Kirk Lorange

Kirk Lorange

Canadian guitarist Kirk Lorange arrived in Australia in 1974 where he has lived ever since, becoming a citizen in the early '90s. He has contributed to scores of album tracks, dozens of TV and film soundtracks, countless commercials, and played in too many line-ups to name.

Through his own album No Apostrophe and songs like Richard Clapton's 'Deep Water', 'Capricorn Dancer' and Marc Hunter's 'Big City Talk', his distinctive sound has become engrained in the fabric of Australian Rock Music. He is also the author of Internet best seller PlaneTalk — The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book, creator of Guitar For Beginners dot com, author of the 'How to Play Slide Guitar in Standard Tuning' DVD and a regular columnist for some of the biggest online teaching sites.

Use the links below to find out more and to listen to some of his music.

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young Kirk LorangeKirk started playing guitar back in 1961. He was a 12 year old Canadian kid living in Belgium. His father worked for a multinational company, and the family had already spent time in Mexico — where Kirk was born — Venezuela and Cuba. He was already experimenting with home made drum kits, playing along to his dad's big band LPs, but it was The Shadows' instrumental Apache that triggered his life long obsession with the guitar.

In 1963, the Loranges moved back to Montréal Canada where Kirk finished High School and continued to play and practice. He bought his first good guitar, a nylon string Goya, and in '67 started a series of backpacking guitar-toting trips to Europe, escaping the extreme Canadian winters. His professional career began during this era: playing on a few recording sessions in Montréal and doing a solo instrumental guitar gig at the Sir Winston Churchill Pub.

During this period he met fellow musician Dwight Druick, also a Montréaler. They traveled together to to the Greek island of Mykonos, and spent a winter writing and arranging songs. These tunes would eventually land them a deal in London, where they recorded an album called 'Druick & Lorange', produced by Marty Lewis, and unfortunately released on an obscure label which was going bust. This was Kirk's first sour taste of the music business, and when the dust had cleared, he decided to move to Australia.

SupertrampHe arrived in Sydney on Cyclone Tracy Day, Christmas '74, via Montréal, Vancouver, New York and Nashville. Within days he had met Doug Ashdown and they formed Sleeping Dogs, a band which included Wayne Findlay on keyboards, Doug Bligh on drums, Greg Lyon on bass and Kim Ryrie on percussion. Playing covers and originals, they became an underground hit in Sydney. Their claim to fame was opening for Supertramp on their Australian tour, busing it from Adelaide (Kirk standing in photo ->) to Brisbane via Melbourne and Sydney. Kirk and Doug also opened as a duo for Little River Band's Aussie tour, Marcia Hines and Leo Kottke.

Kirk began a long association with Richard Clapton during his early years in Oz, contributing to two albums — Main Street Jive and Goodbye Tiger — and the soundtrack to surf movie Highway One Richard Claptonwith Capricorn Dancer. Goodbye Tiger was to become the quintessential sound of Australian Music of that era and was a huge hit for Richard; Capricorn Dancer must still be the most played tune on Australian radio. He toured the length and breadth of Australia with him from '76 to '78.

When not on the road, Kirk nurtured his career as a session player. Known mostly for his electric slide playing, he was also hired for his Dobro and acoustic fingerstyle guitar. Computerized music had yet to be invented, and he was one of a handful of players working 10 hour days, 5 days a week, recording album tracks and jingles.

MarcHunterOne of his sessions was for the late Marc Hunter who had struck out on his own after Dragon had folded. Kirk toured with The Marc Hunter Band for several months in the early '80s. Kevin Johnson, author of 'RocknRoll I Gave You All The Best Years Of My Life', is another artist who Kirk has recorded and toured with over many years, contributing to 'Man of the 20th Century', 'Journeys', 'Night Rider' and several national tours.

He toured with the short lived Glenn Shorrock Band after Glenn left LRB, the highlight of the tour being an impromptu Blue Suede Shoes on TV with Ringo Starr. Both Glenn and Ringo were being interviewed on The Michael Parkinson Show.

No ApostropheIn 1983, Kirk recorded his solo album No Apostrophe for WEA records. This was an album of his original songs, arranged and produced by Kirk, coproduced and engineered by Michael Stavrou, who had just arrived in Australia from London's AIR Studios via Montserrat Studios in the Caribbean. Together, with the help of Sydney's finest players, including fellow Montrealer Wendy Matthews who had just arrived DownUnder, they created an album which has filtered through the years as a classic. The album reached the teens on the Adelaide and Perth charts, but never achieved airplay in the major cities. Kirk has made it available again*.

By now a father of three, Kirk decided to stay closer to home and helped to form 'Chasin the Train', a band which attained legendary status in Sydney and surrounds. The demise of Moving Pictures had left singer/guitarist Kevin Bennett, drummer Marc Meyer and bassist Ian Lees high and dry, and along with percussionist James Cox, a lineup was formed which lasted over 15 years. Chasin the Train played 6 nights a week during their heyday, and opened for such acts as 'The Band', 'John Mayall', and joined forces with Angry Anderson, Marc Hunter and Sharon O'Neill for a touring show called 'The Good, the Bad and The Angry' in the late 80's.

An offshoot of The Train was a band called the 'Six Amigos' who had the pleasure of opening for 'The Highwaymen' (Johnny, Waylon, Willie and Kris) on their tour of Australia in '91. This lineup also included Kevin Bennett and James Cox, but the rhythm section comprised drummer Doug Bligh, bassist James Gillard and guitarist/banjo player Marc Collins.

