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Treasure Keepers review Blues blues UK

Ad Vanderveen – Treasure Keepers (Continental Record Services)

Treasure Keepers is Ad Vanderveen’s 14th album but there’s something different. This time he’s pared everything back and in keeping with the times we are in, gives a performance of one in solitude and desperate to regain contact.
He opens with David And Goliath, a tribute to his mentor, David Olney, who passed away recently. It’s just Ad and his guitar on this Folk song and you can feel the respect for his friend coming through.
The title track has more sedate sounds although a little bit of harmonica does change the perspective in parts. The overall effect is one of having him play in your front lounge.
One thing you can expect from Vanderveen is a story and End Of Me And You is a fine example of his art. He remains on the Folksy side of things as he channels the singer/songwriters that have gone before such as Dylan and Guthrie.
If you like to sit and listen to a guy with an acoustic guitar singing stories that you can relate to then Ad is your man. As often with the man, the lyric is more important than the melody and on Sixty Thousand Thoughts he brings some of his finest. There’s only so much that you can do with an acoustic guitar so attention turns to his voice and his expressive delivery fits well on this Americana tinged track.
Death Is For Others is back to guitar and harmonica, the staples of the singer/songwriter. I think we all had ambitions in those areas when we were young. No? Just me then? I’m not taking anything away from this song which is definitely in the mould of Bob Dylan and could easily have made it onto one of his albums, it’s that good.

The achingly beautiful Looking Through Your Eyes has Neil Young influences all over it whereas stark voiced Puppet Show appears to be an allegory (you make up your own mind about who) with a vibraphone or something similar backing him up.
He’s back on guitar for Times Like These, another musically Americana tinged song with a plaintive Neil Young style vocal. Ad sings “Come out of this a better world” – we can only hope.
Guy Clark and Slaid Cleaves come to mind on If I Can Do It, So Can You, another in the Americana style both in tone and subject. It’s the only full cover on the album and is included because of its life changing effect that it had on Ad in the late 70s.
On looking at the title, Lonely You Are, I wondered if Yoda had taken over the songwriting. I am only joking, of course. Electric guitar makes a first appearance as a counterpoint to Ad’s vocal. We get some harmonica too but it all feels very unadorned.
The closing track of this first real solo album from Ad is Motherland and there’s a bit of noise to this. It’s actually a version of the Dutch national anthem with words added by Ad. Grungy electric guitar gives a bleak feeling but I can imagine a speeded up version of this being quite upbeat. However, the slow pace fits in with the rest of the album as Ad, I believe, is making a point that 2020 has been nothing to cheer about.

Ad’s own words on the album, “I’ve often heard myself say ‘a song should be able to stand on its own two feet, but I’d never really made a record like that. It was time to practise what I preach: one shot on the spot with no overdubs – a bold and daring choice if I do say so myself – and if a song wouldn’t stand up to it, it simply wouldn’t come to life. It took a sense of ruthless vulnerability to present my new material in this way that turned out feeling very rewarding”. I think he’s proved his point.

Treasure Keepers review Alt Country Forum

De inspiratie voor dit pracht album kwam na het overlijden van Ads vriend en mentor David Olney, wiens grootsheid heel geslaagd wordt weerspiegeld in de werkelijk schitterende liedjes op dit album. “Treasure Keepers” werd opgenomen in een sobere setting van de troubadour en zijn gitaar. Hierdoor is de toon melancholisch en ingetogen geworden. Aan het eind op uitermate prettige wijze verstoord door de schurende uitsmijter Motherland. Een geactualiseerde versie van het Wilhelmus met een aan Neil Young refererend gierend gitaarwerk.

Een liedje moet op eigen benen kunnen staan. Daarover waren Ad en David het eens. Dat kunnen deze negen zelfgeschreven juweeltjes onomstotelijk, die op “Treasure Keepers” worden gecomplementeerd door If I Can Do It, So Can You van Lee Clayton en de bewerking van het Wilhelmus. Dat is meteen een belangrijk thema van deze voortreffelijke plaat. Het ambacht van de liedjesschrijver, dat vooral bestaat uit het plukken van de liedjes en het koesteren en beheren van de aldus verkregen schatkist.

De intieme miniatuurtjes blijven boeien dankzij  de heerlijk meeslepende melodieën  en de intense voordracht, waar de oprechtheid vanaf druipt. Ook tekstueel is het smullen van filosofisch getinte poëzie, waarin overpeinzingen over de dood de rode draad vormen. Ad Vanderveen is een scherp waarnemer. Hij maakt persoonlijke observaties en bouwt deze uit  tot universele waarheden.

