This is the first singer I think I’ve interviewed from Canada. 56 year-old folk singer, Tom Wilson, also known as, Lee Harvey Osmond, released his full length album in March called, Beautiful Scars. Beautiful Scars, has had great feedback/reviews from the press and his fans. I’ve listened to the album myself and it is extremely powerful and moving. On March 18th, Osmond was nominated for the Juno Award-nominee for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for his music video, “Blue Moon Drive.”
Osmond one of the more spiritual singers I’ve interviewed. As you can see from the face paint on his face in the album/cover photo. Osmond has been on tour since April 13th and will ending the tour in November.
For new listeners, what song would you suggest they listen to first?
Everything starts around the kitchen table. A pot of coffee, a pack of smokes, something cooking in the oven and a couple of guitars. These are the components that make up what I call, “ gettin’ down home.” Down Home is where all art begins.
It’s where we learn who we are by experiencing the gathering that happens around the kitchen table. The clocks slow down and the we get to hear and see everything around us with patience that we don’t get to exercise in the outside world. So I would offer a couple of songs that started and were recorded around the kitchen table
A couple of songs that were born by “getting’ down home.” “DREAMS COME AND GO” and “BOTTOM OF OUR LOVE”
How is your tour going so far?
It’s long. It’s beautiful. It’s what it’s always been… We see America from the windshield of a tour bus during the day and from hotel and motel parking lots on the outskirts of every town we perform in. We smoke and talk and look out across highways and over the roofs of shopping malls and stare at the moon and think about what’s going on back home. It’s like jail or rehab or the space shuttle…It’s where modern prose is born and I’m happy to be on board.
I’d like to ask you about your history. How did you get into music? When did you start playing it? Basically how did you get to where you are today?
I never wanted anything else…Ever. There are people, places, apartments and used cars that have come and gone, and music, is all that ever remained with me. I feel I was born into this and I’ll only be separated from it only when I die.
The track “Blue Moon Drive,” what’s it about?
I arrived in L.A. to take over the world when I was eighteen years old. I ended up living on chili dogs and selling hash to tourists outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. It was all total shit and may have been demoralizing for someone else but for me it was a chance to throw down and reinvent my goal. It might have been the first step to becoming an artist and learning that it ain’t about the fuckers up there on the billboards that count. It’s the hobo’s in the fields and the motels full of sin that make the landscape interesting. So there I was staring Olivia Newton and John Travolta stardom in the face while to figuring out how to survive. It wasn’t the first kick in the face life had given me so I knew I was going to be OK. “Blue Moon Drive” is me and all the ghosts that were hanging in the air down there. I open the doors and let them into the back seat and we head for the Promised Land again to give it another crack. Bobby Fuller, Elizabeth Short, Jim Morrison and me laughing’ all the way.
Your new album was just released in March, congrats! How long did it take to write and what was your process when writing this album?
Two weeks. Swimming to shore every day.
In the next ten years, what is your number one goal?