Acres of Elbow Room (Independent)
It’s been a bit more than 17 years since I first heard the dulcet tones of one John Wort Hannam from down southern Alberta way. Since then, it has been a total pleasure watching and listening as his career unfolded…as it should. It was all there; the songs, the voice, the entertaining stage presence. His songwriting got stronger and over the years moved over to the more personal and universal.
Now just past 50, he’s been through life’s grist mill and has depression, real-life love, and experience with kids to feed his art. Seven CDs later, his new release is titled Acres of Elbow Room and contains acres of feelings from his responses to what life has thrown at him. It’s what a gifted artist does.
John’s familiarity with the aching of depression is chronicled realistically and ever so beautifully in Key of D Minor and he pours out his basic beliefs and tenets of life in the wonderfully optimistic and catchy I Believe.
“That’s me in a nutshell / nothing much but what the hell / all I need is my old D18 / and the songs that it brings.”
John went to Alberta’s incubator of creativity, the Banff Centre, with a terrific assortment of bandmates where this lovely piece of work was recorded. Lovely, tasteful work from Jason Valleau on upright bass, Jon May on drums, Stephen Fletcher on Hammond, and Jesse Zubot on fiddle.
Acres of Elbow Room is a fine next step in a terrific artistic journey we are lucky to be witnessing.