Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle
This is a strangely morbid but whimsical record. Then again, consider the not so wellspring from whence it came. Kevin Hearn has been a musical man about town for nearly 20 years and it shows on the line-up for his latest solo outing, H-Wing. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with leukemia, bringing to an abrupt halt his career with the Barenaked Ladies. During the cancerous invasion by both cells and surgeons, Hearn himself got a rare insight into a place where few get to glimpse and live to tell, and we are privileged to have the artist back to recount his tale. H Wing has an otherworldly feel to the "cut to the bone" lyrics, as with "The Good One." Reading these words will evoke goose bumps because they sound as if they were intended to be a posthumous diary of sorts. In particular, "Death Bed Love Letter" will certainly bring forth tears. The eerie music and background voices lend to the feeling of gratitude Hearn likely feels at being able to sing these words himself and having his friends, the Thin Buckle band, along for the ride. These friends include Martin Tielli, Derek Aardy Orford and Chris Gartner, among many more credited on the record. Is H Wing a labour of love? In a way it is. Love of life, of friends, of spirit, of the tenacity of one incredibly talented man to use the strength of personality to survive such an ordeal; if you are not moved by this record, you have no soul.
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