There's so much creative energy coursing through Lee Harvey Osmond's veins, he can't contain it all in one form of expression — or even one identity. Which is why the Hamilton, Ontario, man known as Tom Wilson has forged an alter-ego from a pop-culture mash-up of JFK's killer and the famed family of singing Mormons. That's in addition to his identification since the ‘90s as a member of now-defunct Canadian rock band Junkhouse and the very-much-alive Americana entity of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings.
Wilson has used the Osmond moniker for three solo albums, including his 2015 Latent Recordings release Beautiful Scars, produced by the Cowboy Junkies' Michael Timmins. The songs on Beautiful Scars take more zigs and zags than a stitch job on a bad cut. Aaron Goldstein's crying pedal steel might segue into Michael Davidson's cool vibraphone notes or harmonies by Andrea Ramolo, who duets with Wilson on the beguiling, yet melancholy “Hey Hey Hey.” “Shake the Hand” echoes with funk and twang, while the fluttery flute groove brass/woodwind player Darcy Hepner blows in “Black Spruce” sounds as if it could have flown out of Creed Taylor's ‘70s CTI jazz catalog. The delicate “Dreams Come and Go” casts a glow on Wilson's rich, unvarnished baritone and accomplished picking, not to mention the potential of his co-writer and harmony vocalist, son Thompson. (He's also heard on “Planet Love.”) On the creepy, haunting — and quite compelling — “Oh, the Gods,” Wilson's whispers combine with drum rhythms, keyboard twiddles, electric guitar notes and other sonic effects to achieve an almost meditative drone.
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