Having roots rock artists coming from all over the world is not an uncommon thing these days. The problem quite a few of these artists usually have is the deep understanding of the musical sources they are using.
Yet, when they do reach that understanding, they can come up with some outstanding music. When they do so, it is often because they don’t stick strictly to the cannons of folk, country or rock, but mix those elements freely, adding touches of pop or their native background to the mix to come up with something truly interesting.
That is exactly what Ad Vanderveen, native of Amsterdam, Netherlands has been doing for the last 15 years of his career–something he truly confirms on ‘Candle to You,’ his latest album release.
Sure, Vanderveen takes cues from such greats as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, but obviously feels no genre restrictions when he’s making his music, drifting freely between country, folk and rock like on obviously Dylan-inspired “Last Venture.”
But there is another great characteristic Vanderveen shares with the above two greats and the likes of what some would consider as true roots artists like Townes Van Zandt – Vanderveen is a great storyteller. And, of course, incorporating great lyrics into good music is an art in itself, and Vanderveen shows that he has real capabilities to do so.
Add to all this the way in which Vanderveen composed most of the album. As he explains himself, “While some songs are typically acoustic guitar based, a lot of this album was written on the mandola – the mandolin’s older sister. The singer further explains, ”Exploring this instrument led to new horizons and different harmonic settings that seem to emphasize the spaciousness and fluidity in my music.”
What we get in Candle to You is an excellent roots rock album that defies both time and place in which it was recorded.
By Ljubinko Zivkovic, Rock At Night