Van Larkins is a full-time solo musician and a renowned guitar teacher who now travels world-wide sharing his passion for music.
Born on 12th May, 1984 in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, he discovered his passion and love for music quite early in his life. He found music in almost everything – creating beautiful sounds & rhythms on anything that he came across – right from a small toy keyboard to an egg slicer and eventually guitars. He bought his first-ever toy keyboard for $5 that he loved playing along with favorite Walt Disney characters like Aladdin & Lion King. After this, Van’s father, an artist and musician, introduced his son to the guitar, teaching him basic chords before Van started playing songs by ear after listening to records including Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. During high school, Van played in a famous school rock band as a leading Bass player where his repertoire included Pantera, Metallica, Slipknot, and Megadeth.
Van’s qualifications from Western Australia and Queensland include a Certificate III in Contemporary Music, for which he won an award for contribution to the student group, Certificate IV in Music Performance and Diploma’s in both Music Performance and Music Technology. Owen was featured on Channel 7’s six o’clock news for his effort in this area, he also continues to work closely with the music department coordinators, performing and holding workshops to encourage young musicians to begin a career in music.
Introducing the duo: Hunter Van Larkins
In the year 2002, Van moved back to Queensland and met Ross Hunter whilst completing his diplomas. They formed the duet, namely “Hunter Van Larkins.” The two developed their own unique blend of sounds that incorporated Celtic, Folk and Spanish genres. They were signed by Candyrat Records in the US and their first album “Myriad” produced by Andrew White, was released in December of 2010. Described as, “Nothing short of an acoustic explosion of sparkle and clarity that effuses sonic enchantment…this CD had my auditory senses piqued within the first 90 seconds of the title track which sets a sonic hook in a way that makes it impossible to turn away”, it was clear that an new and extraordinary acoustic talent was emerging on the Australian music scene. “To find a guitar duo that seems to push and pull each other in directions that sound effortless and spontaneous is a rare thing and, perhaps, that is what makes this recording so infused with energy and solar flare like acoustically.”
Over the period of almost a decade the duet “Hunter Van Larkins” has opened shows for “The Black Sorrows” and “Phil Emmanuel” as well as headlining several shows at the ‘Woodford Folk Festival’, Brisbane’s ‘Greenfest’, and corporate shows around Brisbane and surrounding areas.
In the year 2010, Van Larkins went forth with the decision to pursue his professional career as a solo musician and a guitar teacher. He, thus, traveled to New Zealand to work along with Andrew White – an amazing guitarist and a professional music producer. After being in New Zealand for one year, Van recorded and promoted his first-ever album as a solo musician named “Wandering Hands.” The solo album by Van included performances by other leading performers, including Andrew White, Cello players, Harmonica Player by Sting, and Brendan Power.
In 2017, inspired by his many adventures across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America as well as the people he has met, Van released his next album “Cinder Moon” showcasing his signature fingerstyle guitar that he has become known for.
The Next Leap
2018 saw Van take his next leap to move to Nashville. His aim was to follow the footsteps of the leading guitarist from Australia “Tommy Emmanuel.” In Nashville, Van would work as a “stagehand” and was responsible for building stages as well as assisting music productions with leading artists including Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Jimmy Buffet.
Currently preparing for his next international tour, Van is enjoying time at home in Queensland, Australia, where he is spending time writing a new album and teaching guitar to students around the world.
“Ear candy” Phil Emmanuel – Recording Artist
"Van Larkins' music immediately draws you in and won't let you go until the end of each song"
Rob Poland - Candyrat Records
“an exciting all-rounder”
Akustik Gitarre Magazine
“Van Larkins’ technique is a fluid motion of beauty in sound”
“one-of-a-kind playing style.”
Style Media (Style Magazines.com)
“Ground-breaking techniques and a depth of composition unheard of.”
“Van Larkins can make one instrument sound like an entire band.”
Sunshine Coast Daily
“Van Larkins is without a doubt one of Australia’s proudest exports and must-see performers.”
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Overdrive (Music) Magazine
“Australia's number 1 modern acoustic guitarist"
Drew Roller - Acoustic Uprising Film
“It's easy to think Van Larkins is using a backing track. He isn't” Beat Magazine