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Joel Hoekstra


Guitarist Heaven
(reviewed by Max)

Undefined is Joel Hoekstra first solo cd. Joel is a truly promising guitarist who can write music besides being a great guitarist with great technique. Every note is there just for your ears' pleasure, not to show you he can play on a piece of wood with six metal strings on it. Let's take a listen to it.
Electric Fields starts the dances with a clear fusion style. Hoekstra sound is full and rich as it is required by this kind of genre, and his phrasin' is very good. Elegant and with the right amount of groove. Donati and Fierabracci both show what they are capable of, and it's good to listen to a band playin' together, not just tryin' to show what they can do. The song is fluid and never boring.
Then Urban Experiments is again more on the fusion side, and it's more jazzy than the openin' track. The thing that makes this album so enjoyable is that it's a musical album, not just a guitar showcase. Hoekstra called even a sax in his group, and the fusion of all the diffrent voices is truly satisfyin' for our ears. Swingy solo from our Joel too.
Mad Bar opens in a scary way , but then, again, the sax plays a beautiful melody. That's class!!!!!! Swing a gogo.Even if aren't into jazz at all, this cd will catch your attention from beginnin' to the end, believe me. Another great solo from Mr. Joel, with enough groove to make you bang your head! I shaked my @ss alot!!! =)
Homework starts with a funky slapped bass, and then again the interplay with the instruments is sooo elegant. Listen to how the arrangement sounds good!!!!
Corny is a funky track, no doubt about it! =)
A good amount of flanger to make you smile along the funny main theme. Again Joel's phrasing is interestin' and groovy. Sick-country solo!!!! The man slaps on his guitar ‡ la Scott Mishoe! I love that percussive, stutterin' sound!
Gorilla Man 2000 is a metal tune with a highly processed guitar sound. Then all of a sudden a change in mood ‡ la Ron Thal of "Hands". Then some shreddin' , clean and nasty. Cool line with whammy octave displacement. Tha man loves effects, that's sure! =) There's also a little famous lick in there: go find it out! =)
Kill Swing says it all. Again highly processed sound , it sounds like swing from outer space.
Space Cowboy is just a GREAT vocal track!!! My fave of the album. Nasal voice and country with banjo and all the right stuff here! Listen to the solo again and again, since it's sooo funny. And Joel also remembered to include chickens on the background too. His fingerpickin' is stunnin', I want some lessons from him!!!! Chickenpickin baby!=) There are also scratches like in old vinyl records .
Reflection is a beautiful ballad. Joel Hoekstra succesfully displayed on this album he can play all styles of music. Once again the arrangement is one of the most accurate I've ever heard. Beautiful way of playin' with a delay...
Slide Tune features a catchy melody which will sink deeply in your head. Perfect as a soundtrack to me.
Plot in Motion is a spy-movie theme. Figure James Bond with his crossed arms and his gun just standin' tall and movin' his head along the main melody. 'Cause that's actually what's happenin'. Tappin' a gogo here. Oh wait there are also several sweeps there.
Afghanistan Blues is also very cool. A slow blues with oriental moods. That stuff is what I consider inspirin'. Joel uses a slide and this helps the tune a lot. Picture a scene of a sunset in the desert. Sooo cool.
Spank Me is the second vocal track. Features Cathy Richardson on the mic. Dirty blues with attitude. Cool solo of course. Then there's also a ghost track, a bloody countryblues track, raw like we want it.

Joel Hoekstra's debut album shows what the guy can do: play great guitar and write damn cool songs in every style you can think of. Great technique, continuous groove and humour. That's all I want man! =)

Rating: 9-1/2

Guitarist Heaven.

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