Al deze kwaliteiten maken “Treasure Keepers” tot een onbetwistbaar hoogtepunt in het toch al imposant en gestaag uitdijend oeuvre van Ad Vanderveen. Het is verbluffend hoe hij bij deze enorme output dit ongekend hoog niveau weet te handhaven.

(Bert van Kessel)

Treasure Keepers review Rootstime

De Nederlandse folkzanger en songschrijver Ad Vanderveen nog aan u voorstellen kunnen we hier waarschijnlijk best overslaan, want hij is bij ‘Rootstime’ al zo vaak gepasseerd met zijn vorige albums die ofwel samen met zijn goede vriend David Olney en/of met zijn geliefde Kersten de Ligny ofwel met zijn garagerockgroep ‘The O’Neils’ werden opgenomen.

Met het nieuwe album “Treasure Keepers” gaat hij deze keer voor een geheel akoestische soloplaat waarop hij elf liedjes brengt met enkel begeleiding van een door hemzelf bespeelde akoestische gitaar en mondharmonica. Eén van de nummers is een coverversie van “If I Can Do It (So Can You)” van Lee Clayton, een track uit het in 1979 verschenen album “Naked Child” van deze Amerikaanse countryrocker ut Nashville, Tennessee.

Een andere song componeerde Ad Vanderveen samen met de op 18 januari 2020 op 71-jarige leeftijd aan een hartaanval overleden Amerikaanse singer-songwriter David Olney, een langjarige vriend van Ad en componist van vele topsongs voor andere artiesten zoals Linda Ronstadt, Steve Earle, Steve Young en Emmylou Harris. David Olney is dan ook de enige gastmuzikant op deze aan hem opgedragen plaat: hij zingt mee op het samen geschreven liedje “David And Goliath”, een ultiem eerbetoon van Ad Vanderveen aan deze grote muzikant dat helemaal vooraan op “Treasure Keepers” te beluisteren is.

Ook het slotnummer is een ‘specialekke’ want hierin zingt Ad Vanderveen de door hem geschreven tekst van het nummer “Motherland” op de tonen van het ‘Wilhelmus’, het officiële Nederlandse volkslied. Daarbij horen we ook de enige keer op dit album de klanken van een elektrische gitaar. Zoals gebruikelijk zijn ook de andere hier door hem gebrachte nummers van een hoge kwaliteit. De albumtiteltrack, “End Of Me And You”, “Death Is For Others” en de Neil Young-achtige liedjes “Looking Through Your Eyes” en “Times Like These” (zie 1e video) zijn daarvan onze favoriete songs. Maar het hele album “Treasure Keepers” is goed voor drie kwartier schitterend luisterplezier, zoals al het vorige werk van de inmiddels 64-jarige Ad Vanderveen trouwens.

Treasure Keepers review Jace Media UK

Review By Darren McIntyre

Ad Vanderveen is a singer / songwriter who’s music is steeped in new folk / roots genre. Although born in Hilversum, Holland he has Canadian parentage. He plied his trade in many bands before finding his own voice as a solo artist i the early 90’s. He has performed with many top performers including  Al Kooper, Al Perkins, Leland SKlar, Herman Brood, Flaco Jiminez, Iain Matthews, Eliza Gilkyson, Eric Anderson and David Olney to name but a few. Ad has given us 4 studio albums over the years and returns with new offering Treasure Keepers which I will be reviewing for you today.

David & Goliath – Soulful acoustic strumming is heading for us as we get bluesy mellow vocals that really set the tone moving forward. There is a nice mellow blues bass line that is handing out grooves that just work the track so well. The arrangement is a smooth affair that just allows the track to flow and deliver a real cool smooth composition that is just awesome as the lyrics are just fantastic as the song rolls into a cool melodic piece of music.

Treasure Keepers – Blues style acoustic strums come at us as the track opens up and lets the bass drum kick take over and let the track spread it’s wings and go.Vocals are mellow and smooth and give us a real treat as we get the full effect of this musician and how good he is.Harmonica oozes from the rhythm section and just elevates the track to a new level, there is a lot to like from this tune, solid tones, mellow lyrics and just a real feel good track.

End Of Me & You – Mellow strings are with us and they get this country / blues tune off the ground. There is a nice bass like chord with a bit of depth coming to us, the change up takes place as the chords go up a notch to breathe new life into this blues laden beast. There is a lot to like with this track as it gives you clarity and a purpose to go and live the best life you can, vocals are just fantastic as they are on point, mellow and give you a sense of feeling as the track goes on.

