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

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

Denver Nevada (Still Life) album info


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.


New album Worlds Within

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.

‘The Barn Basics’ limited edition CD

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.




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!

Beat The Record – Liner notes 2

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.