Lee Harvey Osmond
Thursday, May 7, 2015 8 pm
The Hideout Eats & Beats.
Greetings, music lovers. Allow us to draw attention to the new slab by the eminent and hirsute Steeltown reprobate, Lee Harvey Osmond, aka Tom Wilson aka One of Three Rodeo Kings aka that large, melodic growling man from the former Junkhouse.
This record is called “Beautiful Scars,” as in: “Man, that scar is beautiful,” or “She has a beautiful scar right here...” or “My scar is beautiful. It reminds me of that time I didn’t die.” The humanity of the album-- produced by Michael Timmins in the intimacy of his Toronto Roncesvalle studio-- is like the warmth of blood that rushes to the cut: a sudden alive jolt in the middle of peril and uncertainty; a suspension of possibility that anything can happen next. Redolent with swooning horns and guitars that bob and weave, LHO’s voice-- forever the hallmark of his sound, which spans over three decades of work-- sounds, here, like a warm hand to the forehead, an arm on the arm of the stricken, a comforting growl at the heart of a screaming world.
At once evoking Howlin’ Wolf, Mike Scott and Roy Loney, “Beautiful Scars” bends and twists and stretches and squeezes LHO’s deep baritone, the producer treating it as if caged in a transistor radio, bathed in echo from above, or sunk in the muck of distortion. The strength of the songs notwithstanding, “Beautiful Scars” is a fascinating vocal journey to rank among the great sonic Canadian records of our time.