“…Ken Hamm is one of the brightest lights of Canadian roots music. Just listen to his cover of John Fahey’s “Last Steam Engine Train” instrumental and wonder how so much wonderous noise can come out of six skinny little strings.”
– John P. McLaughlin, ‘The Province’
One of Canada’s most original and influential acoustic blues guitarists, Ken Hamm, returns to MusicFest!
Ken Hamm is a well known acoustic solo musician based in Forget, SK. His playing is influenced by early blues recordings and a love of old-timey music, resulting in a varied repertoire of original and traditional songs ranging from metal-guitar driven hard-edge blues workouts to softer dobro and banjo pieces. His main influences include Ry Cooder, Mississippi John Hurt, John Fahey and John Hartford.
Ken learned to play during the 1950s when guitar slingers like Elvis, Buddy Holly, and the Ventures prevailed. In the ’60s, the music went through coffeehouse folk and electric rock and blues phases, and Ken was swept up by these influences, playing in blues-based bands in Thunder Bay like Tundra and the Bay St Blues Band, and eventually going acoustic with the release on vinyl of Ken Hamm and Friends in 1978. That LP led to a string of positive reviews and nominations in publications like Guitar Player magazine. A Juno award in 1991 was followed by the Great Canadian Blues Award in 2010. Hamm has recorded 8 CDs to date, the most recent a double-disc live collection released in 2006.
After some time in Calgary, and 25 years living in coastal BC, Ken moved to Forget, SK in 2007, and married his wife Heather there in 2009. For nine years they operated a small music store.
Currently, Ken is back touring western Canada.