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Joel Hoekstra


What are people saying about Joel Hoekstra?

JOEL HOEKSTRA'S 13 - DYING TO LIVE has come out of nowhere and surprised people as one of the best melodic, hard rock albums of the year!!!


"Dying To Live is pretty damn phenomenal. One of the biggest and best surprises 2015 has served up!"
-Steven Reid, seaoftranquility.org


"If you're going to do a side project, all whilst touring with the world renowned Whitesnake, this is most definitely how you should do it.....it's really something special and one of the most impressive releases of 2015." (10/10!)


"To sum up “Dying To Live” in my humble opinion ranks as one of the top must have Melodic Rock Albums released in 2015 to date." (10/10!)
-Seb DiGatto, The Metal Gods Meltdown


"Hard rock the way it used to be. One of the best rock albums of the year? Quite possibly." (10/10!)
-Alan Bannerman, Powerplay Magazine


"..full of fine performances and strong tracks...I defy anyone who calls themselves a fan of this genre, to not like what they are hearing."
-Ian Johnson, Fireworks Magazine


"..this record is about Joel Hoekstra the songwriter. What he has produced here will find it's way into the hearts of fans across every genre of rock…on this evidence a Coverdale/Hoekstra writing union would be a very tasty prospect indeed." (10/10!)
-Brian Boyle, myglobalmind.com


""..his dreams of a great melodic rock album have come to fruition..an excellent album, with great arrangements, stunning guitar work and well constructed songs." (4 stars!)
-Guitar Techniques Magazine


"Joel Hoekstra released an album that is definitely amongst the top 5 best ones of this year...I can't rate it anything higher than 10/10, though I can do as colleges do and give it a 10/10 with honors!" (10/10)
-George "Snaki" Lane, BeRock Radio


"It will be in my top 10 list for 2015 for sure..This album really deserves five stars. Spoil your ears and mind, buy this album!" (5 stars!)
-Arie van der Graaf, melodic.net


"The whole album is full of a vibrant energy...the musicianship, lyrics and vocals are top-notch rock gold throughout." (10/10!)


"..a group of world-class musicians rallying around a respected friend to help him create a dream album and the results are nothing short of astonishing. If you love hard rock then this album is as essential to you as oxygen."


"..from the impeccable guitar soloing and master class in memorable riff writing – to the challenging job of taking control of production – Joel nails it.…a cracking good set of songs…Melodic hard rock at its best!" (93/100)
-Andrew McNeice, melodicrock.com


"Dying to live is a fantastic album - great songs, great vocals and great guitar work - what more could you ask for? It's one of the best albums I've heard all year."
-Anthony May, festivalphoto.net


"..one of the best melodic rock albums I've heard this year…Dying to Live is a gem of an album..this is all about the songs and trust me, they shine, big time."
-Ritchie Birnie, devilsgatemedia.com


"Dying To Live…is melodic hard rock at it’s best….has something for everyone...a classic in the making."
-Adam Kennedy, nationalrockreview.com


"Alongside his assemblage of eminent players, Hoekstra has crafted the real deal; this album rocks in such a big way. This is songcraft at its finest. Each and every composition and arrangement is a winner." (9.5/10!)
-Mark Holmes, metal-discovery.com


"You know…it is hard enough to work oneself in to a new band, especially a band like Whitesnake! And to do this and start your own project at the same time!..well the pressure would be enormous. But, it has been done, and done with grace..Whitesnake’s new guitarist Joel Hoekstra has completed a scorcher in his Joel Hoekstra’s 13 debut Dying to Live!"
-Bruce Atkinson, Under the Lights Rock Reviews


"There is not one bad song on here, and is certainly up there as one of my top 10 melodic hard rock releases of the year so far."
-David Farrell, planetmosh.com


"a well rounded album..plenty of ear melting guitar solos..finely polished perfectly formed songs..it's sterling stuff of which you will never tire."
-Andrew Axeman, Hair Metal Mansion


.."Dying To Live" is a masterpiece of melodic hard rock and a true showcase for the songwriting talent of Hoekstra. Its' a must add to your collection and something you'll want to listen to time and time again."
-Kris Engelhart, backstageaxxess.com


""..this recording delivers in spades! Superbly crafted songs...a powerhouse release…Dying To Live' is definitely one of the top releases in 2015. This is a must-have rock album any way you look at it."
-Tony Sison, The Dedicated Rocker Society Music Magazine


"rocking!...a collection of songs of the highest quality.… it’s a quality rock album. Listen to it – over and over.."
-The Moshville Times


