John Wort Hannam looks like Billy Bob Thorton, hails from rural Alberta, and does roots-country like no one’s business. Although he doesn’t approach the genre with as creativity as some of his alt-country contemporaries - boundary-pushers like the United Steel Workers of Montreal - he still manages to create an impressive and engaging kind of music. While it may not exactly be original, it sounds authentic, and his bio seems to back this up. He’s a 2005 CBC Galaxie Rising Star Winner as well as the winner of the 2004 Calgary Folk Fest Songwriting Competition and the NCRA 2005 Dig Your Roots Songwriting Competition. As this seems to suggest, the main appeal of Hannam is primarily due to his song writing ability. Lyrics like “there’s no glamour for a farmer’s wife, so I can understand / A lifetime of getting by was not what you had planned” - from opening track “10,000 Acres” - have an uncanny ability to connect with the listener, whether you’re struggling on the farm or deep downtown. It’s classic white working-class blues, a sort of “prairie Bruce Springsteen” but with more down-home twang. Perhaps a little to mainstream or honky-tonk for some, it certainly has its niche nonetheless.