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

Penticton Art Gallery’s latest three exhibits open to the public

Scott Price, Corrine Thiessen, the Art of Theytus Books, and the En’owkin Centre’s NAPAT artists are here until March 15.

Pioneer families lived in Summerland’s Prairie Valley area

Darke and Dale families played roles in community’s early history

Princeton RCMP make quick arrest in armed robbery after ‘brief struggle’

Princeton RCMP have arrested a suspect in connection with an armed robbery… Continue reading

Events in Osoyoos are facing difficulties that have already lead to one cancellation this year

The town and event organizers will be working together to solve the issues.

Help sought in developing family practices in South Okanagan and Similkameen

An estimated 15,000 people in region do not have a family doctor

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

Rockslide obstructing traffic on rural Shuswap road

Large boulders rolled onto Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road in the South Shuswap.

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Snow angels: B.C. volunteers shovel for those who can’t

‘They’ve helped me make it through the rest of the winter’

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Most Read