"Dying to Live is a strong contender for the best of 2015.." (5.5/6)
-Matt Coe, eternal-terror.com


"The guitarist keeps good company on this album….They've created an accomplished set of radio friendly tunes on Dying to Live, including the sultry Long For the Days.
-Dave Ling, Classic Rock Magazine


"A stellar line-up but does it deliver? Oh yes it does and then some!..musical variety and top draw songs. Mr Coverdale has always been a good judge of musicians for his band and Joel Hoekstra will certainly prove a creative foil for him based on this album. (4 stars!)
-Jason Ritchie, getreadytorock.me.uk


"Intelligent, melodic hard rock that does not compromise on creative imagination and never stops giving."
-Neil Mach, Raw Ramp


"I came to this new project expecting nothing but phenomenal guitar-work. I’m certainly not disappointed....The best thing we can say about this album though is that it sounds so much more than a side project by a talented guitarist – its quality first to last." (4.5 out of 5 stars!)
-Mark Rockpit, therockpit.net


"Joel Hoekstra has produced an album that sets the benchmark incredibly high for all releases to follow in terms of quality writing and performance and attention to detail. Dying to Live will be in many people's Best of List's come the end of 2015. Superb!"


"A superb album of restless discretion, an institution of melodic rock, Dying To Live is Joel Hoekstra’s masterpiece."
-Ian Hall, liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk


"This album has clearly been a work of passion for him and the final product is a quality release…a great release."
-Aaron Chatfield, rockposer.wordpress.com


"..a rejuvenation of the classic rock n’ roll music..a breath of fresh air..instant musical hits…Joel Hoekstra is really just pretty awesome, and a very talented guitarist, music composer and performer."


"..there is a reason this guy continues to be praised by rock and metal fans alike...this new release from Joel Hoekstra comes strongly recommended!"
-Taylor Carlson, zrockr.com


"Bottom line is that Joel Hoekstra's 13 "Dying To Live" is a damn fine record that includes a bunch of some killer tracks in it, superb performances by Russell Allen and Jeff Scott Soto, a tight as hell musicianship and the talent of the Joel all over the project!" (9/10!)


"..quite stunning, blistering concoction from Joel Hoekstra."
-Ralph Greco, shortandsweetnyc.com


"It's about time this amazing player put out a solo effort, and his years supporting all of those musical acts paid off in spades: this is well written, melodic hard rock that kicks ass"
-SK, musicplayers.com


"...an emphasis on his adeptness in the craft of songwriting and song arrangements rather than just shredding. With such a balanced attitude and rich experience under his belt – Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – is Melodic Rock at its finest.."
-Alexandra Mrozowska, hardrockhaven.net


"What sets this apart from others in the ‘Melodic Hard Rock’ genre is the power of the playing, the aggression and the real passion in the vocals and the guitar playing...some great songs!"
(4 stars!)
-Andy Snipper, music-news.com


"Although Dying To Live was conceived BEFORE Joel joined Whitesnake you can certainly tell why he got the job. There are more than enough hooks on this album to catch even the deadliest fish."
-John Deaux, allabouttherock.co.uk


"Dying To Live is rather impressive guitar-driven melodic hard rock, a showcase for Hoekstra's significant talent for songwriting and guitar playing. Easily recommended."
-Craig Rartranft, dangerdog.com


"Hoekstra’s strengths as a supporting guitarist enhancing a song and allowing the vocalist to put the message across are readily apparent here, and no doubt one of the reasons Coverdale employed him."
-Paul H Birch, RAMzine.co.uk


"Dying to Live is not just another rock release...this is really well-written, well-produced and well-executed. Classic rock and heavy metal fans will be spinning this album constantly once it is released."
-Dominic Athanassiou, metalrecusants.com


"Simply put, if you like rocking to melodies, killer guitar riffs, and great vocals, this is an album definitely worth having in your collection."
-Dwayne Cavanas, Mayhem Music Magazine


"Joel Hoekstra’s 13 have produced a collection of catchy and competent anthemic rock and power metal into Dying to Live…delivered expertly courtesy of a strong foundation formed with Vinny Appice and Tony Franklin and two excellent singers in Russell Allen and Jeff Scott Soto."
-Cameron Terry, DemonsZone.com


"..an impressive melange of powerful hardrock..an excellent melodic rock album that you should check, if you're a fan of bands like Foreigner, Whitesnake and Night Ranger."


