AD VANDERVEEN ‘Final Refuge‘ – Press release sheet –
It’s new, yet nothing new; more of the same, yet different; it’s trusted like a good friendship that is gaining in depth and quality over time, yet is often taken for granted.This much could be said about the work of songwriter and singer Ad Vanderveen and his new offering ‘Final Refuge‘.
With little fanfare and in a steady flow, this prolific writer produces groups of songs that seem to form their own unity and make up the story of an album. Just about every year a new CD is added to an ever growing catalog that started back in the early 90’s.
While his work is often compared to greats like Neil Young, Bob Dylan or Townes Van Zandt, Ad Vanderveen could well be considered one of the most obscure and reluctant superstars the world has never seen. Despite the size of – and high critical acclaim for – his artistic output both on records and in live performances he has maintained a low profile and, in his own words calls; ‘the inner eye a greater priority than the public eye’.
In Final Refuge‘s lyrical content, spiritual and mystical themes alternate with more mundane affairs, covering subject matter that most serious and grown up music lovers could relate to like reflections on transience, love and faith, as well as more personal inquisition, self-knowledge and worldly philosophy.
The recording sessions were done in an intimate and interactive setting, with an acoustic combo or with just acoustic guitar. The performances have the inspired, in the moment and heartfelt immediacy that we’ve come to expect from Ad. “This is chamber music, made on the spot where most songs took shape and where they sound best”, he explains.
Where the previous album with the somewhat intriguing title ‘I Was Hank Williams‘ (2018) was characterized by a rather unconventional multitrack field-recording approach, ‘Final Refuge‘ is a well balanced and rounded whole, with a consistent atmosphere and rich ambient sound throughout.
Acoustic instruments like guitar, piano, upright bass, banjo, hang drum and percussion weave through the minimal chord structures that support the poetry always central to Vanderveen’s work.
“This album came about very organically, following the flow of the writing in a down-home atmosphere. Playing with my trusted combo (Timon van Heerdt – upright bass; Rene Kaaij – piano, hang drum; and Pete Fisher – percussion, production) was like a true homecoming and gave some of the pieces an improvisational touch. To top things off, harmony singing by Kersten de Ligny and some guest players on strings and horns enhanced the picture like a frame around a painting”, AV comments on the new album. Final Refuge is scheduled for release by Continental Rose, a joint-venture between CRS Records and Blue Rose Records, on november 8 2019.
“Ad Vanderveen sings simple songs. Songs about love, longing, wandering and coming home.
He performs these songs with their familiar images in an unpretentious, matter of fact manner.
His voice is a good one and his guitar playing is direct and honest. But we’ve all heard hotter licks and more acrobatic vocals. So, what makes these songs so unique and these performances so powerful?
We tend to associate depth with complexity when, in fact, it is only the simple things that have depth. The truth needs telling just once while a lie needs to be repeated and embellished upon over and over again.
You only have to hear Ad sing a song once to tap into its meaning and the feeling will grow stronger and deeper with more listenings. His music has an honesty and humility that is remarkable.
In Latin, Ad means toward. There is a feeling of moving toward something in Ad Vanderveen’s music. Something deep. Something powerful”. (From liner notes by David Olney)