Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Jun 13th, 2022

Ad Vanderveen: Candle to You 

Ad Vanderveen
Candle to You
(Ad Vanderveen)

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Ad Vanderveen’s Candle to You is contemporary folk at its best. Opening with the simple proclamation of the mid-tempo ballad “Do What You Love,” and then channeling Neil Young with his vocal delivery on “Following The Wind,” with Neil James Morrison adding violin and Kersten de Ligny’s backing vocal, we get set well on our way into these ten tunes.

The title track is a nicely picked acoustic love ballad, really showcasing Vanderveen’s unique vocal. I really like the upbeat sparkle of “All The Way Thing,” with its slightly wry aware lyric. Again, the players are locked in step perfectly behind the mid-tempo beat here, with the mandola, as well as violin cutting a strong presence.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s that mandola, something Vanderveen plays very well indeed, that is the featured string instrument on the second-to-last tune, a Dylan-sounding “Exit Inside.” The high-tuned “woody” percussion (Pete Fisher who plays bass here) and Michael Kay are listed as playing percussion, though Kay is the only drummer, so I am not sure who’s banging away here, but it is great stuff. And why not give both men a nod?

Not that we don’t get great songs throughout, but I think Vanderveen may have just left the best for last, with “Air Guitar.” Again, he is mining some Neil Young-sound, but the story of the tune, again some wry lyrical nodding, and the players just keeping up (those I didn’t mention are keyboardist Simon Moore, Jan Erik Hoeve on pedal steel) make for a great end to a great album.

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Ad Vanderveen: Candle to You