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
Out Of Reach
One Step Behind