Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: in 2001, a [Sidenote: This is the second post in our coverage of the seventeenth annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. We’ll be alternating our reporting with essays and photo galleries from the twenty-second festival in 2019, so check in often for a mix of old and new Woodyfest goodness.] schoolteacher on a large Blackfoot reserve in southern Alberta quit his job to become a folk musician. Ba-doom-pah! John Wort Hannam, the aforementioned blinkered optimist, spent the next ten months draining his bank account while he sat at his kitchen table writing. The ten songs he produced, all while wearing his “lucky” hat, would become his first album, 2003’s Pocket Full of Holes.
Seventeen years and multiple awards later, he’s released seven records. Among the accolades are a JUNO, [Sidenote: The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presents the Juno awards (“the JUNOs”) annually to Canadian musicans to recognize their artistic and technical achievements.] a Canadian Folk Music Award (“Best Album of the Year”), a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Galaxie Rising Star Award, a Kerrville Texas New Folk win, and multiple Western Canadian Music Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominations.
Hannam made his Woodyfest debut in 2010. He returned in 2011 and 2014. The latter performance on the Crystal Theatre stage closed with some help from festival regular Radoslav “Rad” Lorković.
Hannam’s latest release is 2018’s Acres of Elbow Room.