently repeated the same word three times in a few of the songs’ titles. When he realized he had tracks named: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling; Rewind, Rewind, Rewind; and Gone, Gone, Gone, a light bulb went off and a theme appeared.

“I had a few songs that repeated the same word three times and I though that was cool,” he explains. “Why don’t I make a record of all songs like that? And then I thought, why don’t I make a triple record?”

Writing enough good tracks to fill three records is no easy feat, but then Plaskett also wanted to create a concept record. He says once he recorded everything he had to figure out which song fit where. “I just put all these songs together,” he says. “Then I had to connect the dots. It was like ‘oh perfect, I know what this one does now.’”

The disc takes a personal look at what life is like on the road. The more upbeat first album is about leaving where you came from, the sombre and folkier second record deals with being away from friends and family, while the lighter third instalment focuses on returning home.

“Travelling and being gone, or trying to return home, is sort of an obvious thing if you’re a musician,” he says. “But when I listened back to stuff I recorded while I’d been on the road that was a huge theme that came up.”

It’s all powerful stuff that could have been derailed if there was a sluggish part to this album, which tends to happen when artists release more than one disc at a time. But, surprisingly, there’s not one skip-over song; it’s all incredibly catchy music.

Still, Plaskett was worried about cramming too many tunes into one release. “I had moments where I wondered if this was going to turn out right,” he says. “Is this getting boring for people?”

He points out that the disc isn’t meant to be listened to in one sitting. “That’s why it’s three different discs, and not a 65 minute CD,” he says.

It’s more like a three act play, he explains. Or, he adds, a road trip. “It’s supposed to feel like a trip. It’s like the theme, you’re going away and then coming back.”

 
 
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