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Vera Van Heeringen Vera Van Heeringen
Album: Won't Be Broken
Label: Wood & Steel
Tracks: 11

Vera Van Heeringen resides in Wales, although she grew up in Holland, surrounded by traditional music traditions , which effectively raised her; she began performing aged just sixteen.

Her 2012 debut album, Standing Tall, saw a change in musical direction following her time as part of the New Rope String Band. Proper Brew followed, which saw collaborations with such musical greats as Dirk Powell, Tim O'Brien and Kris Drever.

I had the pleasure of seeing Van Heeringen with her trio, at SummerTyne at Sage Gateshead in 2017, where they put on a striking live performance.

An exceptionally talented acoustic guitar player, with great vocal warmth, she demonstrates her lyrical skills also, with songs about people, objects and determination. Vera also contributes mandolin, whilst Dave Luke offers additional mandolin, electric guitar and backing vocals and producer Andy Seward provides both double and electric bass. No less than six guest musicians, including Dirk Powell on banjo and accordion, also bring their talents to the table.

I also feel the artwork needs to be mentioned; simple and understated yet very attractive.

Stand out tracks on "Won't Be Broken" include the title track, Dancing Shoes, Gods and White Tip. The penultimate song, Gather The Words, seems appropriate since Vera clearly has indeed done just that, to create an album which most definitely ought to be heard.

Helen Mitchell