Award-winning roots songwriter John Wort Hannam and the Blue Collars will close out the North Island Concert Society season Saturday at Port Hardy Civic Centre.

Award-winning roots songwriter John Wort Hannam and the Blue Collars will close out the North Island Concert Society season Saturday at Port Hardy Civic Centre.

NICS goes back to roots

Juno-nominated singer-songwriter John Wort Hannam and the Blue Collars to close out the 16th NICS season Saturday.

PORT HARDY—The North Island Concert Society will close out its 16th season Saturday by getting back to its roots.

Or, more accurately, getting to the roots of Juno-nominated singer-songwriter John Wort Hannam and the Blue Collars.

The 7:30 p.m. show at the Civic Centre kicks off with opening act Erin Junkala, a singer-songwriter who lives in Coal Harbour.

Hannam, who sings and plays guitar and harmonica, will then take the stage with Tyson Maiko on upright bass and multi-instrumentalist John Ellis slinging mandolin, dobro and guitar, as needed.

The Alberta-based Hannam is a storytelling songwriter from the John Prine/Steve Earle school of social consciousness, irony, humour and metaphor. His 2009 release Queen’s Hotel was nominated for a Juno for Best Traditional/Roots album and earned a Canadian Folk Music Award for Album of the Year.

He followed that effort with 2012’s Brambles and Thorns, his fifth CD in a 10-year career as a working musician.

On occasion, the North Island’s concert audiences are treated to special previews of not-yet-released music, and this weekend’s show appears primed to offer more of the same. Hannam last month announced the upcoming release of an EP of songs that have “a sound and texture that was sonically like nothing I had done yet.”

His brief tour of B.C. — which includes a stop in Sointula Friday at 8 p.m. at the Athletic Hall — promises to provide a preview.

Junkala, a transplanted Saskatchewan musician, performed as an opening act for last fall’s CD release concert by Richelle Andre in Port McNeill. Her appearance Saturday night marks the first time NICS has showcased a local opening act since Andre and Matt Benedict played in support of bluesman Tim Williams to close out the 2010-11 season.

Tickets for Saturday’s show are $25 and are available in advance at Port Hardy Museum and Cafe Guido in Port Hardy, at The Flower Shoppe in Port McNeill and in Port Alice by calling Gail Neely at 250-284-3927. More info is available at niconcert.ca.