John Wort Hannam is king of Queen’s Hotel


To paraphrase the opening track of John Wort Hannam’s new CD, ‘Queen’s Hotel,’ “... measure twice before you cut, you’ll always  bend a nail if you drive it  through a knot" and never let  Fort Macleod songwriter John Wort Hannam tell you he can’t play guitar.

Hannam’s pretty fingerpicked guitar playing is matched only by his catchy vocal melodies.Click to listen now!

His fourth full length CD includes lots of southern Alberta inspiration like “Church of the Long Grass’ and ‘Requiem Of A Small Town,’  some history on “Pier 21” and some great fatherly advice on ‘With The Grain.’

Plus there are a lot of slower ballads including “Worth a Damn,” which is a pretty duet with Jenny Whiteley.
 I like several tracks including  Hannam’s Celtic tinged ode to unions  on “Tonight We Strike.”

Another highlight,  ‘Lucky Strikes,’ has a really good chorus about people with bad attitudes. ‘Some people make the best of what they’ve got and know a little varnish keeps it all shining others make the worst of what they’ve not and even find tarnish on a silver lining.”

That’s just one example of how poetic  Hannam’s lyrics are while retaining down home sensibility about small towns and small town characters.

It’s an upbeat,  crisply recorded, entertaining listen featuring some excellent background musicians in Tyler Bird on accordion and  mandolinist John Reischman playing some tasteful leads.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Queen’s Hotel
Artist: John Wort Hannam
Genre: folk/roots
Record label: Black Hen