Reviews

Candle To You recensie Bluestown – NL

Singer-songwriter Ad Vanderveen heeft het ‘m weer geflikt! Na het uitstekende album ‘Release’(2021) volgt nu ‘Candle To You’, een album met 10 nieuwe songs, die, zoals we gewend zijn van Vanderveen, de herinnering oproepen aan het beste werk van zijn grote inspirators Neil Young en Bob Dylan.

Opvallend aan ‘Candle To You’ is dat het geluid enigszins nieuw is. Dat heeft te maken met het feit dat Vanderveen de songs schreef op de mandola, de oudere zus van de mandoline. Omdat hij voor het eerst gebruik maakte van dat voor hem nieuwe instrument, leidde dat tot nieuwe ideeën en harmonieën.

De samenstelling van de begeleidingsband met pedal steel (oud-Personnel maatje Jan Erik Hoeve) , viool/viola (Neil James Morrison), keyboards (Simon Moore), bas (Pete Fisher) en drums (Michael Kay) zorgt voor een fraaie country sound.

‘Candle To You’ is daarmee weer een internationaal klinkend country album geworden met juweeltjes van songs als het prachtige Following The Wind, het met zang van een ander ex-Personnel maatje Philip Kroonenberg sterke Over Time, All The Way Thing met Jan Erik Hoeve op de pedal steel in de hoofdrol en het fraai gezongen Exit Inside.

‘Candle To You’ sluit af met een typische Ad Vanderveen-song, het schitterende , dat qua opbouw en geluid herinneringen oproept aan Neil Young’s Cowgirl In The Sand van het misschien wel ultieme Young-album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

Kortom, met ‘Candle To You’ bewijst Ad Vanderveen eens te meer een singer-songwriter van internationale klasse te zijn.

Tom Wouters – Bluestown, NL

Candle To You review Music-News, UK

The tool which an artist chooses to wield to bring to life their creation greatly affects the art that they birth. The sound, feel, history, context, and otherworldly magic associated with a particular instrument will do much to shape the tunes that a songwriter writes. For the string-smiths out there a certain style or brand of guitar will react differently with the musician and furthermore, if they want to escape the typical patterns, they will reach for more eclectic instruments to get the inspiration out into the world.

Folk troubadour Ad Vanderveen sings songs of the human condition with a wistful lilt and a perceptive voice. Culled from the preeminent folk influences of the 20th century, his tracks are heartfelt, vulnerable, and have an unfettered sense of sincerity and real-world exposition. For this latest record, Vanderveen wrote most of the songs on the mandola, a bigger sibling of the mandolin. It still bears the same doubled-string twang of its smaller counterpart but tuned a fifth of an octave lower. The mandolin easily lends a folksy/Americana vibe to any track and the mandola does the same but can occupy a sonic space closer to a standard guitar. Beginning the songs with this instrument at their core instantly evokes that warm, timeless character that the genre strives to achieve. 

Candle To You has a theme throughout of shining a light in dark places to find your way through. Vanderveen offers words of comfort and pearls of wisdom for the listener to be nourished by. The opener ‘Do What You Love’ unfolds as a message to a child trying to find their way in the world. An urging to chase after what you’re passionate about. The track has a certain Cat Stevens thematic vibe. The song evokes a slow dance on the hardwood kitchen floor with a homely harmonica solo as an extra sweetener. The title track offers up an adoring tribute to a love with a lullaby-like warmth. The dreamy bend of a tasteful pedal steel meandering throughout.

The song ‘Last Venture’ is spiritually descended from Bob Dylan’s original version of ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’. The pairing of wistful harmonica and pulsing strummed acoustic scores his wandering verses. His cadence mimics the Minnesota minstrel with a lyrical turnaround that comes back to hit you like the swift wag of a tail. His mandola serves the role of banjo on ‘Window in the Rain’, a sparse track that embodies the feeling of those quiet days, shut in from the deluge. A soft, pliable violin accompanies Vanderveen on this piece of pure Americana. ‘Miss That World’ calmly sways, propelled by a brushed drum set and accented by the pedal steel emulating the howl of coyotes off in the distance. A country-tinged look back at the whirlwind of a past romance.