"As you would expect from musicians of this pedigree, it sounds immaculate, and anyone who likes the later work of his parent band will not be disappointed."
-Stuart A Hamilton, therocker65.wordpress.com


"With all the songs having winning choruses I’m guessing this is where Hoekstra either starts his writing or focuses his efforts – either way, it works hugely!! Joel Hoekstra. Remember that name!"
-Shan Siva, BattleHelm.com


"The standard is very high…a very positive album…this is top notch stuff"
-Dave Prince, Uber Rock


"..if you’re looking for catchy, well produced AOR/traditional melodic metal with some good playing and strong vocals, you really can’t go wrong with this one."
-Third Eye Cinema


"..most guitar-based albums feature searing solos and riffs..pings and squeals, Hoekstra’s real strength is wrapping his guitar work around the vocals and allowing each song to come to life in a different way with a different groove and texture." (9.5/10)
-Todd "Toddstar" Jolicoeur, 100percentrock.com


"If Hoekstra entertains the idea of pursuing this avenue again, I say please do. He possesses the ability on many fronts, and his product is gold."
-The Shepherd, welovemetal.com


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"Joel's acoustic songs are far more introspective and contemplative than I imagined, so much so, that I have a new appreciation for his versatility as an all-around guitarist."
--MJ Brady, Proggnosis

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"These are solid, well-constructed songs played with skill and some fine arranging. A good acoustic outing for Mr. Hoekstra."
--Kirk Albrecht, minor7th.com



"'The Moon is Falling' shows a glimpse of Donati's scary talents and Hoekstra's fantastic songwriting. Fans should pick this one up for Donati's flawless drumming and Hoekstra's stellar guitar work."
--Brad Schlueter, Drum Magazine

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"Joel Hoekstra is one of those artists that provides absolute proof that the music industry has it's head up it's collective ass.....The Moon is Falling impressed me from the first riff to the last....a progressive instrumental rock showcase that shows an artist pushing boundaries, breaking rules."
--Christopher J. Kelter, roughedge.com

More Reviews


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"Hoekstra is bound to become a major name in the field of guitar-oriented instrumental music. Let him take his place among the greats; 'Undefined' proves he's earned that right."
--Christopher Thelen, The Daily Vault

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"'Undefined' is a positively breathtaking album. Yes, it's that good. Hoekstra probably won't be unknown for long."
--Don Zulaica, Alternate Music Press

More Reviews

Whitesnake - Flesh & Blood


"new' member Joel Hoekstra on guitars does an extraordinary job regarding not only the guitars but, also, the songwriting (co-writing six of the songs for “Flesh & Blood” with singer David Coverdale). 10/10"


"...the guitars are still as athletic as ever: Reb Beach (formerly of Winger) and Joel Hoekstra are incendiary throughout all of Flesh & Blood."


"I think the first thing that caught my ear were the insane guitar solos Joel Hoekstra was slinging in each song. It’s phenomenal what he can do with the guitar and how he brings the music to life so effortlessly."
--James Coffman, hunnypotunlimited.com


"Reb Beach is at the top of his game, and alongside Joel Hoekstra (fantastic guitarist who has toured with TSO, Night Ranger, and Cher, and who joined Whitesnake in 2015), this duo of guitarists deal out powerful riffs and stylish solos."
--Ben Goldman, musicplayers.com


"Flesh and Blood brings Coverdale’s powerhouse vocals and lyrics with the astute guitar playing of Chicago’s Joel Hoekstra, who co-wrote six songs on the album with Coverdale. 9/10"


"a good showcase of the fretwork skills of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra – who co-wrote the album alongside Mr. Coverdale."
--Thomas Thrower, ghostcultmag.com


"The current Whitesnake lineup is arguably the best in the band’s history and brings high levels of talent and rock authenticity to this era of the group. Guitarists Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach…can put down real songs and crank up the kind of heat that rock fans love."
--Mike O’Cull, Rock and Blues Muse


"...it wouldn’t be perfect without the blistering guitar work of both Beach and Hoekstra…Holy man, this is amazing. What a tandem of guitar playing."
--Tyson Briden, SleazeRoxx.com


"Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach form the perfect duo in the band."
--Adrian Hextall, myglogalmind.com


"The guitar solos are simply magical and certain to get you smiling!"
--Lynds, The Metal Report


"Perhaps what makes this new album the most dynamic is the presence of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra!"
--Scotty J, rocktitan.tv


"Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra form, I must admit, a tight and formidable team."


