Mark Lorenz is all country

Story by Wyatt Tremblay


Photos by Greg Harder

Fall 2018

 “I was hooked. I was doing what I loved to do while learning to do it.”

“You don’t have to live in the country to sing country,” says Airdrie’s Mark Lorenz.

However, Lorenz, who has been a successful country music artist for 25 years, is all country.

Born and raised in Airdrie, he grew up on a ranch north of the city, was driving farm equipment at the age of 10, and occasionally rode his horse to school.

He has an impressive discography, a loyal fan base and has worked with several Nashville stars, but success has never prompted this father of four to move away.

“We thought for a while that we’d go to Nashville, but my roots run really deep here.”

So deep, in fact, that all of his music videos have been shot in and around Airdrie, and often include his family.

LISTEN: We’ve loaded a few of Mark’s songs so you can listen here

Lorenz’s musical career had an unorthodox beginning.

“The whole thing began with a dare,” he explains. “Me and my buddies were out looking for a birthday present for another buddy, and there used to be a small recording studio in Marlborough Mall (in Calgary).”

Lorenz, who was 17 at the time, said his friends dared him to record a song as a birthday gift.

“I didn’t think I was a singer, but I thought it’d be cool.”

The engineer was impressed, and suggested he enter a local singing contest.

“I had never been on stage, never held a mike, and never been in front of a crowd,” he laughs.

“I won.”

The prize, which was money and recording time, presented him with an unexpected opportunity; one of which he wasn’t sure until his grandfather offered some advice.

“It might not be something you’ve ever considered,” he said, “but now’s a good time to consider it. If you find a job you love to do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Within six months, Lorenz had put a band together, and was touring across Canada and the U.S.

“I was hooked. I was doing what I loved to do while learning to do it.”

In the years that followed, he taught himself to play guitar and to become an accomplished songwriter, often collaborating with other artists. He’s recorded in Vancouver and Nashville, released successful albums, EPs, and several hit singles, including When the Smoke Clears, an emotional tribute to fire-devastated Fort McMurray, a community he had performed in many times.

“I’ve always tried to write stuff that has a deep personal connection to myself.”

Songs like This Old Guitar and Me, a sentimental ballad to his favourite guitar, or Like a Radio, a catchy, toe-tapping tune about his wife, connect with fans, he says.

“I can write about stuff that might make lots of money, or I can write about stuff that I really care about, and hopefully it comes across to other people who really care about it.”

He stopped touring five years ago to focus on his family, but he’s never quit writing or recording, or performing locally with his band at venues such as the Calgary Stampede or for charities like Airdrie Food Bank.

What’s next?

Like one of his songs, Lorenz draws from real life, likening where he’s at in his career to the feeling he had when he graduated from high school.

“I’m standing at the podium going, ‘OK, I’ve done really good up until this point; let’s see where the next step goes.’”

The next step is a pre-CD release party of new and recent material Sept. 29 at Airdrie’s Fitzsimmons Brewery, followed up by an official album-release party in the same venue on Dec. 9.

“It’s a new chapter. That’s where I am.”


WIN! We are giving away 2 tickets to Mark’s New Album party. Follow us on social media to enter!