Sixty Thousand Thoughts – Steel guitar and acoustic tones come at us as this cool toned tune goes off down the road. There is a soft mellow vocal that sets the tone as the track moves on.Bass is delivering soft blues grooves that really just flow and fit into this cool arrangement.

Death Is For Others – Harmonica tones are a nice way to start off this cool and mellow based tune. Vocals are upon us and they have a soulful blues tone that really sits well with the whole arrangement. Bass lines are just floating around in the background as they give us mellow grooves that fit right into this awesome arrangement.

Looking Through Your Eyes – Solemn style acoustic strums that just flow and add a real smooth beat to this mellow acoustic driven track. Vocals come to us and they have a real smooth toned draw that really takes you off on a journey as we get the full force of the vocal talents as they unfold. Bass lines are smooth and deep and really deliver on the meaty groove that allows the track to blossom into a nice smokey laden vocal piece that has you hooked.

Puppet Show – Vocals with a smooth tone start us off with a nice mellow arrangement as the track is a real cool sombre vocal that has you thinking forward as to where you want to be next. This is a real slow bluesy vibe that is a real lyrical journey that is just fantastic.Well arranged and thought out it gives you a real sense of achievement to get to the end of this magical journey.

Times Like These – Deep acoustic tones with a nice stringed arrangement to follow it on, vocals come in and these have a country style draw with a smooth vibe that fits the arrangement so well.The musicians are in time and keeping the track moving as it gathers momentum with a steady vibe and with lyrics that mean so much. This is a well thought out process as we are given the full vocal tone and musical journey, lovely piece of music.

If I Can Do It, So Can You – Smooth blues style acoustic strums come at us as this cool mellow track goes off down the road, there is a real deep bass line that is handing out meaty grooves that just weave themselves into the fabric of this really cool tune. The vocals are a nice vibe that mixes well with a the arrangement and helps drive it forward, these tracks have so much feeling in them and this what makes the track so good.

Lonely You Are – We have a cool electric chord oozing with power and ready to move forward and deliver an awesome tune, Vocals are a smooth soulful vibe that really makes this track what it is, harmonica notes are with us and this puts a different slat on the track.The awesome electric chords really just elevate this mellow based track and that is just fantastic, blues bass lines are doing their thing and just feel the blues flowing towards us, nice harmonica ending.

Motherland – Crunching gritty riffs to kick us off, we then get a rasping vocal note that really flows into the fabric of this rather blues driven void. the introduction of the electric guitar is quite stunning as it gives the track extra width and allows it to breathe. This is a real nice way to finish a really mellow blues tinged rock album, the crunching chords are a nice addition as they control the mood and the finish.

Treasure Keepers

Treasure Keepers is the first real solo album by singer-songwriter Ad Vanderveen.

Performed alone in a studio/theater ambience with no audience, it features nine and a half new original songs and one and a half covers.

The content and poetry are of a personal / spiritual / topical nature and are kept center-stage, framed by a variety of sounds, ranging from airy acoustic to grungy electric.

Starting off with a dedication to colleague, friend and mentor David Olney, who recently passed away, Vanderveen’s songs address subjects like life and death, creativity, change and pandemic times, as well as love transcending all of these in some more meditative pieces. The disc ends with Motherland, a grungy electric rendition of the Dutch national anthem, with Vanderveen’s own lyrics taking it to a more universal and spiritual plane.

The other cover on Treasure Keepers is ‘If I Can Do It So Can You’ by Lee Clayton, a song Ad claims had a life-changing impact on him in the late 1970s.
While the performances are spontaneous and minimal, the soundscape is intricate and has been realized with help of the the finest of people and equipment available in the field of audio.

Ad Vanderveen about Treasure Keepers:
“I’ve often heard myself say ‘a song should be able to stand on its own two feet, but I’d never really made a record like that. It was time to practise what I preach: one shot on the spot with no overdubs – a bold and daring choice if I do say so myself – and if a song wouldn’t stand up to it, it simply wouldn’t come to life. It took a sense of ruthless vulnerability to present my new material in this way that turned out feeling very rewarding”.

Treasure Keepers will be released in the summer of 2020.

Lonesome Highway review Final Refuge

An invitation by Van Morrison to be his opening act is a compliment any singer songwriter would be proud of. Such was the positive impression Ad Vanderveen’s 2017 album WORLDS WITHIN made on Van the Man, that this gesture was made by him and gratefully accepted.

