CALUMET — The Gary Hannan and Friends concert at the Calumet Theater on Saturday March 5 was a huge success, despite an ice storm that made travel dangerous. Hannan was joined on stage by fellow award-winning Nashville songwriters Wynn Varble and Clint Daniels, currently three of Nashville’s most impactful songwriters. They shared the songs they wrote and the stories behind them to a receptive audience who braved the unusual weather to enjoy a show they won’t soon forget.
In 2019, Daniels won the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Awards for Number One Hit Song, “A little of.” In January 2020, he received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song, “A little of.” It was also nominated for Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music (ACM), “A little of.”
Hannan’s accomplishments include Country Album of the Year won by CMA and ACA, as well as a Grammy nomination and double platinum status.
Varble was named Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriter’s Association and his songs “I’m expecting a woman” “Have you forgotten” and “A little more country than that” were all nominated for Song of the Year by the ACMs and CMAs.
Hannan, who performed at the theater on November 5, 2021, said he was overwhelmed by the community, the people, the theater and the warm reception he received here.
It was while still in town that he told Calumet Theater Company Chairman of the Board, Dan Jamison, that we were hoping to return to perform again at the CopperDog Run, which was scheduled for first weekend of March.
Hannan returned to Nashville, where he invited two of his friends and colleagues to put on the March 5 show. Varble and Daniels were happy about the invitation.
“I was happy to come” says Varble, “Because I always wanted to come to UP, you know.” Varble is winner of Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association
Daniels quickly agreed, saying he had wanted to come to UP his whole life.
“I grew up on water” said Daniels. “I grew up on the Gulf Coast all my life and always heard that Lake Superior was like the Gulf in some ways.”
Daniels said that in addition to the area, he was impressed with how the history has been preserved.
“I mean, evolve, find and improve things”, he said, “but without forgetting the main vein – no pun intended – of your livelihood.”
Daniels said that since the mines were the foundation of the community, it reminded him of his own childhood in Florida, where his father worked in a chemical plant located next to a paper mill.
“My father worked there for 35 years” he said. “He wore a helmet and steel-toed boots every day, and that was the lifeline of this community.”
After the concert, Hannan again spoke of his amazement at how the community showed their appreciation to him, Varble and Daniels.
“We were greeted by a five-piece marching band at the airport,” he said, “attended a dog sledding qualifying round, Iditarod; visited a historic copper mine that is normally closed at this time of year; “dropped the puck” for a hockey championship game; made the front page of the ‘Daily Mining Gazette’ and more, during Saturday’s show at the Calumet Theatre. Wines and dinners, loaded with gifts and treated with homemade pastries and traditional desserts. There are not enough words to adequately describe how grateful we are to the organizers and volunteers of this small community… People showed up in droves, in the worst ice storm this year, to attend. , it was really amazing. See you soon, this summer!
Varble and Daniels agreed, saying they would definitely return to Calumet this summer.