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When John Wort Hannam started to write songs for his 8th album, ‘Long Haul’,he didn’t have any particular theme in mind. Locked down in the early days ofthe pandemic, random ideas began to coalesce into a unified whole and eleven songs later, a solid vision had clearly emerged. With narratives that trace small victories earned through faith, resilience and humour, the songs on ‘Long Haul’ reach beyond our current sense of isolation to share a sense of gratitude for what we have, and grief for what we have lost.
Balancing personal and universal concerns, the songs on ‘Long Haul’ offer intimate reflections of everyday life and experience. “I’ve become more comfortable writing about myself than I ever was in the past. Recently, I’ve realized that the things that I go through are meaningful and that I don’t need a crazy, drunken, bound for the jailhouse kind of life to write good songs.”
Recording during a global pandemic is not an easy proposition. Thankfully, John and his long time producer, Steve Dawson had formed a natural chemis-
try over the pair of records they had previously crafted together, and once they got down to working remotely, and the thousands of miles separating
Lethbridge, Alberta from Nashville seemed to disappear.
Memorable performances from Dawson (guitar/strings) Gary Craig (drums), Jeremy Holmes (bass), Chris Gestrin (keyboards) and John Prine alumnus Fats Kaplin (mandolin, fiddle, banjo and accordion) added a special chemistry to the mix, resulting in the best sounding record of Hannam’s career.
‘Long Haul’ is a reflection on my life up to this point, and for the first time I think that my songs perfectly encapsulate the truth of where I’m at as an artist and a person. Life is short. Time is passing and I don’t want to spend it wishing that things were any different than they are.” Engagingly melodic, topical and enduring, ‘Long Haul’ is a career defining work by an artist who has come into his own.