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.