When I called Tom Wilson in Edmonton a couple of days ago to chat about his current band Lee Harvey Osmond, the mention of one particular songwriting legend got him perked right up. You can't really listen to LHO's debut album, A Quiet Evil, without thinking about J.J. Cale, the Oklahoma tunesmith behind such much-covered hits as "Cocaine", "After Midnight", and "Call Me the Breeze". Cale's influence is particularly strong on the track "Queen Bee", as I pointed out.
"That's exactly what it's supposed to be," Wilson cheerily replied. "Most of the time when artists get compared to who they wear on their sleeve they get defensive, and I on the other hand am just so happy to hear someone like you pick up the phone and call me and say 'J.J. Cale'.
"He's such a huge influence," added Wilson. "And you know what? It seems like Eric Clapton and Mark Knopler make millions upon millions of dollars imitating his style. I'm expecting to make hundreds and hundreds of dollars imitating his style."
Fans of Wilson—or Cale, for that matter—can check out Lee Harvey Osmond when it plays the Venue next Saturday, December 4. And to hear more about the group look for the preview in the next Georgia Straight.
You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.