Canadian songsmith-troubadour Tom Wilson has been a well known musician throughout Canada, Europe and many other parts of the world for along time. But he is largely a best kept secret to his southern neighbors in the states. I predict this is going to change. Having earned a popular reputation as a founding member of country-alt-rock band Blackie and The Rodeo Kings and Junkhouse, Tom has reinvented as LeE HARVeY OsMOND.
On stage it doesn't take him long to win over new audiences with his powerful presences. Catching his set at The Ark in Ann Arbor, I was immediately drawn into his world. A world of brilliant melodies, smart lyrics, storytelling and humor that only a dedicated mistrial of his providence and age can offer.
LeE HARVeY OsMOND has a sound that defies a single category. Well of course his own moniker of 'Acid Folk' certainly resonates and a definable catch-all for someone so unique, there is not a neatly-fitting-record-store category for which he is in.
Joining Tom onstage is his son Thompson Wilson. Thompson has a lush vocal range and warmth that intertwines naturally with Tom's vocals as the duet produced a full yet intimate sound. Peppered in between songs Tom's shares his life poetically adding momentum to each song.
His third release 'Beautiful Scars' has just been released in the states this past March. The release is about him embracing his true identity having just learned in his 50s that he is really of Mohawk decency and not Irish. Produced by the Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins, 'Beautiful Scars' shares its title with Wilson’s upcoming memoir for Random House/Penguin due out in 2017. I am looking forward to the book tour as much as anything he is working on.
“The album is where I am now,” Wilson says. “It was made during this discovery.” The “beautiful scars” concept also infuses Wilson’s large-format paintings: his work suggests influences from Picasso to his Mohawk background. He’s still trying to wrap his head around that latter element.
“In your life you accumulate a wealth of pain and a wealth of learning that make you blossom as a human being at a certain point, and for me, it’s this point, in my mid-50s,” he adds. “My old line used to be the chip on my shoulder served me well. Now these beautiful scars are serving me well.”
'Blue Moon Drive' is a haunting groove with sax, vibes and a jazzy backbeat bass that couldn't better illustrate this late night drive. 'Shake the Hand' goes further down this mysterious world. Final track 'Bottom of Our Love' drives the it all home with a jazzy improvisational flute line, sharp solo guitar riffs against a rolling percussion and certain Fender Rhodes keyboard line lilting behind.
“Beautiful Scars is the beginning of a series that I’m going to continue doing, hopefully, for the next 20 years. I’m just trying to create something that — even if it sounds corny — makes the world a little more bearable and encourages people to open up their hearts a little more every day.
Remaining Tour Dates:
Tue, May 10 Tucson, AZClub Congress
Wed, May 11 Phoenix, AZMIM Music Theatre
Fri, May 13 Pentiction, BCThe Dream Music Festival
Sat, May 14 Pentiction, BCThe Dream Music Festival
Sun, May 15 Santa Cruz, CAMoe's Alley Blues Club
Mon, May 16 Los Angeles, CATroubadour
Tue, May 17 San Diego, CAMusic Box
Wed, May 18 Bend, ORVolcanic Theatre Pub
Thur, May 19 Seattle, WAThe Triple Door
Fri, May 20 Seattle, WAThe Triple Door
Thur, May 26 Buffalo, NYSportsmen's Tavern & Music Hall
Wed, June 15 Buffalo, NYSportsmen's Tavern & Music Hall
Fri, June 18 Beaumont, ABBeaumont Roots and Blues Festival
Sat, July 9 Evansburg, ABPembina River Nights Festival
Wed, July 27 Buffalo, NYSportsmen's Tavern & Music Hall
Thur, July 28 Belmar, NJBelmar Beach Concerts
Sat, July 30 Philadelphia, PATin Angel
Sat, Aug 13 Grand Prairie, ABBear Creek Folk Festival
Sun, Aug 14 Grand Prairie, ABBear Creek Folk Festival