VERA VAN HEERINGEN
Gifted multi instrumentalist combines soulful contemporary Americana-roots flavoured songwriting with tasty playing.
Vera van Heeringen’s debut album, Standing Tall, was released in 2012 and marked a change of direction after nearly five years of touring as part of the brilliantly comedic New Rope String Band. With influences firmly rooted across the Atlantic, Vera writes soulful songs and tunes with lyrics and delivery speaking straight to – and from – the heart. A highly skilled instrumentalist, she has long been recognised for her graceful and restrained guitar playing, bringing the guitar a life in a way that’s entirely her own. Summer 2015 saw the release of her second album, Proper Brew, which features a list of musicians who share Vera’s musical aesthetic, including Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Rayna Gellert and Kris Drever. This record is receiving rave reviews and lots of radio play.
Vera’s live performances are always intimate, full of feel, groove and diversity. It’s unusual to find someone who’s as good a songwriter as an instrumentalist, who brings the guitar to life in way that is entirely her own. She’s subsequently been compared to people like John Martyn and Richard Thompson.
Vera has an open, charming onstage presence that belies her outstanding flat-picking, and the ability to tug at your dancing shoes with a well-chosen rollicking fiddle tune or reduce you to tears with a poignant lyric, making for a great gig that will linger long in the memory.
Currently Vera tours with a solid acoustic trio compromising harmony king Dave Luke on guitar, vocals and mandolin. Dave has been the backbone of many hard working country bands and toured extensively with Nashville singer songwriter Gail Davies, playing the likes of the Grand Ole Opry. On double bass she’s got record producer extraordinaire Andy Seward. Andy was part of folk superstar Kate Rusby’s band as well as working with Eddi Reader, Richard Thompson and Andy Cutting. He currently plays with Martin Simpson and Brooks Williams.
“This lady oozes class…”
John Atkins, fRoots
“She can play the acoustic guitar better than most…”
Alan Harrison, NoDepression
“Acoustic music wrapped in gentle wistful melodies that aim for and hit the heart…”
Maurice Hope, Flying Shoes blog
“She can play anything with strings, write fine songs and sing them too. Go see her play live…”
Bit of background
Vera van Heeringen hails from Holland, but left the flatlands for the beautiful hills of Wales, where she settled over a decade ago. She moved through the Dutch Bluegrass scene from the age of thirteen and attended Rocky Grass Academy in Colorado several times to soak up inspiration from flatpicking greats like David Grier. Her journey continued into Cajun and old-time music, giving her guitar playing a rhythmic grounding that has made her an in- demand collaborator for artists such as Dirk Powell, the late Eddie LeJeune, and Flatville Aces. For nearly five years she toured the UK and Europe extensively as a part of the brilliantly comedic New Rope String Band.