".drums are clean and pounding in the mix, flanked by the roaring twin attack of Beach and Hoekstra."
--Alan Cox, Sonic Perspectives

Whitesnake - The Purple Album

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"Beach and Hoekstra stamp their mark throughout the album with a display of guitar mastery. Track after track sees the mighty duo go to battle with wondrous solos, oozing with superb tone, twin lead guitar harmonies reminiscent of Scott Gorham/Brian Robertson’s partnership in Thin Lizzy, and a performance that Ritchie Blackmore himself would be proud of."
-Adam Kennedy, NationalRockReview.com

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"Guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra are in the spotlight, and for me, they kind of make the album…Beach and Hoekstra toss incendiary solos back and forth to ever spiraling heights, and they pull off some fantastic harmony sections as well….they've both made perhaps their finest statements as instrumentalists on this record. They go for the throat on every track."
-Tony Conley, rockguitardaily.blogspot.it

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"Beach and Hoekstra are as versatile as they are accomplished."
-Duane Vickers, KNAC.com

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"Just a few words about the band line up for this outing. It's bloody stellar. Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra on Guitars are an immense force leading a thundering attack when needed and on the softer times a gentle touch."
-Paul Hurwood, scribesofmetal.com

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"Beach and Hoekstra fight a war with dueling lead guitar salvos that Mr. Blackmore himself would become dizzy."
-Sascha Becker, crypticrock.com

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"New boy Joel Hoekstra plays well, never settling for playing a mirror-image of Ritchie Blackmore or Tommy Bolin’s original work – or his own Whitesnake predecessor Doug Aldrich either, for that matter. Hoekstra has plenty of cred under his own steam and his style is well suited to the material."
-Shane Pinnegar, 100percentrock.com

"..the playing throughout is superb, some wonderful guitar work from Joel Hoekstra certainly helps to add a Whitesnake slant to a number of the songs."
-Stephen Brophy, rockposer.worpress.com

"…the ideal opportunity for the blistering talents of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra to emerge through the mix for some striking dueling guitar work."
-Lou Vickers, ultimateguitar.com

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"From the tasteful, heartfelt licks and unique speedy fretboard taps of Reb Beach to the classically inspired phrases of Joel Hoekstra the two players have proven to have some of the best team work in the music business."
-Stan Sher, digitalguitarplayer.com

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"Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra work their magic on lead guitar, tearing through the songs as if their lives depend on it"

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"Reb Beach and new boy, Joel Hoekstra, trade licks with competitive precision"
-Brian Boyle, myglobalmind.com

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"Hoekstra and Beach's guitar work is brilliant."

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"Guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra both play their arses off."
-Jeb Wright, classicrockrevisited.com


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"…in a band historically known for having killer guitarists Joel Hoekstra fit the bill perfectly…Hoekstra has the chops to go along with the flash."
-Stacey Sherman, TheOaklandPress.com

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"Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra traded guitar duties and both showed a level of expertise that was exciting and breathtaking to behold."
-Dave Dreher, rockrevoltmagazine.com

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"Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra are a magnificent duo..It’s entertaining to watch them trade licks and lead solos throughout the set. Joel especially, as he is one of the most energetic guitar players on the scene today."
-Bill Twomey, musicexistence.com

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"Joel Hoekstra's solo started off slow and melodic, switching to a classic verse on the acoustic then back to the Les Paul, where he showed his ability for speed. Throughout the show he commanded the top honors for stage presence."
-Sue Sadzak, musiclifemagazine.net


"Coverdale has a formidable and talented group of musicians playing with him who elevate the music to the level of greatness. The duo of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra working seamlessly trading off the iconic Whitesnake riffs and blazing leads."
-Tony Keefer, themusicroom.me


"Joel Hoekstra killed it with the second portion of the guitar solos and included a bit of classical acoustic guitar that sounded crisp."


"Mad axemen Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra tore the ceiling down with their solos."
-Dominic Rini, Maximum Threshhold.net

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"Joel Hoekstra appeared and wowed the crowd with a passionate display of electric guitar mastery before stepping up to an acoustic and blew everyone’s mind with a flamenco style, finger flashing rip that was beyond the reach of most mortal guitar players."
-Eric Savoie, BackStage360.com

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"One of the highlights of the night was watching Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra trading licks and ripping solos. The two of them play with such ease and know how to perform."
-Mark McGauley, nysmusic.com

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"...and the stunning arrival of guitarist Joel Hoekstra, who may be the best guitarist to command a WS stage since Mr John Sykes. Hoekstra simply commands his axe and the stage with an aura of superstar around him, not unlike that of his blonde maned leader. Hoekstra combines magnificent technical skills with a passion and feel for the instrument that is almost unheard these days. Coverdale and Hoekstra look like modern day Vikings as they sail the sea of the stage."
-Tony Conley, metaltalk.net

