Garr Lange ~ Singer/Songwriter & Playwright Special Guest On 3/30/2022
I’ve had a 40 year career as a singer/songwriter and playwright in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Nashville. It began in New York with a play I wrote with music, 18K’s that was produced by the New Moon group, off-off Broadway. That play resulted in a contract with the William Morris Agency for my plays, and the recording of that play, the album 18K’s, resulted in an artist contract with a music management company based out of Los Angeles. I moved to Boston in 1985 and my play The Water Table won the finalist award for the Clauder Competition for New England Plays. The award resulted in two stage readings at the Boston Shakespeare Company, and it premiered at the Renegade Theater in Hoboken NJ. At the same time, I formed the band Garr Lange & The Big Rig with some of Boston’s finest rock musicians. It was a ground-breaking group that earned several nominations from the Boston Music Awards for Best Act and Best Male Vocalist. My song ‘Men’s Hearts Tonight’ won the ASCAP/Boston Music Award for ‘Best Song’ in 1987. Garr Lange & The Big Rig’s 16 song tape, released in 1987, also garnered critical acclaim for its mix of country, rock, and blues, and the Rig became a headliner on the Boston rock stages in a time when the Boston Rock scene was considered legendary by today’s Boston Rock writers and critics.
After a break from the music industry, in 1993 I moved to Nashville, with little results, (my own fault). I moved back to Seattle in 2000, and in 2003, recorded and released ‘Crossing the Line’, which had extensive play in Europe. ‘Everything She Does’ made Billboard’s top two hundred independent country list for new European releases in 2004, off of Comstock Records promotional campaign in England, Belgium, and the Netherlands (primarily). In 2006, I released ‘Run Through Fire’, my second album produced by Grammy award winning producer Paul Speer, who is also a Grammy-nominated guitar player and artist himself, who did much of the electric guitar work on ‘Crossing the Line’. ‘Stunned by Love’ a song from that album, also featured Eric Tingstad from Oak Harbor, a Grammy award winning classical guitarist. Also from Oak Harbor, Marlin Martindale (guitar) and Cheryl Jewel (bk vocals) (who is one of the Northwest’s finest jazz singers) played significant roles on ‘Run Through Fire’. The other studio musicians on the album… Steve Hill (drums), Doug Barnett (bass), and Nick Moore (keyboards) were the A list of Seattle session artists. They played on both of my albums.
I moved back to Nashville in 2005 and became a writer on The Row. I was also a featured performer on writer’s nights and became a staple in the writer-in-the-round scene, big in Nashville. Since I was a singer and performer, which is not required of writer’s, I was a sought-after performer, given a solo slot to perform on many of those featured performer nights.
Released Bay Hymns by Xlibris Press in 2021, which has lot of Oak Harbor in it, though it’s set in Emerald, WA, a fictional town on Clay Island, a fictional island. Emerald is a resort town of 3227 people in the San Juan’s. The story revolves around two brothers who are caught up in a business ‘situation’ created by their father, who in his living will, gave the new pit and Buchanan Construction to the oldest brother Junior, and to Jess, a retired well-known singer/songwriter, he leaves the old pit and the pond--a place that Jess loves with all his heart. The only catch is, as the novel opens, the Navy wants to build an auxiliary complex of runways on the island, demanding that Buchanan Construction mixer trucks run full tilt for a solid year, a bonanza to Junior, of course. But to everybody on the island, work was scarce in 1988. It becomes a battle of wills, Jess against Junior (and seemingly the rest of the town) when it is discovered that underneath the pond is 100,000 yards of gravel, the last remaining rock deposit on the island. So it’s Jess vs the world, at least Emerald’s world, that entangles people from all walks of life in this small town, including some interesting women: BB Gunderson, Jess’s girlfriend, and lawyer Amanda Hunt, (the daughter of WA State senior senator Anderson Hunt) who becomes the girlfriend of both Junior and Jess, (without them knowing it of course). I patterned the town after early Oak Harbor and present day Friday Harbor, sort of a mix. The main characters are all recognizable to anybody who knows my family, especially my father. Buck Buchanan even has the gap in his front teeth!