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
AD VANDERVEEN – DENVER NEVADA (Still Life)
Denver Nevada is a place that is not real, it’s made up. But it is real in the sense that it’s an anagram for Ad Vanderveen. As for Still Life; all meanings of the term can apply in this case.
Desolation, serenitiy; scenes like in an Edward Hopper painting or a David Lynch movie or come to mind when listening to the singer-songwriter’s new album.
Existential themes such as solitude, longing and resignation are expressed throughout the lyrics.
But the album is also about the inexplicable and unstoppable drive and necessity to keep writing and creating.
Vanderveen can be counted among the most prolific songwriters in the new folk and roots genre, with an impressive number of albums to his name since the early 90s.
As a person and a craftsman Ad is mostly geared towards growth and development and he tends to keep away from matters not involving music or spirituality. Dealing with issues like name, fame and big sales numbers is not one of his priorities.
Among music lovers and critics, colleagues and peers however, he is highly regarded as a songwriter and musician; none other than Van Morrison, after hearing Ad’s album Worlds Within, personally invited him as his opening act in July 2017.
Another one of Vanderveen’s long-time favorites, John Gorka, joins on Denver Nevada’s lead off track in the duet Another Song.
Denver Nevada strikes a certain melancholy atmosphere and mood that underscore the poems and lyrics at the core of the songs. The style can best be described as contemporary folk with influences of rock, jazz and classical music. The songs and instrumentation are based on acoustic guitar and vocal; accompanied by piano, electric guitar, bass, percussion/drums, harmony vocals and augmented by strings and horns.
Ad’s previous album Worlds Within was hailed as a ‘classic’ in roots-americana circles and considered to be one of his best works. Fortunately the well has not run dry yet and those initiated say the sequel Denver Nevada will top the former one, journeying further and deeper into new territory and changing soundscapes. Ad Vanderveen keeps on challenging himself and the roots music audience!
Denver Nevada is scheduled for release on february 16 2018 through CRS Records.
Fresh from our publicist:
AD VANDERVEEN – ‘Worlds Within’
*poetry and music in motion*
How do you promote a discrete and introspective piece of work? You don’t, really. You can only make an announcement and hopefully notify those who might be interested. Here goes:
At age 60 singer-songwriter Ad Vanderveen realizes more than ever that writing is primarily a personal necessity; it’s between him and the universe and a small but devoted fan-base is welcome to listen in.
Vanderveen has been a musical adventurer for well over 4 decades, exploring and following his muse wherever it takes him. This time this path led to acoustic improvisational songs with a contemplative mood and atmosphere.
‘Worlds Within’ is an album of poetry and music in motion, in the sense that it consists of poems set to music with an improvisational approach. Some of the songs turned out like compact folk tunes, while others seem to lose track of time and venture way beyond the usual 3 to 4 minute time span.
The lyrics have a personal and philosophical character and the music breathes a contemplative and mystical atmosphere, rooted in an earthy acoustic folk style.
“These songs started out private and personal, as songs do, and together with some great musicians we made what you could call a record of contemporary folk with some jazz and classical overtones.”
Ad Vanderveen has built up an impressive catalog of CDs over the past decades. In 2017 this will be augmented by ‘Worlds Within’, his 30th record release of new originals.
“Having just come from inside of this new music it’s tempting to go into superlatives. Of course it feels like the best I’ve ever done, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it.
But the truth is I don’t have any perspective, I traded that in for unconditional love and care in crafting it. All I know is that it comes from a very deep place”. AV October 2016.
Spent the summer doing some traveling, writing songs and poetry, and also a chapter for a book about Neil Young by Herman Verbeke ( in Dutch). Recording new music as well, a new CD titled ‘Worlds Within’ is in the making and scheduled for release early 2017. Listen to title track preview
Especially for those interested in acoustic music, an independent limited-edition CD with an acoustic version of the 2016 ‘The Stellar Cellar Band’ CD will be made available. This high-quality recording was made in an old barn with acoustics and an atmosphere very well suited to the music.
