Folk band Lee Harvey Osmond explores the dark, psychedelic side of folk at Freshwater Art Gallery in Boyne City. MyNorth Media’s entertainment writer, Ross Boissoneau, fills us in on the Saturday, October 15 event.


Lee Harvey Osmond, a bluesy folk band from Canada

How they got their start

Lee Harvey Osmond (stylized as LeE HARVeY OsMOND), like Jethro Tull or Matt Bianco, is indeed a they and not a he. The group is the brainchild of Tom Wilson, a member of the Canadian collective Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Backing him on the debut Lee Harvey Osmond album A Quiet Evil in 2009 were Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies and Josh Finlayson of Skydiggers. The band’s personnel changes from album to album and from tour to tour. The constant is Wilson on lead vocals and guitar.

Most recently he was accompanied by his son, Thompson Wilson, who has also collaborated with former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell. He’s also enlisted the aid of a full band, with Aaron Goldstein on guitar and pedal steel, Cam Malcolm on bass guitar, Brent Titcomb on percussion and vocals and Ray Farrugia on drums, and various permutations. The group has been described as a dark-hearted, acid-tinged Canadian roots rock outfit.


Psychedelic folk with rock and blues accents

Influences and Inspirations

Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Howlin’ Wolf

Additional Background

Wilson has released two solo albums, one featuring esteemed producer Daniel Lanois’s brother Bob, the other with fellow Rodeo King Colin Linden. Under the Lee Harvey Osmond banner he’s released an additional three recordings: Beautiful Scars, The Folk Sinner (nominated for a 2013 Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy), and earlier this year, A Quiet Evil (also nominated for a Juno).

His songs have been performed by a growing list of artists and collaborators, including Mavis Staples and Billy Ray Cyrus, and numerous Wilson songs have been used in television, commercials and motion pictures. He’s also an acclaimed visual artist. He told the Hamilton Spectator he never wanted to do anything else: “I don’t exaggerate by saying when I was four I decided that I only ever wanted to play music or write or paint or whatever it was. I knew at a really young age that my interest was in communicating. I somehow also knew that being able to … well, self-expression would probably be the thing that would save my life.”


“As the band conjures hypnotic arrangements—tinged with country and the sound of Spaghetti Westerns—Wilson’s hushed vocals float effortlessly alongside, rising just enough above the haze to make themselves heard.” NPR

“Dark, haunting grooves blended with low, raspy, whispery vocals that recall Alabama 3 at their very best.” – PopMatters


Freshwater Art Gallery, Boyne City

Date & Time

Saturday, October 15, 8 p.m.

Ticket information

Tickets are at $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Space is limited. Call 231-582-2588.

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Photo(s) by © Lee Harvey Osmond