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Joel Hoekstra


What are people saying about Joel Hoekstra?



"There is not a single weak song...The production is crystal clear, and each instrument sits exactly where it should in the final mix. The performances by all musicians are nothing short of virtuosic..With RUNNING GAMES, Joel Hoekstra and company have gifted us superb melodic hard rock compositions with stellar vocals and musicianship throughout.”


“...a melodic masterpiece meant to be heard, showing Joel’s true talent and gift relating to his songwriting ability and hitting a chord that stops you in your tracks...I think Running Games is a perfect combination of heavy and melodic...Every part of the album was crafted with the intent to keep rock out there, as a true Rock album, Joel and friends succeeded.” -Sarah Tijan, metal-temple.com


"The second album from Joel Hoekstra’s 13 is upon us and it sounds great! It’s a record beautifully mixed by Chris Collier and one which is dripping with ‘70s and ’80s classic rock influences. Great stuff indeed and a more than welcome addition to the collection of anyone who loves great songs and searing guitars!
-Mark Diggins, therockpit.net


“...one of the finest guitarists working today and his music and track record both speak for themselves...Hoekstra’s guitar work completely slays...Joel Hoekstra is a major talent by any measurement and Running Games is another incredible addition to his body of work.
-Martine Ehrenclou, rockandbluesmuse.com


“..its pretty incredible...polished and classy...The musicianship throughout is top notch..hard rock doesn’t get much better or much classier than this.” 9.5/10
-Andy Thorley, maximumvolumemusic.com


"Joel Hoekstra really got everything right on ‘Running Games’..well-crafted melodic hard rock.....an originality that excites, a strong musical breeze that blows away any negative notion."


"Joel lays down the catchy riffs and blazing solos accordingly...Running Games is high on melodies and soul, with a blast of Hard Rock guitars and showmanship...you will be hard pressed to make comparisons between Joel Hoekstra’s 13 and any other band. They truly have a Hard Rock sound of their own."
-George Dionne, metalexpressradio.com


“..does everything a sophomore album is supposed to do.To say Joel is an accomplished guitarist is an understatement, but it is still nice to hear him doing exactly what he wants in his own project, writing music and lyrics..Joel should be very proud of the results. A top class hard rock record that will further entrench Joel as one of the scene’s most respectable and reliable musicians."
-Rock Wombat, melodicrock.com


"Hoekstra’s incendiary guitar licks make this album sound pretty epic. With albums like this one, Joel Hoekstra gets the chance to strut his stuff and he doesn’t miss a beat. Bluesy at times and technically proficient throughout, Hoekstra shows why he’s been in some of the best bands around...Running Games is pure gold.”
-Bobby Caughron, xsrock.com


"Hoekstra has a strong sense of song melody and harmony..Running Games is another entertaining album of his classic melodic hard rock propelled by his solid songwriting and impressive guitar work. Easily recommended.” 4.5/5
-Craig Hartranft, dangerdog.com


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"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


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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"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

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"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

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"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

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

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  "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


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

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“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

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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

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"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)