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"Joel Hoekstra was born to be a rock star. Singing, smiling, toying with the crowd. You can tell he thoroughly lives for this. His style on stage is the epitome of a Rock Guitar God.…this guy can do it all."
-Paul Donahue Jr, heavymetalhill.com

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"Ex-Night Ranger axe slinger, Joel Hoekstra was brought on to fill the very large shoes of former shredder Doug Aldrich. Hoekstra not only filled those shoes, but he basically did the moonwalk across the stage busting at the seams as he brought showman ship to a whole new level."
-Jason Miller, thevinyldistrict.com

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"dazzling guitar pyrotechnics from Reb Beach and newcomer Joel Hoekstra who in tandem showed how two guitarists could show the true meaning of a team! Each with an arsenal of licks, tricks, melodies, motifs, the blues, harmonies and the ability to shred were as impressive as any of the former Whitesnake guitar lineups or any other guitar duo for that matter!"
-Bob Kulick, musiclegends.ca

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"In guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra, you have two axe men with some serious flair, ripping out solos that would have done Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore proud."
-Dan Nailen, inlander.com

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"David Coverdale's latest find is Joel Hoekstra. Joel gave us rapid fire riffs with his long blonde hair dangling near his guitar and some poses that made the ladies squirm. David found a great guitarist for the future of Whitesnake."
-Jim Carver, therustbeltchronicles.com

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"Another highlight is the ferocious guitar work of Joel Hoekstra. I am a longtime fan of his work. Joel is a beast and all the while smiling away, as you can tell he is having the time of his life."

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"The newest member to coil up with Whitesnake is guitar shredder Joel Hoekstra from New York City. Having been a member of top acts in the past, his fangs were out the moment he took the stage. This axe slinger was sharp the entire night and his fast and furious fretwork cut through the venue with ease. It was clear to see that he had perfect chemistry with all the members of Whitesnake."

"Beach and Hoekstra were both given ample time to showcase their ridiculous six-string prowess as they bended and tapped strings to the delight of the other guitarists in the crowd."
Ken Tomczak, The Mountain

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"Whitesnake impressed the Saban Theatre with scorching guitar solos by Reb Beach and newcomer Joel Hoekstra."
Rose Guererrd, socalmusictoday.com

"Legendary guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra worked the crowd, the stage and did what veteran axe men do, they kicked ass!"
-Myron Luzniak, tropicult.com

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"Newcomer on guitar, Joel Hoekstra played as huge as his actual stature on stage, with all the requisite rock star trappings and cues. Guitarist Reb Beach and Hoekstra each performed very different and equally compelling guitar solos."
-Darren Eagles, lithiummagazine.com

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"Coverdale was backed by five great musicians with special mention to monster lead guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra, who both deservedly got their turn in the solo spotlight" Jane Stevenson, The Toronto Sun

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"New guitarist Joel Hoekstra, along with 13-year Whitesnake veteran Reb Beach, were quick to demonstrate the expert guitar work that this material demands, pulling off several solos that would (or should!) make Ritchie Blackmore proud."

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"In August 2014, I was thrilled to learn that my favorite guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, had joined Whitesnake..…every single time I see him, he blows me away. He has the greatest energy I’ve ever seen come out of any musician"
-Janelle Rominski, onstagereview.com

"Guitarist Joel Hoekstra, formerly of Night Ranger, has stepped in to fill the void left by the exit of Doug Aldrich, and he has immediately made his mark with extreme showmanship and excellent playing."

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"Guitarist Joel Hoekstra – Standing well over 6 feet tall with hair resembling a lion’s mane, he brings a unique style of blues, jazz, and more importantly rock to the tour. The newest member to the group, he is a seasoned professional who allows the music to consume him. The notes screeching from the chords of his Les Paul are radiated throughout the crowd and felt by all. He is expressive and energizing, and a fantastic addition to Whitesnake."
-Jennifer Reid, stageshottz.com

"Hoekstra (Night Ranger, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and Beach (Winger, Alice Cooper) both got their turn to display their guitar virtuoso during a back-to-back, tasteful guitar solos"
-The Meister, decibelgeek.com

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"One notable surprise was new guitar player, Joel Hoekstra, who wowed the crowd with some theatrical guitar moves reminiscent of the days of Steve Vai and Adrian Vandenberg."

"I loved the bluesy emotional playing and contrast offered by Beach and Hoekstra on the guitars"
-Shauna O'Donnell, muenmagazine.net

"Axe slingers Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and Reb Beach traded blistering solos.."

