Whether he's performing as part of the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages or jetting around the country for Night Ranger recording sessions and shows, Joel Hoekstra is easily one the hardest-working guitarists you're likely to meet. In addition to his aforementioned commitments, Hoekstra finds time to tour every fall with Trans Siberian Orchestra, and he even records video lessons that reveal the secrets of his guitar prowess.
Thirty years ago, Night Ranger were transformed from an opening act to a headliner with the release of their album Midnight Madness. The 1983 record became a smash hit within months of its October release, thanks to tracks like “Sister Christian,” “(You Can Still) Rock in America” and “When You Close Your Eyes.”
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.
If you’re new to the game and just discovering Jack Blades, you’re likely to think of him as a founding member/lead vocalist/bassist for the rock band Night Ranger. In fact, Blades is a multi-faceted artist who can easily transition from the volume of arena rock — with Night Ranger or Damn Yankees — to the stripped-down acoustic sounds of Shaw/Blades, his project with Styx vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Tommy Shaw.