The Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society kicks off their sixth season with The John Wort Hannam Trio on Sept. 14 at the Vernon Prestige Lodge and Conference Centre. (Contributed)

Trio kicks off Okanagan Folk-Roots season

John Wort Hannam plays Sept. 14 at Prestige Inn

Paul Tessier

Special to The Morning Star

John Wort Hannam writes and sings about real stuff. Some of his songs are deeply personal and then there are the fun songs, like about being a winner at the local meat draw.

He’ll kick off season 6 for The Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Vernon Prestige Lodge and Conference Centre. The Trio also plays Penticton’s Dream Cafe Friday, Sept. 13 and Kelowna’s Lantern Folk Club Sunday, Sept. 15.

Wort Hannam isn’t afraid to take chances. For most folks, quitting a steady teaching job to write songs might seem like a risky proposition.

Not so for the singer-songwriter from southern Alberta.

“It really didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me back in 2001,” Wort Hannam said.

“It’s just what I wanted to do. I’ve never been afraid of trying something new. I just thought, ‘If it doesn’t work out and I fall flat on my face, I’ll just pick myself up and try something else.’”

Eighteen years later, he’s a highly regarded musician who puts out what he calls, “Lyrically-driven western Canadian roots music.”

As he looks back on his career, he’s quick to admit his music, and especially his songwriting has evolved. “At first, I was mimicking the songwriters I admired. Gradually, I found my own voice. I realized I needed to write about my own experiences.”

He chuckles as he sees the progression in his songwriting. “I did a show a few nights back and realized I was comfortable doing a raw, honest song about some of my past struggles with mental health followed by a light-hearted song about winning a steak at the meat draw at the local Legion. It’s me and it’s authentic.”

Major life events have also influenced his art of songwriting. In fact, his whole outlook on life shifted when he became a father at the age of 44. Charlie is now seven and Wort Hannam now has different priorities. “I decided to not tour as much and stay closer to home. It made me re-think everything.” He also wrote a heartfelt song for his son Charlie, called, Song For A Young Son.

Wort Hannam is performing with Jason Valeau on upright bass and Scott Duncan on fiddle. “We have a real fun time on stage together. I guess it shows because people always comment on our super chemistry on stage.”

For Wort Hannam, performing live still provides a sense of deep satisfaction. “Really connecting with an audience is what it’s all about,” he explains. “There’s nothing more gratifying than having someone come up after the show and say, ‘Thanks for writing that song. That’s exactly how I feel and wanted to express.’”

The Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society kicks off their sixth season with the John Wort Hannam Trio on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Vernon Prestige Lodge and Conference Centre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets $30, $25 for members. Food and alcohol will be available at the show. Tickets through ticketseller.ca (250-549-7469), Expressions of Time bookstore (2901 30th Ave.) or at the door if available (cash only).

Receive a 10 per cent discount on purchases at the Lodge Kitchen and Bar and at Don Cherry’s Sports Grill with proof of purchase on the day of show. Learn more at vernonfolkroots.com.


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man sentenced for stealing pricey ring from Salmon Arm pawn shop

Accused vows to change criminal history through beating addictions

Anxiety, depression among student priorities for Sicamous school wellness centre

Initiative provides comfortable space to care for students at Eagle River Secondary

Shuswap woman creates stress-reducing cuffs for Alzheimer’s patients

Personal connection to disease adds meaning to endeavour

WEB POLL: Would you like to see a new highway built between B.C. and Central Alberta?

Building another highway through the mountains would shave 95 km from Kamloops to Red Deer

Okanagan divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Askew Tennis Centre draws 14 teams for mixed doubles tourney

Event at new facility hosted competitors from throughout Okanagan

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Guidelines regulate Summerland cannabis stores

The municipality’s policy, 300.6 establishes the 50-metre buffer zone around schools and parks

Most Read