Favourite Spaces: see where Joel Plaskett starts his day in Dartmouth
Featuring coffee, music, books and cheeky family cats
There's a place I start
In the corner of my heart
That could take this world apart
And put it back together.
So sings Joel Plaskett on his sixth studio album, 44 — a quadruple, 44-song package that was released approximately one month into the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea of home, though eternally symbolic to a nearly three-decade-long touring musician like Plaskett (and someone who's grown to be somewhat of a musical ambassador for his native Nova Scotia), hits differently for most people these days — as home has increasingly become the safe haven away from an especially uncertain outside world.
Each of the album's four records, containing 11 songs and crafted over four years, follows the story arc of a traveller coming home, feeling lost and arriving again. And while the collection wasn't specifically crafted for this current global state, there's some sweet solace in spending time with the ambitious effort and finding parts of yourself in it.
Plaskett is set to host the third Junos 365 Songwriters' Circle episode on Friday, May 29, at 8 p.m. ET, where he'll share songs and stories with Buffy Sainte-Marie, City and Colour and Sarah Harmer. You can watch here at cbc.ca/music or on CBC Gem.
Until then, the East Coast musician gives CBC Music a quick virtual glimpse into his Dartmouth home as part of Favourite Spaces, a series highlighting where artists are spending their time while staying home and socially distancing to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Editor's note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
"The couch is where I often start my day with a coffee. There used to be two matching chairs but they were so uncomfortable and worn out they ended up at the curb. It's still a point of contention in the household.
"The stereo spins Joe South and can beam in the radio now and then. Our son builds with Lego on the rug and I have a number of books on the go: Wilson Van Dusen's Just Beyond the Physical World, Returning to the Source, Kathleen Raine's Autobiographies, Gary Lachman's biography on Colin Wilson, Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men and The Red Book by Carl Jung.
"The painting on the wall is of a New England socialite in 1943 — [my wife] Rebecca bought it in an antiques store over 15 years ago. One of the cats tipped a lamp over recently and the base had to be glued. The little table is part of a nesting set that I inherited from my grandparents. The rotary phone works well except when you get a touch-tone switchboard menu.
"Very few big decisions get made in this room which makes it a nice place to start the day."
Below: a few close-ups from Plaskett's favourite space.