Lee Harvey Osmond, who looks a little like Mandy Patankin playing Jim Morrison in a movie about sweat and drugs, is really Tom Wilson–who has been making music since the 1990s.  And his investment in craft shows on this, his latest album.

The title, “The Folk Sinner,” is perfectly apt.  At times, it feels like the music Bob Dylan would have made if he could sing and play guitar like Mark Knopfler: Bluesy, croony, deceptively simple, gritty and tough.

Produced by Michael Timmins and including a guest spot by Margot (yes, the Cowboy Junkies Timminses), as well as appearances from Hawksley Workman, Colin Linden, Oh Suzanna, Andy Maize, Paul Reddick, this is the first must-have record of 2013.

They’re pushing Devil’s Load as the single–and it’s a perfectly fine tune–but don’t judge this record by it. There are more soulful, painful cuts like “Break Your Body” and plaintive love songs like “Oh Linda,” and there are sad-but-uptempo songs like Big Chief…I could praise every cut on the record. They’re all great.

Don’t sleep on this.

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