Candle To You review Aiding & Abetting, US

Past present

Ad Vanderveen is Dutch. He lives in Amsterdam. And he sounds like a guy who has spent his life wandering around coffee shops in Madison. The accent probably comes from his Canadian parents (though I still think he sounds American, if possibly North Woods), and the music mainlines from 60s Neil Young. 
These almost-acoustic pieces are enhanced by an electric lead guitar that often provides a melodic counterpoint to Vanderveen’s vocals. That, too, is a Young trademark, though Vanderveen’s playing is much more supple than the ragged wails of his hero.

These songs spin stories that are told both musically and lyrically. All of the pieces dovetail into some truly lovely and arresting climaxes. Vanderveen builds his songs with care and very little wasted motion. These well-oiled pieces satisfy immensely.

I’m always intrigued when sounds come back after spending some time overseas. In this case, Vanderveen’s take on this sound presents very few mutations. The fit with late 60s folk rock is exceptional. And while Vanderveen doesn’t experiment much with his influences, he shows a sure-handed mastery of the material.
This is a work of remarkable beauty.
Jon Worley