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"Coverdale found yet another perfect fill-in replacement in Joel Hoekstra… Hoekstra is better than we knew with tasty leads his trademark."
Alex Barbieri, hardrockhaven.net


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"It’s not often that a guitarist grows up listening to one of his favorite bands, and then has the opportunity to become part of that band’s legacy. But Joel Hoekstra is no ordinary guitarist. His guitar wizardry has allowed him to live out his dream and become a driving force with Night Ranger"


"It’s not often that a guitarist grows up listening to one of his favorite bands, and then has the opportunity to become part of that band’s legacy. But Joel Hoekstra is no ordinary guitarist. His guitar wizardry has allowed him to live out his dream and become a driving force with Night Ranger"
-James Wood, Guitar World


"As a longtime Night Ranger fan, I was partial to and disappointed when Jeff Watson either left the band or was shown the door, but when I saw Joel Hoekstra rip and more than keep pace with Brad Gillis, I was relieved. Hoekstra fits in with the band like the proverbial glove and looks genuinely happy to be onstage with these guys, and his fret sparring with Gillis must be seen and heard to be believed.
Midway through the set, Gillis and Hoekstra grabbed their acoustic guitars and delivered such an incredible instrumental piece that you could hear every jaw hit the ground."
-Tony Pijar, 22nd Century Rock magazine


"Guitar solos ruled the night, as guitarist Brad Gillis took center stage unleashing the powerful solos that ruled the charts in the ‘80s. New guitarist Joel Hoekstra from Rock Of Ages also did a great job."
-Deb Rao, Hardrock Haven


"Guitarists Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra (top) served up plenty of impressive fretwork, notably when they unleashed Thin Lizzy-style solos together."
-Robert Kinsler, Rock 'n' Roll Truth

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"Hoekstra, Gillis, and Blades were all over the stage like madmen, and from the first moments, it was like Hoekstra had been a part of Night Ranger for years. Hoekstra pays complete respect to the band's legacy and does total justice to all of the riffs and guitar duels (with Gillis) that Night Ranger fans expect and love. No doubt, Hoekstra has had a tough and delicate slot to fill, replacing a fan favorite in Jeff Watson, but he makes it look easy without coming off as cocky."
--Matt Wardlaw, pitriff.com


"Night Ranger, like last year, was clearly the best band again this year. Brad Gillis and new guitarist Joel Hoekstra were so in sync that I, and many others, couldn't believe our eyes. No other guitarists on the bill came close to what these guys can do!"
--Tony Pijar, Power Play magazine

  “The reason why I have gone, and will continue to go to Night Ranger concerts is that the band puts on an incredible live show. Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra really tear it up on stage, and are a blast to watch play.”
-Rob Rockitt, hardrockhideout.com

More Reviews

Night Ranger – 24 Strings and a Drummer (Live & Acoustic)

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“The band brings new energy to their hits, even in this acoustic setting, thanks to the phenomenal guitar playing of Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra (‘Rock of Ages’ and Trans Siberian Orchestra). Their playing is fast and fierce at times, leading to several outbursts of applause from the audience.”
--The Classic Rock Blog

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"some of the more intricate guitar parts of Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra sound amazing when transformed for the acoustic environment."
--Ant Heeks, Rocktopia

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"The infectious energy of these guys, with a line-up that has now stabilized thanks to the brilliant Joel Hoekstra and new boy Eric Levy on keyboards, flows through these songs like never before."
--Andrew McNeice, MelodicRock.com

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“‘new boy’ Joel Hoekstra knows his chops too combining playing in Night Ranger with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and in the Broadway band for “Rock of Ages” (will I ever stop mentioning that show?), just showing that even the newer members have the background befitting the legacy.”
-- David Wilson, rock-zone.co.uk

Night Ranger – Somwhere in California


"Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra dish out massive, high-gain rhythms and spot-on kick-ass solos. They both have so much blues and pop in their playing that it’s tough to consider them shredders, but these guys freaking shred!"
-Matt Blackett, Guitar Player magazine

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"Joel is a world-class musician whose guitar pyrotechnics make the lineup its strongest to date, and their new album, Somewhere In California, one of the strongest they have ever released."
-Hal Selzer, The Aquarian

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"When Night Ranger parted ways with guitarist Jeff Watson, I was very skeptical about who could replace him. Who else could 8 finger tap like him? Joel Hoekstra was the perfect fit. He is a monster player and shredding guitar style really complements the sustain and whammy bar theatrics of guitar hero Brad Gillis perfectly. This album is a guitar tour de force!...Joel Hoekstra really shines with an 8 finger tapping solo that blows my mind."
-Brandon, evolutioneden.com