Dutch born but with Canadian parentage, Vanderveen has been performing solo, as a duo with Kersten de Ligny and with his electric band The O’Neils, throughout a career that spans over twenty-five years and boasts over thirty albums. Despite that output and its quality, he remains very much under the radar yet hugely regarded by his peers, which includes John Gorka, Dave Olney, Eliza Gilkyson and writer Joe Boyd, to name but a few.

His latest offering is an impressive collection of eleven songs, uncomplicated stories that visit simple every day occurrences, yet demand your undivided attention. Whereas many artists draw you in initially with melody, Vanderveen, in classic singer songwriter style, stops you in your tracks with his lyrics.

Dylan’s ‘Every Grain Of Sand’ is remodelled and covered, but it’s the original material that stands out. ‘Know Yourself’ certainly does just that, a reminder of the power of our inner selves and our capabilities to self-cleanse and survive. ‘Tinytown’ revisits times gone by and considers how particular people and places change over time, yet others appear timeless. ‘Coming Home’ has a mid-70’s California ring to it. ‘The Signet Ring’, the album’s most powerful track, speaks of a broken and detached family and a path to forgiveness and healing.

You get the impression that Vanderveen never had ambitions to be a household name. More important to him has been his carefully measured and refined writing, always without compromise. He has achieved this once again with FINAL REFUGE, another delightful chapter of stories, impressively put to music.

Review by Declan Culliton – Lonesome Highway

I was Hank Williams & Denver Nevada recensie Nederlands Dagblad

I Was Hank Williams / Denver Nevada recensie Nederlands Dagblad – door Herman Veenhof

Fascinerend geluidslandschap van Ad Vanderveen.

2018 is een bijzonder jaar voor Ad Vanderveen, Hij maakte maar liefst twee platen, die heel divers en ongelooflijk goed zijn. Alleen ’s mans bescheidenheid houdt hem af van mondiale erkenning, al was het alleen maar omdat Van Morrison hem eens als voorafje bij zijn eigen optreden wilde hebben. De nieuwste cd, uitgekomen in november, is genoemd naar de titelsong I Was Hank Williams. Dat is een lekker gruizig, met vervorming opgenomen liedje in de stijl van die tragische, geniale Amerikaanse countryzanger. Ervoor komen ‘Live And Give It All’ en ‘Something Ongoing’, waarin zijn ouders Sietske van der Ploeg en Roel van der Veen meedoen, op huisorgel en piano, via een oude bandopname uit 1971. De min of meer in paren gegroepeerde songs ademen weemoed, wat spijt en een mooi terugkijkend vaarwel, met twee ontroerende fotootjes in het albumboekje. Ook al is de muziek best stevig, blijft die net als de eigenhandig geschreven Engelstalige teksten poëtisch. Je hoort de herfstbladeren vallen in het met een mooie trombone (Frans Cornelissen) opgenomen ‘Catch A Falling Leaf’en ‘Heavy Heart’.
Vanderveen gebruikt veel geluidsfragmenten op dit album. Vogeltjes zingen mee in ‘Home On High’, dat als extraatje nog een keer terugkomt en leuk hint naar ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’. Kersten de Ligny ondersteunt ook nu weer met een mooie tweede stem. Wiet Helweg op dulcimer en Pete Fisher op bas completeren de boel. Heel bijzonder zijn ook de akoestische geluiden uit de Grot van Pythagoras en de krekels van Samos, die geheel belangeloos het ritme mee snerpen. Mooie afsluiter is ‘Song Of the Wind’, met een vertaalde tekst van Leo Witteman, een Nederlandse molenaar in Neek, die in 2017 overleed.
In februari had de nijvere Nederlander met Canadese wortels ook al een plaat, Denver Nevada. De titel, een anagram van de eigen naam, is een vondst, de muziek is vol, warm en geweldig. Vanderveen wordt dan ook bijgestaan door vijf musici op een podium, waaronder Jim Morrison op viool, al betekent dat niet de wederopstanding van de vroeg gesneuvelde zanger van The Doors. De elf liedjes zijn vrolijk ironisch (‘Wooden Shoes, Wooden Hearts’) en gevoelig (‘Blackbird Singing A Blue Note’) tegelijk, achter de schijnbare eenvoud schuilt een dankbaar mens. <

I Was Hank Williams / Denver Nevada (Still Life)
Ad Vanderveen. Blue Rose/Sonic RendezVous / Continental Record Services

+ sublieme songs van een integer vakman
+ weer twee albums die echt iets toevoegen

Video
I Was Hank Williams

Ad Vanderveen – Denver Nevada full titletrack and album info

I Was Hank Williams CD press info sheet

Ad Vanderveen
I Was Hank Williams
(songs, adventures & left-field recordings)

Reminiscent of works like John Steinbeck’s ‘Travels With Charlie’ or Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’, the new album ‘I Was Hank Williams’ by songwriter and singer Ad Vanderveen is a personal quest and an adventure.

