Chad Van Herk
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Chad Van Herk

Plymouth, Indiana, United States | INDIE

Plymouth, Indiana, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Acoustic


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Album, "Leavin' Footprints," released 2009.

Album, "Daydreaming Days Away," released 2011

Songs with streaming and radio airplay include but not limited to the following:

"Footprints," "45 Degree Tilt," "Friendship Ends," "Summer-Summer Day," "Daydreaming Days Away," "Love Me More"

Most popular single to date: "Footprints"



Born on the island of Tortola in the sailing paradise of the British Virgin Islands, Chad is the son and second child of a Canadian father and an American mother who found themselves operating a modest beach bar in that archipelago in the late 70's and early 80's. At six months of age, Chad was loaded upon the family sailboat and the four embarked upon a circumnavigation of the Earth that would take them to over 40 countries over the next 5 years. Along the way, Chad gained another sibling, and the five Van Herks returned to the US where they now find themselves-most of the time, anyway.

Such an initial upbringing no doubt imparts a young man with a fearless sense of discovery and a profound love and respect for the sea. Chad's parents, however, decided it best to provide him with a proper education, so why not keep him from getting distracted by the ocean? So, they moved to Indiana, his mother's home state.

It was in Plymouth, Indiana, where Chad began his primary education, and so he remained until he graduated from Plymouth High School. Though he took early interest in piano and saxophone, it is not until he was 15 that Chad picked up the guitar and began teaching himself chords and tablature. Though he leaned toward a career with the Coast Guard after High School, Chad was awarded scholarships that allowed him to afford to matriculate to Ball State University where he studied language and business, graduating cum laude. He also began to dabble with song writing while attending college, and one of these songs, "The Raft Song," has been included in his debut album, Leavin' Footprints.

Though Chad had received the education his parents had intended, he felt strongly about returning to the sea and, within a year of graduation, bought a small cruising sailboat, "Twiga," from savings earned from bartending and painting houses. With his father's initial help, continued feedback, and vast experience, the boat was refitted in the water in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, while Chad worked as a new accounts officer of a local bank, a couple of blocks from where Twiga was docked.

After two years of continued work on the sailboat, saving every dollar he could while sailing and surfing whenever possible on weekends and evenings, Chad decided to take a 12 month sabbatical to sail to his place of birth in the British Virgin Islands. It had been a life-long dream of his to do so by boat, and he had in fact pledged to a handful of friends one summer evening in Indiana so many years before that he would do so by the time he was 25 years of age.

Chad celebrated his 25th birthday in the British Virgin Islands, after sailing alone and with family and friends at different times throughout his journey. He worked for a time for a local resort, saving enough money to sail a bit further, as far south as Grenada, before returning to Florida, where he became all too aware of the overinflated cost of living versus the quality of life and decided to look for a more reasonable place to grow roots-he returned to Indiana, and put a down payment on an old farmhouse with proceeds from the sale of his beloved sailboat.

Many of Chad's personal anecdotes from his life and travels are in the form of song, and these songs have found their way into his two albums, both of which he recorded in his old farm house when he found the time--between an otherwise busy schedule of remodeling, gardening, work, and play (including surfing Lake Michigan, sailing, snowboarding, camping, and multisport). Since publishing Leavin' Footprints in 2009, Chad has married his long time girlfriend, Liz, and they live together with a few cats, a lab, and a barn full of Liz's horses.

Chad continues to write songs, and most recently released Daydreaming Days Away in the early summer of 2011. He's excited about any possibility of performing, though he hasn't quit his day job...yet...