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

South Okanagan rescue hopes to find injured hawk’s owner

The South Okanagan Rehab Centre for Owls found the rare Harris hawk on Thursday

Big White warns skiers to avoid tree wells after two fatalities at other resorts

Tree wells form when low branches at the base of coniferous trees stop snow from settling at the trunk

Proposed sentence for West Kelowna teacher who exploited student more fitting of manslaughter: Lawyer

The Crown is suggesting a sentence of 30 months for sexual exploitation, 71 months total

Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Lake Country film committee offers a new cinematic experience at Creekside

The next movie to play is Road to Lemon Grove at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15

Kelowna panel discusses ways to improve support for sexual assualt survivors

The event was hosted by UBCO and Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Interior Health issues drug alert in Kamloops

Testing of two samples of drugs sold as crystal meth was positive for fentanyl

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

On the Lawn charity bowling tournament returns to Kelowna

40 teams are set to participate in tournament between July 23 and August 13

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Most Read