Night Ranger Celebrates 30th Anniversary With New Album/DVD
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 the band, Night Ranger.
It’s the same dedication to his craft that also makes Joel the hardest working guitarist in rock music today. But don’t take my word for it. Just take a look at his resume. Not only does Joel share guitar duties with Brad Gillis in the band whose songs “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, “(You Can Still) Rock in America” and “Sister Christian” have all become staples of classic rock radio, but he continues to perform as part of the hit Broadway musical, Rock of Ages. Have I also mentioned that Joel finds time to tour with Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO)? And then there was the time he pulled “double duty” and filled in for an ailing Mick Jones of Foreigner. Which begs the question: When does the man ever find time to sleep?
Joel and his Night Ranger band mates, Jack Blades (Bass), Brad Gillis (Guitar), Kelly Keagy (Drums) and Eric Levy (Keyboards) have just unleashed a new package of music to celebrate the band’s thirtieth anniversary. The album, “24 Strings and A Drummer” is a live CD/DVD combo featuring refreshingly new, acoustic arrangements of the band’s biggest hits.
I had the opportunity to speak with Joel about the new CD as well as his own musical journey.
It’s been a busy few years for Night Ranger. Tell me about what the band has been up to.
We really have been busy. Last summer, we released a new studio album called Somewhere in California and toured the world to support it. To help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band, we’ve just released a greatest hits, acoustic, CD /DVD package called “24 Strings and A Drummer”. It’s a live album that we recorded at Bob Weir’s studio in northern California. It was an intimate, invitation-only performance.Continued on the next page