Alongside Vanderveen on vocals/guitars/harmonica is his partner and long-time musical companion Kersten de Ligny on harmony vocals, autoharp and percussion.
Where ‘The Stellar Cellar’ can be said to have more of an urban rock’n’roll vibe, ‘The Barn Basics’, as is to be expected, emphasises the folk and country aspects of the music.
This sparse setting makes for a very up close and personal listening experience, with the focus on the lyrics, chords and emotional content at the heart of the songs.
The Barn Basics will be available in a limited run parallel to the release of The Stellar Cellar Band CD on March 11 2016.
Pre orders now on our store page.
While in Canada and the US we shot two videos of songs from the new record, one in the country and one in the city.
‘Emigrant Family’ returned to its original scene in Ontario and ‘World So Crowded’ was shot in Chicago on State Street (that great street)
Filmed by Benjamin Vanderveen.
Both are up on our video page now: http://www.advanderveen.com/video/
The adventures on and off the road with my band The O’Neils are coming to an end.
After 16 years, playing together and keeping up the old garage spirit has reached its limits, outlasting my expectations by far.
We will play our scheduled shows until end of october 2014 so come out to see this soon to be legendary band while you can…
Thanks to all our friends and fans, it has been a joyful ride!
Acoustic shows either solo or Duo, or as a Trio will continue and also a new band line up seems to be developing.
New plans on the horizon;
New songs, as well as a project of revisiting older ones are in the making.
Stay tuned and see you down the road!
Whenever I buy a new record I hope to learn about other people’s lives, truths, philosophies, skills and craft.
This is what I single out and any productional efforts to be “impressive” are usually not very interesting to me.
It seems nowadays that most of the attention people pay to music goes to style and form, the outside packaging.
To me this is out of proportion to the essence of it and it often feels like the song and its contents are overlooked.
As prove many folk records, a good song, instrument, microphone, room and, of course, heart-felt performance can make for a great recording.
Differences in sound quality between demos and studio recordings like in the old days can be pretty minimal these days.
In my case, when a batch of songs is finished I first have to tell old Mr. Neumann about it.
Mr. Adolph Neumann is a U47 microphone dating back to the 1940s and he faithfully reproduces any sounds entrusted to him.
Listening back these recordings sound like an introduction to my own songs, that in some cases have been in progress for years.
Next I am struck by the notion that this is basically all I need to hear from the songs.
A few quick and minimal dubs take it home and make it presentable to my ears.
I could go on and add and re-record stuff but the question is how much better will it be for the song?
This is my ongoing dilemma more or less… is less more, is more less….?
Weighing all the choices, options and cues available I decided to put this out as is.
I hope you’re with me and will enjoy this.
“I love soundcarriers.
Physical hands-on documents.
I count my life in soundcarriers, my own as well as others’.
They are a diary, they keep a score and order.
They are a culmination of life in music and poetry,
a journal, materializing in groups of songs from period to period.
Great love, care and energy goes into crafting them and bringing them home.
Home to myself and to a select audience around the world.
All my soundcarriers are exclusive limited edition issues,
published by dedicated independents.
I am fortunate and thankful to always have had the right people
and circumstances around to make them happen.”
AV, May 2013
A quote from Neil Young, addressing a convention of recording industry folk:
“That’s only one way of making records. A lot of you out here are craftsmen: just beautiful records, and take great care with every note. And I know I’m not one of them. I like to capture the moment. I like to record the moment. I like to get the first time that I sung the song. I like to get the first time the band plays the song. So there’s a lot of compromises you make to get that feeling, but in the long run, that’s where the pictures are when I hear my words and when I see the pictures while I’m listening. So that’s what we try to record.”
Speaking of ‘Beat the Record’ ; could have said it better myself but he beat me to it…