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Canadian Folks – Hannam and Miles

So the nominees for the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards were announced today and the good news is that three of my favorite artists were nominated for awards! The bad news is that there are a lot of nominees who names I don’t know so I got lots of exploring to do! But hye I guess that’s good news, too! Anyway the three nominees are John Wort Hannam in the Contemporary Folk Album category for Queen’s Hotel, James Keelaghan was nominated for Contemporary Singer of the Year for House of Cardsand Lynn Miles was nominated in the same category for her album Black Flower’s Vol. 1 & 2. So in honor of them I listened to two of the albums Queen’s Hotel and Black Flowers.

I discovered Hannam’s music this spring and listened to his first two albums, Dozers and Dynamite and pocket full of holes, and became a fan. I have since picked up Queen’s Hotel and love that album, too. From my old post here’s a little about Hannam:

Until he heard a Loudon Wainwright album in 1997 and fell in love with the music and stories,  Hannam  taught grade 9 language arts on the largest reserve in Canada – The Kainai Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. In 1998 he bought a guitar and learned to play and by 2002 he quit teaching to pursue his dream of a music career. Since then he has released four albums and won the following awards:

2009 Grand Prize Winner – Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition
2008 North American Folk Alliance Award Nominee
2007 Double Western Canadian Music Award Nominee
2007 New Folk Winner – Kerrville Texas New Folk Songwriting Competition
2007 Grand Prize Winner – Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition
2005 Double Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee
2005 Western Canadian Music Award Nominee
2004 Grand Prize Winner – Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition

I’m pulling for Queen’s Hotel to win! Hannam’s music creates that “sense of place” and in this case it’s Canada from the shores of Newfoundland to the prairies of central Canada. I love all the songs but particular favorites are “With the Grain” Everything I needed to know I learned from my woodworking father! “Church of the Long Grass”, “When I Drink Too Much” and “Pier 21” a song about leaving home to travel to a new country!

Lynn Miles album “Black Flowers Vol. 1 & 2 is also an exceptional album. Miles is a great songwriter with a beautiful voice and this a great showcase of her work!  Three of my favorites from Vol 2 (i re-listened to it tonight)  are “All I Ever Wanted”, “Rust” and “Flames of Love”

I would have listened to some James Keelaghan but I ran out of time and I don’t have House of Cards yet anyway!

Here’s Lynn Miles with “Black Flowers”

And John Wort Hannam “Requiem for a Small Town”