Adrian Vandenberg's MoonKings Announce New Acoustic Album, Share "Burning Heart"

Rugged and Unplugged, the new effort from Vandenderg’s MoonKings, featuring guitarist Adrian Vandenberg, will be released via the Mascot Label Group on November 23. The effort features stripped-down versions of tunes associated with Vandenberg, including his 1982 hit “Burning Heart.” and “Sailing Ships,” from Whitesnake’s 1989 album Slip of the Tongue.

“For me, the sign of whether a song is good or not, is whether it still stands up when it's completely stripped down to the bare essence of it,” Vandenberg said in a statement. “What I find with acoustic versions of songs you already know, is that they can touch you in a different way than the full band and even orchestral versions. You don't get 'impressed' by big guitars, drums and even orchestras. As a performer you can't hide behind all that, so what's left is the emotional content of the performance and the actual song.”

About “Burning Heart,” which features Vandenberg on acoustic guitar and singer Jan Hoving, Vandenberg said, “My favorite singers ever since my teens have always been guys like Paul Rodgers and David Coverdale. Since I wrote this song in 1981, I've always pictured it sung by a singer with such a tone of voice and vocal abilities. Jan is absolutely such a singer as you can hear.”

The album closes with a new composition, an instrumental titled “Sundown,” of which Vanderberg said, “It was one of those beautiful early evenings in the late summer, the light turning pink, it was quiet and I was doodling away on my acoustic guitar. The melody that pretty much rolled off of my fingers really matched the vibe of that moment so I decided to record it and end the album with it. It felt like a very natural thing to do.”

Rugged and Unplugged is available for pre-order here.

Rugged and Unplugged track listing:

What Doesn’t Kill You

Sailing Ships

Out Of Reach

One Step Behind

Burning Heart

Walk Away



Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.