PlaneTalkKirk began writing and illustrating his book PlaneTalk- The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book in the early '90s. Being a self-taught guitarist, he saw that there was a gap in the market for those players who wanted to learn music and the guitar without having to learn conventional notation. He managed to reveal the simple visualization trick he'd taught himself over the years by delivering the lesson in the form of a comic strip conversation. The book, designed by his brother Gerry, is now selling worldwide via one of his sites, along with the companion DVD which he produced and edited himself on his iMac in 2000.

Slide GuitarIn 1997 Kirk moved North to be closer to his children, who had moved to Byron Bay several years earlier. Settling in Tamborine Mountain, just inland from Surfers Paradise, he now markets his book PlaneTalk and music on the Internet, plays locally in various lineups, plays sessions, runs Guitar for Beginners dot Com, a site with over 120,000 members. In 2006 he produced the 'How to play Slide Guitar in Standard Tuning DVD' which he sells online. Check out some of his more recent music at his YouTube channel.

He continues to write and teach, stage seminars, cook, and generally enjoy life with his girlfriend of 23 years, Clancy, and new daughter Georgia Lily Ann Lorange, born Nov 12 2007.

* Order it here.

Albums featuring Kirk's playing

All these are Australian productions with the exception of the first, Spooky Tooth's Mike Harrison, which was recorded in Nashville.
This list is not necessarily complete.

Mike Harrison - lp - 1975
Kevin Johnson - lp - 1976
Richard Clapton - lp - 1976
Graeme Connors - lp - 1976
Marcia Hines - lp - 1977
Doug Ashdown -lp- 1977
Richard Clapton - lp - 1977
Kevin Johnson - lp - 197
Robyn Archer - lp - 1980
Kevin Johnson - lp - 1980
Carol LLoyd - lp - 1980
Mike McClelland - lp - 1980
I. Toften - s - 1981
Johnny Ashcroft -lp - 1981
Marc Hunter - lp - 1981
Simon Gallagher - lp - 1981
Dan Johson - lp - 1982
Swanee - lp - 1982

Reels - lp - 1982
Richard Clapton - lp - 1982
Doug Ashdown - lp - 1983
Jon Coleman - mlp- 1983
S. Williams - lp - 1984
Debbie Byrne - lp - 1985
Renee Geyer - lp - 1985
Kevin Johnson - s/track 1985
Marc Hunter - lp - 1985
Alan Caswell -lp - 1987
Anne Kirkpatrick - lp - 1987
S. Williams - lp - 1988
Graeme Connors - lp - 1988
John Hanlon - lp - 1988
Johno's Blues Band-lp-1989
Mike McClelland - lp - 1989
Tony John - lp - 1989
Johno's Blues Band - s -1989

Evelyn Bury - lp - 1989
Mike and Zeph - lp - 1989
Richard Clapton - lp - 199
Sharon O'Neill - lp - 1990
Shane Howard - lp - 1990
Keith Urban - cd - 1991
Helen Kay - s - 1991
Club Hoy - lp - 1991
The Kanes - lp - 1991
Chris Kemp - cd- 1993
Dragon - cd - 1993
Danny Timms -cd- ---
Llewellyn Rae - cd - 1995
Dave Reynolds - cd - 1995
Gary John - cd - 1996
Brielle - cd - 1997
Angela Hayden - cd - 1997
John Williamson - cd - 1999
Andy Collins - cd - 2002

Soundtracks

The Shiralee - Feature film
Young Einstein - Feature film
Police Rescue - TV drama
Paradise Beach - TV drama
Over the Hill - TV comedy
Women of the Pilbara - Documentary

TV and Radio Commercials

Too many to list. The most interesting include:

Coca Cola (skysurfer), Diet Coke, Jim Beam,
Telstra, Caltex, Meadow Lea,
Taubmans Paint, Bridgstone Tyres,
NSW RTA, Kelloggs.

Kirk_Lorange_No_Apostrophe

Kirk Lorange - No Apostrophe

This album recorded long ago is available again. Featuring Greg Lyon and Dave Ellis on bass, Mark Kennedy and Steve Hopes on drums, James Cox on percussion, Geoff Oakes and Tony "Spoons" Buchanan on sax, Mick Kenny, Wayne Findlay and Alan Mansfield on keyboards and last, but certainly not least, Wendy Matthews on vocals, it has become a bit of a classic over the years.

Order it here.

 

You can also listen to many tunes, including some from No Apostrophe, at my Soundclick pages ... Click Here to go there.

PlaneTalk Guitar InstructionKirk was wrote and illustrated 'PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Book' in 1994. It reveals his slant on how to navigate the fretboard and how to think of music and the guitar in general. Endorsed by Tommy Emmanuel, he has been selling it from his other site since 1997. In 2000, he produced the companion video (now DVD) and he also created the PlaneTalkers' Forum, a site where he can interact with his many customers. More here.

Slide Guitar DVDIn 2006, Kirk produced his 'How to play Slide Guitar in Standard and Dropped D tunings' DVD which he sells form his other other site www.bottleneckguitar.com. Drop into the site for more info and to watch a series of videos showing him playing slide guitar. More here.
GfB&BKirk registered the domain name 'guitarforbeginners.com in the late 90's. He posts free movie lessons there on a regular basis, most of them finger style, and the community has now grown to 116,000 members. More here.
YouTubeCheck out Kirk's YouTube site. He has had well over 7,000,000 views (as of July 2012) of his guitar-related videos. More here.

 

Some of my tunes, courtesy of SoundClick

 

kirklorange