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Best Canadian solo male 

Joel Plaskett

Joel Plaskett Emergency spent much of last year living out of a suitcase, with tours to Australia, across Canada and down to the States opening for The Tragically Hip. According to your hometown hero, Plaskett says 2007 was the fullest touring year yet for himself, Dave Marsh and Chris Pennell. The anthemic Ashtray Rock, which either won or was nominated for every award possible (six ECMAs, next up: the Junos), is “fun for me to perform. The record has a variety of emotions---from party jams like “Fashionable People” to songs like “Face of the Earth” that are dramatic, you get this width of emotion.” And the fans, they love it, too; Plaskett says the shows just keep getting bigger and bigger. Even though the album is a “fictionalized autobiography,” almost everyone can relate to teenage love, loss and legendary party spots---Plaskett hears local stories wherever he goes. Behind the scenes, Plaskett produced Two Hours Traffic’s ECMA-winning album Little Jabs, and Dave Marsh’s upcoming True Love Rules. But for now, he’s happy to be home, play the occasional show and catch up on the local music scene. “I know I sound like a broken record when I talk about the inspiration that Halifax provides. I want to remain here. Staying here and playing has had dividends for me, both because of the audiences and the musicians in town. There’s a sense, that music made in this part of the world has---it’s my kind of music.”

First runner up: Michael Bublé

Second runner up: Buck 65

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