Vanderveen again proves his folk chops by writing a welcoming album that brings you to that home on the range. On this effort, he seems to have coalesced more of a signature sound relying less on the tropes of his forebears while still honouring the lineage. 

By Jon C. Ireson, Music-News, UK 

Candle To You review Tattoo, US

Ad Vanderveen releases excellent ‘Candle To you’ 

Amsterdam-based contemporary folk/Americana singer-songwriter Ad Vanderveen recently released a new album, Candle to You, reflecting the sense and sound of both Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

Talking about the album, Vanderveen says, “The title track can be considered a humble dedication to both men mentioned above, as well as some other heroes who came before. A tribute while still alive if you will. As a child of the sixties, growing up in the second line of that revolutionary generation, I see myself as a carrier of the same flame. I’m grateful to see those greats in the frontline still ahead out there today.”

He goes on, adding, “While some songs are typically acoustic guitar-based, a lot of this album was written on the mandola – the mandolin’s older sister. Exploring this instrument led to new horizons and different harmonic settings that seem to emphasize the spaciousness and fluidity in my music.”

Candle to You comes on the heels of his internationally acclaimed 2021 album, Release.
Appearing on the album are Vanderveen (vocals, guitars, mandola, harmonica), Kersten de Ligny (harmony vocals), Jan Erik Hoeve (pedal steel), Neil James Morrison (violin, viola), Pete Fisher (bass, percussion), Michael Kay (drums, percussion), Simon Moore (keyboards), and Philip Kroonenberg (guest vocals).

Encompassing 10-tracks, entry points on the album include “Following the Wind,” vaguely reminiscent of Neil Young because of Vanderveen’s high-pitched vocals. The flow of the song is deliciously low-slung, accented by drawling guitar textures.

“Over Time” features luscious rasping vocals timbres, riding folk-rock-lite harmonics. The drums on this track are stellar, fitting and enhancing the tune. The title track rolls out on a low-slung, plucking guitar backed by the low cry of the pedal steel.

The country savors of “All the Way Thing” imbue the song with melancholic flavors as Vanderveen’s slightly scratchy tones infuse the lyrics with wistful textures. The twangy radiance of de Ligny’s wonderful voice adds luminous flavors to the tune.

“Miss That World” features a lightly braying harmonica on the intro, giving the song scrumptious tangs. The steel guitar cries on long, creamy filaments of sound as Vanderveen narrates a world he misses. 

The last track, “Air Guitar,” gently roils on quasi-SoCal soft rock leitmotifs. On this track, Vanderveen once again channels sensations of Neil Young, giving the lyrics episodes of half-spoken inflections.

Candle to You is superbly wrought, mirroring the exquisite aromas of Bob Dylan and Neil Young – a monumental work of art.

By Randall Radic – Tattoo ,US

Candle To You recensie Orange Flag Music, NL

De Amsterdammer Ad Vanderveen is een muziek artiest van de oude stempel. Opgegroeid met legendarische artiesten zoals Hank Williams, Woodie Guthrie en Bob Dylan. Als ik dit soort namen hoor dan is mijn interesse direct gewekt. Eigenlijk had ik Ad Vanderveen al veel eerder moeten bespreken, want hij heeft in het verleden best aardig wat Americana albums uitgebracht. Om een of andere reden is het altijd langs mij heen gegaan, tot nu, Candle To You.

En wat ben je blij dat ik Candle To You kan recenseren. Wat ik hoor is een echte Americana artiest die met allerlei soorten instrumentatie veel indruk weet te wekken. Opmerkelijk en ongelofelijk dat wij dit soort kaliber artiesten in ons land hebben, maar het is echt waar. Ad Vanderveen maakt zulk goede Americana muziek dat het met gemak kan boksen tegen de Americana van buiten Nederland.

Candle To You is wat dat betreft een hele aangename eerste kennismaking. Je hoort dus een explosie aan diverse instrumentatie gebruik. Een explosie niet in de zin van een bombast of groots geluid, maar vooral verschillende laagjes en diverse instrumenten. Veel instrumenten komen voorbij zoals akoestische gitaren, pedal steels, percussie, mondharmonica en zelfs de mandola – een vroege versie van de mandoline.

Dit alles maakt van Candle To You een hele rijke plaat die vooral veel schijnt door subtiliteit. Nergens wordt er echt uit de bocht gevlogen en Ad Vanderveen behoudt het vooral heel eenvoudig. Dat maakt de plaat heerlijk om naar te luisteren en door die laagjes verveelt het geen moment en houdt het de muziek tien nummers lang erg boeiend.

Candle To You is dus mijn eerste plaat die ik van Ad Vanderveen en het stelt absoluut niet teleur. Een snelle blik op het oeuvre van hem doet blijken dat Ad een bezige man is. De laatste jaren brengt hij altijd wel wat nieuws uit. Overdaad schaadt soms, maar aan Candle To You hoor ik alles behalve inspiratieloze muziek. Het doet uitnodigen om snel meer van zijn werk te verkennen.

Blij verrast dat wij als Nederlanders in Ad Vanderveen een Americana artiest hebben waarbij we van kwaliteit uit kunnen gaan. Dat is nog niet zo snel een vast gegeven en naar mijn mening zijn goede Americana artiesten uit Nederland op één hand te tellen. Om deze recensie af te sluiten wil ik een gedeelte van de tekst van het openingsnummer geven. Ad Vanderveen met Candle To You, wat een prachtig wonderschone plaat.

“Love what you find or you find what you love

Do what you love and you’ll be taken care of”

Candle To You review Breaking and Entering, US

Ad Vanderveen burns brightly on Candle To You

The things Ad Vanderveen does with the guitar—predominantly acoustic, but not always—on his new album Candle To You simply aren’t to be duplicated, or even attempted, without extreme caution. Granted, on this outing he’s certainly brought a cast of characters including the likes of Pete Fisher on bass and percussion, Simon Moore on keyboards, Neil James Morrison on violin and viola (more on that later), and Jan Erik Hoeve on the pedal steel.

But the guitars on this piece are out of this world and, as the aforementioned roster indicates, perhaps not always attributed to Vanderveen, who’s on lead vocals on each of these 10 tracks.

But back to those guitars. Sometimes, someone—and it very well could be Mr. Vanderveen—has the nerve to make them cry, as in mournfully sob, on cuts like “Miss That World”. The pitch bends so much it could easily be a keyboard, but the sound is so pure and string-like in its orientation one would think it were some sort of guitar. Whoever, however, that sound is produced please, do more of it.

Other times there’s nothing equivocal about the guitars coming from Vanderveen which, on what’s arguably the most convincing tune, “Over Time”, bears not a little resemblance to Makaveli’s “Me and My Girlfriend”. Anyone with any questions about the latter or doubts as to its likeness to “Over Time” should (quickly) enrich their lives by listening to this ditty but, bear in mind, it’s not for those who are faint of heart.

Nonetheless, Vanderveen’s got the same energetic acoustic guitar strumming, the sinister feel to the strings (which were absolutely masterminded by Morris), and encapsulates one of the more upbeat tempos on this album just like the classic tune from 2Pac. The song—Vanderveen’s, that is—is almost out of place on this collection because of the dangerous feel to it and the cogency—if not outright exigency—of this music.

Still, for most of this LP Vanderveen simply contents himself with majestic acoustic guitar sounds, so perspicuous in their tracking and manifestation they’re a delight to hear without any vocals whatsoever—although vocals certainly enrich them. “Do What You Love”, “Following the Wind”, almost the duration of the other songs on this project fit into this vein, proving just what a wondrous virtuoso of this instrument can do.

By Duece, Breaking and Entering, US

Recensie Candle To You M-Podia, NL

Ad Vanderveen – Candle To You

Dat we in Nederland ook een aantal artiesten hebben die binnen het Folk/Rock genre hun sporen hebben verdiend is alom bekend. Zo was daar vorig jaar nog The Sun Will Rise Again van de broers van der Westen en werd onlangs Candle To You uitgebracht van Ad van der Veen. Dit nieuwe album van de geboren Hilversummer met Canadese roots is de opvolger van alom geprezen album Release uit 2021 en ademt de muzikale erfenis van grootheden Bob Dylan en Neil Young.

Neil Young en Bob Dylan

Van der Veen zegt hier zelf over: “De titelsong kan beschouwd worden als een bescheiden eerbetoon aan beide bovengenoemde mannen, evenals aan andere helden die voorgingen. A tribute while still alive, zeg maar. Als kind van de 60-er jaren, opgroeiend in de tweede lijn van die revolutionaire generatie zie ik mezelf als een drager van dezelfde vlam. En ik ben dankbaar om vandaag de dag nog steeds diezelfde helden aan de frontlinie te zien.” Bijgestaan door een aantal muzikale vrienden is de singer/songwriter met een meer dan indrukkende discografie misschien iets van zijn pad afgeweken maar de tien liedjes op Candle To You zorgen voor een meer dan aangename stroom warme klanken uit je speakers. Vanderveen opent met ‘Do What You Love’; je kunt de tekst van dit wat melancholieke nummer zodanig interpreteren dat het reflecteert op de huidige situatie in de wereld ( “Welcome To Wonderland / Happening Beyond The Wildest Of Dreams / There Was No Masterplan”).

Mooi evenwichtig album

Vervolgens is daar het wat rijker georkestreerde ‘Following In The Wind’ met hier en daar een scherp gitaarrandje dat mooi contrasteert met de strijkers van Neil James Morrison. De mooie en warme  harmony-vocals van echtgenote Kersten de Ligny zorgen voor het evenwicht. En vervolgens neemt Vanderveen ons aan de hand mee en laveert ons soepel door dit album; de titelsong is intiem en ingetogen, ‘Last Venture’ met Vanderveen op mondharmonica klinkt Dylanesque en ‘Window In The Rain’ is waarschijnlijk het meest meeslepende nummer. Ondanks de ingetogen sfeer weet Vanderveen een gelaagdheid aan te brengen die ervoor zorgt dat Candle To You boeiend blijft en de geest van Dylan en Young als het ware voelbaar zijn. Daarbij is een compliment aan de meewerkende muzikanten op zijn plaats zoals oud bandleden Phillip Kroonenberg en Erik Jan Hoeve. Met ‘All The Way Thing’ noemen we waarschijnlijk het mooiste nummer en Vanderveen sluit het album af met ‘Air Guitar’ waarbij hij nog maar eens bewijst naast een prima singer/songwriter ook een begenadigd gitarist te zijn. Een boekje met alle teksten zorgt voor de finishing touch. Veel luisterplezier.

Corné van Groenendaal – M-podia 

Release recensie Nederlands Dagblad

Ad Vanderveen, geboren in Nederland, maar met de roots in Canada, heeft een nieuw album gemaakt en dat is wederom verbazingwekkend. Hoe die man het toch iedere keer weer voor elkaar krijgt om subtiele, troostrijke, maar nooit kwezelige liedjes te schrijven en uit te voeren, met gitaar en hulp van bekenden op toetsen, bas en soms viool.

