Ontario, Canada's Tom Wilson—who you're more likely to know as the frontman of band Lee Harvey Osmond—is venturing into the west coast leg of his American tour.
Touring in support of his third studio album, "Beautiful Scars," the "acid folk" project has a sound that Elmore Magazine says "brings to mind the imagined alliance between Tom Waits and Nick Cave, one that might also find Leonard Cohen lurking in the dark shadows." The album is the culmination of three decades in the music and recording industry, and allows a deeper look into the heart and mind of this talented singer, songwriter and guitarist.
"Beautiful Scars" represents something more than just an album of 10 new songs. Last year, at the age of 55, Wilson became privy to some life changing information about his family. First, he learned that his cousin was actually his mother—and further, that his heritage was not Irish, but instead Mohawk. To work through this life-altering revelation, Wilson has created works of fine art and has given a number of talks and lectures. Also in the works is a memoir sharing the same title as the album, which will be available through Random House/Penguin books.
Lee Harvey Osmond is Wilson's third project in the music industry, having previously performed with the bands Junkhouse and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. When asked about why he named his band Lee Harvey Osmond, Wilson says it came to him from his own loss of childhood innocence in the 1960s, and how the cute pop culture of American television couldn't undo the darkness lurking just below the surface in everything. As for the range of topics on the new album, Wilson says they cover bases including addiction, one-legged lovers, native people's rights and burning beds—a strange blend that only an artist's mind could somehow mash together.
Wilson describes his sound as folk music that sounds like it's made by stoners who only indulge in "strong things" such as cups of tea and hummus. If that doesn't sound like an intriguing description of a band, I don't know what does. "Beautiful Scars" has a moody, smoky, bar-room feel that should transfer seamlessly from recording to live performance. The album was recorded by Wilson's long-time friend Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies in his home studio in Toronto, and the intimacy is apparent in every track. This is psychedelic folk music at its best.
Wilson and his band-mates in Lee Harvey Osmond will perform at the Volcanic Theatre Pub April 11. If you're looking to expand your knowledge of psychedelic folk, or even just enjoy songs that sound like they belong on a David Lynch movie soundtrack, then this is an evening of live music you won't want to miss.
Lee Harvey Osmond
Tues., Apr. 11
Doors at 8pm
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr., Bend
$10 adv., $12 door