It is a quest for self-knowledge leading to spirituality, and an investigation into the origin of a dream. A dream that is old and has led the writer down a long road of countless songs and many records.
It has a strong fascination for the new world, and is anchored in the old one.
Remarkable of Vanderveen’s work may be the insights and influences of Eastern philosophy, which he has studied and practised over the years, that shine a special light on different subjects, within a musical context of a distinct Western character.

Writing is like breathing for Ad and, although it doesn’t come quite as easy, it is a bare necessity for him, and so is playing. He is undoubtedly one of the most prolific writers in the genre and his work is considered to be of a consistent high level by fans, critics and peers (recently none other than Van Morrison personally invited him to be his opening act). Almost every year a new collection of AV songs in a different sphere and setting presents itself as a CD.

This year there’s even two;
Where the previous releases, the diptych of ‘Worlds Within’ (2017) and ‘Denver Nevada’ (2018) were characterized by somewhat more extensive production and arrangements than is Vanderveen’s usual MO, for ‘I Was Hank Williams’ there was a more minimal, direct and on the move approach.
Voice and guitar, poem and music, remain center stage and keep the listener close to the content of the songs.

Around the basics, recorded in lo or hi-fi, charming and effective embellishments of horn and string arrangements, harmony vocals and old rootsy string instruments are weaved throughout the album, as well as ambient soundscapes enhancing the songs’ atmospheres.

According to Ad: ‘A song should be able to stand on its own feet and come across without any bells and whistles, otherwise I don’t see the point in what I’m doing. It strikes me as disproportionate how much music seems to revolve around production, arrangement and even marketing these days. It’s like the packaging is more important than the content, while a song in itself is already something magical and miraculous; a poem and a message with a melody, a rhythm and a title – something complete with a distinct own identity, like a world you can live in. As for capturing it, I’ve always believed that special moments and situations shouldn’t be overruled by technical standards. Fortunately nowadays we can carry around decent sound quality recording facilities in our pockets, so more than ever it’s “The Moment That Matters”, to quote a song’.

It is these moments the listener can be drawn into like in a very personal story, as in old folk tradition, and is able to visualize his or her own images and spheres, like reading a good book.
As do many of his predecessors, old masters like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison or Neil Young, Ad Vanderveen has an instinctive way of working;

‘The Muse is a very fleeting and evasive thing and you have to catch it while it’s there. This goes for all of these recordings; they were made right after or sometimes even during the writing of the song, in the stage where the images and pictures are fresh and lively and close to their origin.
Sometimes this was in a studio and sometimes in special locations like an old auditorium, or even the cave of Pythagoras. That Muse is certainly also present in the ambient spheres and sonic souvenirs of special moments that accompany these songs. A highlight being reuniting my mom and dad musically, on church organ and ragtime piano respectively, in a little piece called Live and Give It All’.

I Was Hank Williams’ is set for release on Blue Rose Records on November 16 2018.

Denver Nevada review Goldmine by Lee Zimmerman

Denver Nevada, the new album from Dutch singer and songwriter Ad Vanderveen, further affirms his prowess as a journeyman singer/songwriter who has quite a way with supple melody, passion and purpose.
Vanderveen’s been plying his trade for quite awhile now, making gradual inroads outside his native Holland, but still missing the bigger breakthrough that he so clearly deserves. Boasting certain similarities to other European-based troubadours like Iain Matthews, Elliott Murphy and others of a similar lilt and persuasion, Vanderveen’s winsome narratives and spoken dialogues convey a personal conviction that’s by turns both stirring and sublime.
While every album of his has resonated well, Denver, Nevada strikes an instant chord, a travelogue of sorts that combines scenes and sounds in a strikingly sensual way. In a larger sense, it fully embraces Vanderveen’s knack for imagery and observation, and, given adequate exposure, it ought to establish him as an artist for the ages, one whose skills define the very essence of a true modern minstrel. We can only hope that indeed, Denver, Nevada puts him on the map.

By Lee Zimmerman, Goldmine April 2018