Ook nu weer. De plaat is bijzonder omdat die een beetje is opgehangen aan zijn jeugd, met leuke zwart wit fotootjes, ook de recente afbeeldingen zijn zo afgedrukt, en de songs reflecteren op vroeger in het perspectief van nu. Het slotnummer ‘Thank You’ is een mooie ode aan zijn moeder, ‘liefdevol, maar van weinig woorden en wat stug’. De zoon troost haar op haar sterfbed, zegt dat ze echt goed heeft gedaan en niet beschaamd of bang hoeft te wezen. Maar hij vergeet twee kernwoorden die veel mensen vergeten bij juist de anderen bij wie ze al vanzelfsprekend waren: ‘Dank je’.

Hij verwoordt het afscheid nog veel mooier in ‘One Last Song’: bij leven was het, met een knipoog naar een uitspraak van Friedrich Nietzsche: ‘wat je niet doodt, maakt je sterker’. Nu zijn bril en gebit zinloos geworden, in een wereld waar je niet eens meer hoeft te ademen. Moeders geest en liefde leven door in een zwervende zoon met gitaar die het houden van ook als opdracht ziet. Integer, mooi verwoord en geweldig sfeervol muzikaal gearrangeerd.

+ subliem, troostrijk+ bijna koppig bescheiden

door Herman Veenhof

Concert Registration CD

Ad Vanderveen Quartet – Concert Registration 

A limited edition live CD is available of the July 4th AV Quartet concert at Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht.

It’s an authorized bootleg simply titled Concert Registration – recorded the classical way with mics capturing the hall acoustics. The digipack contains the full repertoire of 16 songs played and clocks in at 73 minutes. 

No downloads, no streaming, just a limited pressing for those missing the live music experience.

Available now, orders via email: info@advanderveen.com 

Tracklist:

1 Release

2 One Last Song

3 Wildfire

4 Fickle Mind

5 I Was Hank Williams

6 Angel Of Death

7 Denver Nevada

8 Lonely Family

9 Man Of Few Words

10 Nothing But A Dream

11 Ol’56

12 All The Waiting

13 Mystery

14 If I Needed You

15 Following The wind

16 Melancholy Blues

Liner notes:

After a year and a half of mostly playing at home, writing and recording 2 albums, and doing only occasional shows during the pandemic isolation, our world seemed ready to slowly open up again in the summer of 2021.

On July 4 we set out to do 2 shows of 2 sets each for different audiences at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht – in Hertz, a concert hall acoustically designed for classical, mostly chamber music. 

The Quartet – consisting of Kersten de Ligny on vocals, autoharp, percussion / Timon van Heerdt on bass / Jan Erik Hoeve on pedal steel and banjo, and myself on vocal, guitar, mandola, harmonica, footstomp– played in an intimate setting for only 50 people at a time.

This recording was made the classical way, only using the microphones capturing the hall acoustics. No close individual close miking, except from the delicately amplified stage sound filling the house. The result is an ambient registration and a natural, airy atmosphere just like the audience and the band heard it that night. 

Playing a lot of new material, featuring songs from the current album ‘Release’, it felt like a release indeed to share music in the moment and interact with an audience again.

We decided to line up the complete repertoire that was played as a full concert registration and hope  it will be a welcome item in these times of live music scarcity.

AV, July 2021.

Interview For Folk’s Sake

Though born in Holland, Ad Vanderveen has Canadian parentage. It shows through in his musical influences—one can trace touches of Neil Young or Jackson Browne in the strum of Vanderveen’s guitar, or in his earnest croon. He’s got a rich career to show for his chops, too, having been working at it as a solo artist since the early 90s. He’s shared the stage with a swath of noteworthy performers, to boot, from Eliza Gilkyson, to the late, great David Olney, and Van Morrison.

