John Wort Hannam
Black Hen Music
It was October 2007 when I had the pleasure to review John Wort Hannam's disk Two Bit Suit. I liked it a lot, giving it a 9-out-of-10.
Hannam is back with Queen's Hotel, a disk that was released to the public only yesterday (Sept. 15). Guess what, this talented Canadian artist has not lost a step with this disk.
Of course why would we expect anything less. Hannam is now a veteran of the recording studio, with Queen's Hotel his fourth disk. The maturity shows through on this disk. There simply aren't any missteps here.
The opening song, With The Grain, sets the pace here. It has compelling lyrics, has a perfect arrangement, and John Wort Hannam's voice is clear, inviting – just excellent.
The strength of the first song sets a very high bar for Queen's Hotel, but Hannam is up to the task.
Perhaps the key here is that the music comes off real. That 'feel' is helped along by the recording process. The CD “was recorded live off the floor at Vancouver’s The Factory. Musicians sat in one room facing each other in a circle and played the songs – no bed tracks, no click, and no overdubs except for a few harmonies,” explained Hannam's website.
This is a CD rich in wonderful music.
I have to say growing up in Saskatchewan where small towns are still a vital aspect of the culture, the song Requiem For A Small Town is most touching, and becomes a favourite here.
Come Back To Me is a truly beautiful piece, with a sort of mournful, haunting element, which seems ideally suited to Hannam's voice.
Church of the Long Grass is a hit. It is two parts country, one part folk, and in the end is just all great.
This CD is every bit the equal of Two Bit Suit, in fact maybe just a fraction ahead, the reason for the funky score for fun. This is simply one you should own.
Check it out at www.johnworthannam.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 16, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada