You’d think Tom Wilson already had enough identities, personas and alter egos. But as the former Junkhouse frontman, sometime Rodeo King and current Lee Harvey Osmond leader outlined in his best-selling 2017 memoir Beautiful Scars, he recently had to make room for one more. In his 50s, Wilson learned that he was adopted — and that his biological parents were Mohawks from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. Unsurprisingly, the life-changing discovery has also had a profound effect on the music of his tellingly titled fourth LHO album Mohawk. Armed with a slate of intimately personal slow-burn ballads (and a cover of Cowboy Junkies’ likeminded A Common Disaster), Wilson relates his continuing quest to come to terms with his newfound identity and reality, examining and exploring his existence and heritage from a realigned perspective. His hushed, conversational tone — balanced midway between the growled folk-poet narratives of Leonard Cohen and the breezy dust-bowl blues-rock croon of J.J. Cale — sets the perfect tone for his ruminations, taking you into his confidence and reflecting his interior monologue. Meanwhile, producer (and Junkies guitarist) Michael Timmins stylishly frames and showcases Wilson’s words against a mellow, multi-textured backdrop that infuses his earthy folk and alt-country with sublime psychedelia and trippy ambience. Hey, there’s more than one way to rediscover your roots.
Lee Harvey Osmond | Mohawk
Tom Wilson rediscovers his roots on his personal, penetrating new album.