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"But what may come as a pleasant surprise to followers of classy AOR is the intense and uplifting axe work of Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra. Soaring solo follows soaring solo and the guitar work veers from the spectacular to the self-indulgent across this wonderful record."
-Simon, rushonrock.com

More Reviews

Night Ranger - High Road

  "The newest members of the band, keyboardist Eric Levy and guitarist Joel Hoekstra have not simply turned up and taken the pay-cheque but stamped their own mark on to the classic NR sound..Gillis and Hoekstra duel frenetically throughout the whole album."
-Mark Donnelly, rocktopia.co.uk/Fireworks magazine
  "The superb guitar work by Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra is again a real feature…In fact the guitar solos on this album are perfect, powerful, melodic, always in the right place....without doubt Gillis and Hoekstra' s performances are for our ears one of the real highlights of the album.
  "...brilliant hooks in the furrows of each track and the combination of guitarists Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra firing off sizzling, screaming leads at will."
-Peter Lindblad, backstageauctions.com
  "..excellent guitar work by Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra. The guitar solos on this album are just perfect – they kick much ass and are so melodic at the same time. It’s a pleasure to hear these guys play.”.
  "The guitar combo of Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra work perfectly and are brilliant and excellently over the top."
  "things are at full, guitar-driven tilt, reinforcing Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra’s position as one of Rock’s premier axe-slinging duos."
-John Ross, musicenthusiastmag.com
  "..some stunning fret board work from guitarists Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra, riff AND solo-wise…once again showcasing the incendiary guitar work of Gillis and Hoekstra."
  "L.A. No Name," listed as the bonus track, is an uncharacteristic Night Ranger instrumental featuring Gillis and Hoekstra killing it with their acoustics, as they hammer, float, generally weave around one another."
-Ralph Greco Jr, vintagerock.com
  "brimming with both sun-kissed harmonies and a pleasantly thick wall of guitars courtesy of guitarists Brad Gillis (a founding member of the group) and Joel Hoekstra."
-Matt Wardlaw, ultimateclassicrock.com
  "Guitarists Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra send licks flying in all directions"
-James Abel, jukeboxmetal.com
  "And then – you guessed it – Gillis and Hoekstra take the whole thing to another level with yet more jaw dropping melodic pyrotechnics."
-Scott Adams, metalasfuck.net
  "LA NoName is a purely instrumental track, in which the nimble fingers of Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra show their skills on acoustic guitars…impressive in a gentle way."
-Marion Ney, sarkophag-rocks.com

CHER (live)


"Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra…was finally given his moment of glory – and rock out he did."
-Lisa Rockman, Newcastle Herald


"..the gleaming-toothed Joel Hoekstra, an alum of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Whitesnake and Night Ranger, added some stinging electric guitar.. before playfully shadowing Cher around the stage as she cavorted in a replica of her famous ‘80s-era “If I Could Turn Back Time” black leotard"
-Melissa Ruggieri, AJC


"Cher aced the part of a rock n’ roller come “I Found Someone,” enhanced by Illinois’ own ace axeman Joel Hoekstra (of Whitesnake and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame)."
-Andy Argyrakis, Illinois Entertainer

Rock of Ages


"The onstage band features musicians who have played with members of the Alan Parsons Project, Starship, Night Ranger, Matchbox Twenty, Rod Stewart, Survivor, and others, so they get things right, especially guitar god Joel Hoekstra."

"one of the best mainstream showcases for electric guitar playing Broadway has ever offered. And it's hard to imagine anyone more suited for the show's lead guitar duties than Joel Hoekstra."
--Jude Gold, Guitar Player magazine

More Reviews

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Read It! "This year, the East Group welcomed back guitarist extraordinaire, Joel Hoekstra. He was absent last year because he was busy touring the world with his band, Whitesnake. As always, he was full of energy and brought back what was missing last year."
-Janelle Rominski, onstagereview.com
Read It! "The focal point is the tandem of blazing blondes -- guitarists Chris Caffrey (Savatage) and Joel Hoekstra, a smiling ringer from Night Ranger and Whitesnake…They are guitar-store cowboys, laying down scorching licks."
-Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Read It! "Caffery and Hoekstra really do have charisma to match their talents on the axe."
-Theoden James, The Charlotte Observer
Read It! "Hoekstra was blistering as well, taking the lead and showing off his full range of playing."
-Stacey Sherman, Oakland Press Entertainment
Read It! "..super guitarists Chris Caffery and Joel Hoekstra flanking each side of the stage..they traded chops and riffed along in sync to the classic TSO hits keeping the rock show experience alive with their stage presence, dynamics and moves…Hoekstra on masterful acoustic guitar."
-Louis Quatrini, NYSmusic.com


