Since the days before it was called Americana, Ad Vanderveen has been channeling his songwriting muse through a mixture of rock & roll, folk and country, working in many bands before finding his own voice as a solo artist in the early 1990s. He has since garnered a reputation as one of the finest singer/songwriters in the new folk and roots genre, along the way compiling a catalog of nearly 40 albums to date. Although born in the Netherlands, half of his family is Canadian and his music is firmly rooted in the soil of the North America.
Over the years, as he has generated such an impressive collection of solo CDs and side projects, he has worked with many great musicians all over the world, including Al Kooper, Al Perkins, Leland Sklar, Herman Brood, Flaco Jimenez, Iain Matthews, Eliza Gilkyson, Eric Andersen, David Olney, to drop a few names. And in 2017, upon hearing Ad’s album Worlds Within, none other than Van Morrison personally invited him to be his opening act. Another recent collaboration featured John Gorka, who joined Ad in a duet on the 2018 album Denver Nevada.
Ad’s journey as a musician began, of course, in his younger years; yet it is his start as a songwriter during his teens that really set his trajectory and provided the fuel for his life’s work. “That’s what really sends me out there. If I didn’t have the songs, I would probably have a regular job and play guitar in my spare time.”
His latest release is called Release. The collection of songs is tied together by one of Ad’s favorite instruments: “It’s all acoustic-based…it’s all based on an old guitar I have…I love the sound of it.” Throughout so many years of crafting music, Ad feels like his music is on a continuum with each album’s songs being drawn together almost mystically around a particular sound or theme. “It always goes on, yet it’s always different. It’s a mystery to me how it works. Each record seems to have its own identity; and this one has a very plain, simple, folk identity.”
By Dan Walsh