Tanner James comes from a long line of peasant farmers, trail riders, elk hunters, alcoholics and agriculture salesmen; the perfect pedigree for a folk singer.

He is a Canadian storytellers, who is proud to carry on the oral storytelling tradition. His songs are about the people he meets and places he’s been.
They are gut-wrenchingly funny and heartbreakingly confessional. He can move an audience around and make them laugh and cry.

Punk rock taught him how to Do-It-Yourself, indie rock taught him how to think outside the box, while roots music is where he always knew he would end up. Most of all, Tanner is a songwriter. 

His list of songwriting accolades is long, including a 1st place win at the Calgary Folk Music Song Contest and a semifinalist in the UK Songwriting Competition.

Tanner completed a musician-in-residence program at the prestigious Banff Centre in late 2015, where he wrote a new collection of songs and performed a number of recital hall shows.

His upcoming release, Painted Horses, is a broad-stroke of life in Western Canada. It was recorded at Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton Alberta (Corb Lund and
the Hurtin’ Albertans, Carolyn Mark)

Tanner is a full-time musician who plays nearly 150 shows per year, all over North America. He spends a portion of his time down in Nashville and the other portion driving
around to rural parts of Canada.

Quotes from quotable people:

“Songwriting is obviously in Tanner James’ blood. He has the gift of being able to capture the attention of his audiences with his witty, sad, humorous and often profound stories. If you have a chance to see him, don’t miss it.”
Bob D’Eith
Author, music lawyer, artist

“Tanner is an amazing story teller, his stories both are entertaining and down to earth.  Besides being a great story teller, Tanner's voice is a true gift. His songs are fun and soulful.  To spend a evening listening to Tanner is like spending a evening in your favorite restaurant.”

Kim Younger

“Music In The Garden” series director

Valley Ridge Community


“Tanner is one of the most passionate musicians I know. As longtime friends, I have always known him to be constantly striving to better himself and his craft. I've watched him create music for so many years and perform countless shows. The energy he brings on and off the stage is not only extremely fun but also inspiring.”

Marisa Bruch

Bumstead Records


“Tanner brings an honesty and whimsical-ness to country songs. It’s the crackle in his voice, mixed with laughter and charm in his storytelling which make you feel like you’ve known him your whole life. Lovely and captivating to watch live and warm and reassuring to listen to on album.”

Malissa Dunphy


Previously Canadian Content Coordinator at X92.9 FM


“Tanner is a class act. He (and his band at the time) played our wedding; great stage energy and variety made for a really memorable night.”

Paul Karchut

CBC Radio

Song Contests:

1st Place - 35/35 - 2014 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

Finalist - Prose and Pros - 2014 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

Finalist - Prose and Pros - 2013 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

2nd Place - Places and Spaces - 2013 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

Finalist - Prose and Pros - 2010 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

3rd Place - Prose and Pros - 2009 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

2nd Place - Best Newcomer - 2009 Calgary Folk Fest Song Contest

Semi-Finalist - 2009 UK Song Contest

3 Day Songwriting Bootcamp with Dan Mangan
3 Day Songwriting Bootcamp with Hayes Carll
3 Day Vocal Harmony Bootcamp with Scarlett Jane
3 Day Guitar Bootcamp with Kim Churchill