Vanderveen’s latest, Release, sees the Dutch singer-songwriter navigating pristine, organic production, finding beauty in sparse acoustic settings. As his musical stylings have changed, so has he—with his goals, his outlook, and who he is as a person. For Folk’s Sake is privileged to have him join us as the latest in our ongoing ‘FFS 5’ series.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

I’m from the Amsterdam area in The Netherlands and was drawn into music in the 60s. As for so many, the sounds and impact of rock’n’roll were life-changing to me. British bands at first, later crossing over to American music, discovering singer-songwriter stuff, and then digging back into the roots where I feel my music belongs. I’ve often wondered about geography and musical roots, the music that comes out of me has more of a connection to the Canadian side of my family. Also a lot of my favorites are from there.

I’ve been playing in many bands before finding my own voice as a singer-songwriter in the early 90s. Songs are what’s always driven me. Writing and playing the guitar are a necessity and seem to go on throughout my life. It made me have to become a singer too, although reluctant at first. I wouldn’t play a center stage role if the songs weren’t commanding it.

As an artist, how do you define success?

That has been a changing process…success in any case is a very fleeting and relative thing that you can’t really measure. Unless you want to judge by just numbers – but even then, I’ve witnessed people feel like losers because they sold ‘only’ 7 million cd copies.

I have an old friend I hadn’t seen for 40 years who was in the record business, stoking the star making machinery, in Joni Mitchell’s words. He asked me: how has it been, a life in music? I answered: well, not a success story exactly but…what do you mean, he interrupted, you did it, you still do it, that’s what I call success! That really stuck with me.

A lot of what people call success is actually a heavy burden. I’ve had a peek into Van Morrison’s life once when he had invited me to open a show for him. I can’t say I envied him, it felt like his own machinery just weighed him down, having so much to live up to and to control. Compared to that I travel light, no one to answer to, free to do just what I want. Of course that can be a lonely path too, there’s always a tradeoff.

What do you find your greatest struggle to be when it comes to the music business?

Business? I don’t see it as a business, I just concentrate on the music side of things. I know there’s people hovering around it that can make it go places but it’s such a fickle world that I can’t keep my attention in it. The hardest thing is when you have expectations of people actually living up to their words and promises, that can be very disappointing and this scene is a good therapy to let go of that. And I mean that as a good thing actually, from a human point of view. It’s a good lesson to learn to create, work and give, without expectations or calculation of getting something in return. That’s where you find the true motive and purity.

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist and as a band? What do you hope to achieve?

That ties in with the success question a bit – I hope to be able to continue doing what I do and sharing it with people, regardless of their numbers. As long as I can make a modest living , I’m happy.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

Meditation, walking, reading, sauna, keeping myself and my instruments in good condition.

By: Jonathan Frahm

Release review in The Big Takeover-US

Soulful, old-fashioned country folk singer Ad Vanderveen has returned with his newest album Release, which marks a big step up in production and his abilities as a songwriter, definitively crystallizing a style and aesthetic that stands out in a modern era. Vanderveen’s vocals are reminiscent of Neil Young, and Release could have easily found a comfortable home in the 70s among other rootsy folk records by Young, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison. The production is more restrained, befitting the style, but like the sound of Harvest or Blood on the Tracks that doesn’t preclude a Phil Spector sensibility of lush strings and layered instrumentation as long as the result is organic.

The album, along with just about every song on it, begins unassumingly at first. Each track opens simply with guitar before the drums, slide guitar, strings, backing vocals, and keyboards all build around it like a room slowly filling up. The effect, especially on some of the most emotionally killer songs like “One Last Song” and “Nothing But A Dream” causes the listener to be caught off guard by the true subtle power and raw strength of the songs here. The human frailties present, including melancholy, regret, nostalgia, disappointment, and quiet contentment, aren’t overwhelming—in fact, nothing that Vanderveen does begs to be noticed. Rather, they stir just under the surface like true lived experience, and Release is one the truest, most mature accounts in contemporary folk of what it means to struggle, to persevere, or to just get by.

By Cody Conrad-The Big Takeover, US