John Wort Hannam is finally ready to release his latest album after more than a year in production.
“Some of these songs are years old,” he said.
“I can think of Man of God, for example, one of the songs on the record, which was the last song finished for the record but it was the first song started three years ago.”
The record, Love Lives On, comes out on Oct. 2, with the Fort Macleod, Alta.-based folk singer making an appearance at the Root: Community Emporium on Oct. 7.
The album delay was the result of a life-changing event: The birth of Wort Hannam’s first child, Charlie, three years ago. Wort Hannam says every part of his creative process was effected by the arrival of his son. His touring, recording and songwriting schedules all had to be amended.
“No longer could I just sit down and write when the inspiration came,” he said.
“I had to try and write what I was thinking, or a little hook line or a little bit of lyrics, into a book and then hope that when I went to look at it later that night when Charlie was asleep that I would try and remember what that initial spark was.”
At first, Wort Hannam struggled to put his song snippets together, but he soon realized that the slower approach to songwriting was helping him more closely understand his craft and discover better ways to articulate his thoughts.
“Because I have been writing in chunks - and songs have been completed over a period of weeks or even months compared to just sitting and hammering them out - that gives me a little bit of sober second thought,” he said.
“It’s been an adjustment for sure, but I really think it’s actually improved my songwriting.”
Wort Hannam named his latest record Love Lives On after realizing that love was a prominent theme among his collection of songs, from romantic love to love of one’s home. The importance of place is a recurring motif in Wort Hannam’s music, as he often writes songs which explore life in small-town Canada.
“Most of the time I’m writing about things that I know,” he said.
“I guess I’m writing about my daily life a lot ... in short, my writing reflects what I see and what I experience living in a small town.”
Even though the CD release tour hasn’t even started yet, Wort Hannam is already looking ahead to his next project.
“I get even more excited about thinking about the unknown of what is next,” he said.
“It’s nice to give birth to another record, partly because I always feel that it frees me up to start again. That chapter is closed and now I get to think about the next one.”