Monday 27 January 2014

Adrian Vandenberg's MoonKings Debut Album


Vandenberg's MoonKings album release on February 24, 2014 on Mascot Records label with an extensive tour to follow throughout Europe and beyond.

Adrian Vandenberg made his way to fame as a guitar prodigy with songwriting talent and band leader abilities with his own band from the 1980's Vandenberg.  He recorded three albums with Vandenberg, Vandenberg, Heading for a Storm and Alibi.  The band toured extensively and were gaining worldwide recognition opening for acts like the Michael Schenker Group.

Vandenberg's talent impressed David Coverdale of Whitesnake so much that David asked him to join the band, Adrian declined at that time due to his own success with Vandenberg.  In 1986 after problems with his own record company, Adrian took Coverdale up on his offer to join Whitesnake.  Together they wrote all the music on Slip Of The Tongue and Restless Heart.  Whitesnake broke up in 1991 and Adrian joined 
Manic Eden with Ron Young - singer, Rudy Sarzo - bass, and Tommy Aldridge - drums.  The band split up in 1994.

In 2011 Adrian wrote a song for his hometown football club FC Twente.  The rock song, A Number One needed a singer and Adrian remembered a vocalist who supported Whitesnake at a concert in Holland, Jan Hoving.  Jan was reported saying, "When we met we hit it off immediately, both musically and on a personal level."  A Number One was coming along and was to be performed for a crowd of 60,000 so now, Adrian needed a rhythm section.  He was referred to Mart Nijen-Es by a friend and it turns out that ten years earlier when Mart was 13, Adrian was a judge in a talent contest and he made Mart, an aspiring drummer, a winner.  Strangely, the situation with his bass player was exactly the same.  Mart had a friend, bass player Sem Christoffel, he introduced to Adrian and it turns out that Adrian judged him in a different talent contest and made him a winner, as well.

In between bands Adrian had a successful career as a painter, but always drawn back to his love of music, at the end of 2013 formed his new band Vandenberg's MoonKings and enlisted his talented friends Jan, Mart, and Sem.  Adrian was so impressed with the chemistry between the four of them during rehearsal of the new songs he'd written, Adrian decided it was time to start recording, so they did so at the famous Wisseloord Studios near Amsterdam.

Because Adrian was with Whitesnake for ten years and did a lot of the co-writing, I expected to hear similarities between MoonKings and Whitesnake.  The first track, "Lust and Lies" started with heavy bass and then kicked in to a great guitar driven song with a classic rock feel to it.  The second track "Close To You" has a sexy riff with lots of pauses to accent the intensity of the lyrics and vocals.  For me, Jan Hoving's vocals evoked the passion and intimacy of David Coverdale and he does have an uncanny ability to sing like him.  I was pleasantly surprised at the fourth track, "Breathing" a classical, electric, and melodic rock ballad with sensitive, hopeful lyrics.  By now, I definitely can feel the chemistry these guys have with each other. 

MoonKings are a great band and fit well together!  "Out Of Reach"  is another classical, acoustic track with many layers and emotionally powerful.  Every song on this album is lyrically well written and the arrangements are excellent!  I'd have never guessed that Jan, Mart, and Sem are not seasoned players.  The album has a good flow to it, some of it sounding like classic rock and some sounding modern all totally stitched up with Vandenbergs incredible guitar playing.  "Leeches" is a great funky tune that struts along with it's cool riff and heavy bass line, this may be my favorite song on the album.  The last track Sailing Ships is the cherry on the album sung by David Coverdale.  This album is incredible and I will say, there wasn't one track that I didn't like.  MoonKings are right up there with the best musicians.

Adrian Vandenberg ~ guitar
Jan Hoving ~ vocals
Mart Nijen-Es ~ drums
Sem "The Sham" Christoffel ~ bass

Track List:
1. Lust And Lies
2. Close To You
3. Good Thing
4. Breathing
5. Steal Away
6. Line Of Fire
7. Out Of Reach
8. Feel It
9. Leave This Town
10. One Step Behind
11. Leeches
12. Nothing Touches
13. Sailing Ships (David Coverdale-vocals)

Vandenberg's MoonKings Website: (still under construction)

Pre Order Album:

Vandenberg's MoonKings review by:
 Jill Maciel/West Coast Correspondent CRRdotEU

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