"The Lost Christmas Eve" offered its share of guitar wizardry, performed with extraordinary skill by Chris Caffrey and Joel Hoekstra."
--John Serba, mlive.com


"Musically the ensemble was led by the guitar duo of Chris Caffery and Joel Hoekstra, each making sizable contributions whether playing lead or rhythm (Hoekstra also shone brightly on acoustic guitar for a few numbers)"
--Brad Patton, The Times Leader


"Leading the revels were the fantastic and hyper–kinetic TSO guitarists Joel Hoekstra and Chris Caffery."
--Paul Hyde, GreenvilleOnline.com


"…left people in awe with the excellence of the performers both instrumentally and vocally….the blistering solos from both Caffery and Hoekstra were a strong cry to the old hard rock and metal days."
--Dominic Rini, examiner.com

Read It!

"Led by the rock-roaring guitars of Chris Caffery and Joel Hoekstra, the band and its chorus and string section put on its expected show of high-powered music, lights and fireworks."
--Bob Karlovits, Pittsburgh Tribune

Read It!

"Musical highlights of the early going included a splendid squealing-guitar medley of "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "O Holy Night," which showcased new guitarist Joel Hoekstra."
--Brad Patton, The Times Leader

Read It!

"Instrumental prowess was displayed throughout.....Caffery, new guitarist Joel Hoekstra and returning bassist Dave Z were especially fun to watch."
--John C Whitehead, The Patriot-News


“TSO blazes through hair-metal instrumentals..fired by the hot licks of guitarists Chris Caffrey and Joel Hoekstra.”
--Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


“The current assembly of TSO talent includes hotshot guitarist Joel Hoekstra, whose busy career has put him on stages with hair rockers Night Ranger and Whitesnake.”
--Melissa Ruggieri, AJC

Read It!

“Guitarist Joel Hoekstra and violinist Roddy Chong were all over the place, giving that rocker edge to the set.”

More Reviews


  "Hoekstra could do no less than shine, and he shines very brightly. His chops are sizzling, that almost goes without saying, but his musicality is just about perfect".."it's his Gilmour moment and he stands tall next to the legends that have come before."
-Tony Conley, rockguitardaily.blogspot.com
  "We also get our first taste of guitarist Hoekstra's skill set and it's quite impressive. His melodies and solos are exquisite and the listener can picture him playing these songs with grace and ease, never breaking a sweat."
-Larry Petro, KNAC.com

Randy Rhoads Remembered

  Joel Hoekstra is clearly a professional rockstar. This man has energy. You know how people "talk about a person having “it”? Well, this guy has it, and as soon as he turned up everyone knew it. He connected with each person in the crowd, and we connected with him all at once.."
-Paul Donahue. heavymetalhill.com


Read It!

“the seven-piece band accompanying Richardson truly rocks! Lead guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, blasts the roof off the building...”
--Eugene Lovendusky, broadwayworld.com

Read It!

“She is supported by a first class band, especially Joel Hoekstra on lead guitar. His tone, phrasing, dynamic range, articulation and total feel for the music are completely mindblowing.”
--Clifton Lemon, SF Station

More Reviews

It Ain't Nothin But the Blues


"a fired up cast of singers and musicians....roaring guitar solos by Joel Hoekstra."
--Misha Berson, The Seattle Times


"Drop-dead singers, backed by a drop-dead band......The band was tight and featured amazing guitar by Joel Hoekstra."
--Kathleen Allen, Arizona Daily Star

More Reviews



"The medley included “Magic Fingers” from the zany 200 Motels album and young–gun guitarist Joel Hoekstra pulled off a ripping solo that nearly tore the roof off the theatre!"
--Joe Milliken, Eagle Times


Musical Journeys - (6/17/20) 

Forever Employable Stories - (4/22/20)

The Sessions Panel - (5/17/17)

Culture Sonar - (8/15/17)

The Music Room - (5/30/17)

That Metal Show-behind the scenes (3/23/15)

The Metal Authority (8/1/15)

Rock Revolt (8/21/15)

No Guitar is Safe w/Jude Gold (8/27/15)

The Double Sword (9/6/15)

Talking Metal (9/16/15)

Rock Guitar Daily (9/21/15)

Rush on Rock (9/21/15)

The Rockpit (9/22/15)

1 on 1 with Mitch Lafon (9/28/15)

100 Percent Rock (10/1/15)

Eddie Trunk podcast (10/29/15)