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Rock: Instrumental Rock Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Joel Hoekstra

Guitar driven instrumental music that is experimental, but accessible.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Electric Fields
3:29 $0.99
2. Urban Experiements
3:57 $0.99
3. Mad Bar
4:17 $0.99
4. Homework
4:14 $0.99
5. Corny
4:51 $0.99
6. Gorilla Man 2000
3:28 $0.99
7. Kill Swing
2:54 $0.99
8. Space Cowboy
3:22 $0.99
9. Reflection
3:28 $0.99
10. Slide Tune
3:58 $0.99
11. Plot in Motion
3:38 $0.99
12. Afghanistan Blues
5:12 $0.99
13. Spank Me
9:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This CD of guitar driven, primarily instrumental music explores fresh approaches to funk and rock, as well as humorous takes on country, swing and blues. It has been described as experimental, but accessible.

The disc features world class, ground breaking drumming from virtuoso Virgil Donati (Planet X, Steve Vai) and unbelievable bass playing provided by Ric Fierabracci (Chick Corea, Andy Summers). There's also guest appearances from Howard Levy (Bela Fleck) and Cathy Richardson.

Co-produced and mixed by T.J. Helmerich, this disc is bound to satisfy fans of quality instrumental music who are in search of something new.

New York guitarist Joel Hoekstra is a musician on the rise as both a consummate sideman and an innovative solo artist. Joel's cd's 'undefined' and 'The Moon is Falling' have found a strong cult following and critical acclaim. Recently, he completed his third cd '13 acoustic songs' and is currently performing with Night Ranger and rocking NYC in the hit show 'Rock of Ages'.

Joel has worked on/with the following....

Night Ranger
Scrap Metal
The Turtles
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Eric Martin (Mr Big)
Alan Parsons
Martha Davis (The Motels)
Mickey Thomas (Starship)
Rik Emmett (Triumph)
John Waite
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)
Beth Hart
Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple)
Donnie & Johnny Van Zant
Don Barnes (38 Special)
Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon)
Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (Nelson)
Jimi Jamison (Survivor)
Dave Bickler (Survivor)
Mark Slaughter (Slaughter)
Hugh Jackman
Chan Marshall (Kat Power)
Constantine Maroulis (American Idol)
Henry Paul (The Outlaws, Blackhawk)
Ray Parker Jr.
Sandra Bernhard Jim Peterik (Ides of March, Survivor)
Tom Keifer (Cinderella)
Kip Winger

Rock of Ages (off-Broadway)
Love, Janis (New York, San Francisco, Phoenix, Cleveland, Louisville, Cincinnati, Tucson, Sag Harbor)
The Boy From Oz (Broadway)
Tarzan (Broadway)
La Cage Aux Folles (Broadway)
It Ain't Nothin But the Blues (Tucson, Phoenix, Kansas City, Seattle, Chicago*)
A Chorus Line (Broadway Cast Recording 2006)
Lovely Day (off-Broadway)

* nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for 'Best Musical Direction'

Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Last Call with Carson Daly
The Sandra Bernhard Experience (A&E)
20/20 (ABC)
Nick Cannon (Nickolodeon)
FOX Morning news (New York, Chicago, Tucson, Kansas City, Atlanta, Louisville, Cincinnati)
WGN Morning News (Chicago)
ABC's View From the Bay (San Francisco)
The Loose Leaf Report (LA)
WB Morning News (New York)
The New York Today Show
ABC's New Years Eve Countdown (Chicago)
NBC "Good Company" (Cleveland)
UPN: Live at the Taste (Chicago)
I-90 North (Chicago)
NBC Morning News (Louisville)
Barry Z Show (New York)
Guitar Talk (Chicago)
NBC's 'The Bay Area Today' (San Francisco)
NBC's 'Arizona Midday'

Resurrection Mary
The Last Winter

Played the national anthem for a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden

Suhr amps & guitars
Nady wireless systems
Ernie Ball strings
Big Bends Nut Sauce
T. Miranda Pedals
Dimarzio pick-ups



to write a review

Christopher Thelen

Hoekstra is bound to become a major name in the field of guitar oriented instrum
Chicago guitarist Joel Hoekstra obviously has studied the life and works of Jeff Beck. Like the legendary British guitarist, Hoekstra (who may be best known as a member of the Cathy Richardson Band), Hoekstra draws upon a number of influences on his mostly-instrumental solo debut Undefined. The main difference between the two is simple: Hoekstra is able to keep things interesting throughout the entire album.

Hoekstra draws upon a wide range of influences, from jazz-influenced writing (hence the comparisons to Beck) to blues riffing, from all-out funk-based rock to tongue-in-cheek, undefinable styles. From anyone else, this might be a task that would be impossible to accomplish. Where Hoekstra succeeds is that he has the talent to put behind the musical claims - and he brings along a crack team of musicians to help him out.

Could Hoekstra have pulled off this magic without bassist Ric Fierabracci and drummer Virgil Donati? Maybe - but it sure wouldn't have been the same. Think of what Joe Satriani might have sounded like without the talents of Stu Hamm providing an anchor on bass when Satch was making a name for himself. It could have been accomplished, but it just wouldn't have been the same. Just as Hoekstra's guitar talent is the main focus of Undefined, the interplay between all three core musicians is essential to this project's success.

There's the key word: success. It more than adequately fits the bill for this. Tracks like "Electric Fields," "Homework," "Gorilla Man 2000" and "Kill Swing" come alive with a level of electricity I haven't heard on a primarily instrumental album in some time. Admittedly, the band does bring in several more musicians to share in the magic, but it never feels like there are too many cooks spoiling this musical gumbo being created.

Even a track like "Space Cowboy," which has nothing to do with Steve Miller's original version, succeeds - even though it's meant to be a form of comic relief to counter-act the serious musicianship that precceeded it. The carnival barker-style vocals (which I assume are Hoekstra's - no credit is given), the country-on-speed musical style - even the sounds of chickens during one of the bridges - all make this song succeed on more than the most visible level.

Richardson even makes a guest appearance as the only credited vocalist, making her presence known on the closing track "Spank Me". Granted, I liked the fact that the music was able to speak for itself throughout the bulk of this disc. But Richardson does add something special to this track, and it proves to be a lot of fun - as well as being the ideal way to bring this project to a close.

Hoekstra proves on Undefined that he could well be one of the most underrated guitarists of this day and age, without relying on flash and speed to make his voice heard. Each phrase he wrings out of his guitar speaks volumes for his talents, without ever making his stay feel too long. 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.


For more information or to order this disc, please visit Joel's page on the Cathy Richardson Band Web site.

Dave Dorkin

Guitarist Joel Hoekstra has put together a strong dbut fusion effort.
Guitarist Joel Hoekstra has put together a strong
debut fusion effort. Undefined features the talents
of Virgil Donati on drums and Ric Fierabracci on bass
for some well-thought out compositions and fine solo
work that displays Hoekstra's impressive technique
that will appeal to fans of Steve Vai, Brett Garsed
and T.J. Helmerich among others. - Dave Dorkin


I do believe Joel has mastered the technique of his musical ability in this CD. "Plot In Motion" is like being in a movie. I felt like I was there moving a long with him as he performed. I just think Joel is a brilliant guitarist. He truly moves me.


Carla Archuletta

Undefined showcases the creativity of a truly unique artist with impeccable tale

From The Global Muse:

Joel Hoekstra

Title: Undefined

Label: Independent

The Rundown (1-5 stars)
Sound Quality:5
Over All:5

Joel Hoekstra is a forward-thinking jazz guitarist constantly looking for ways out of the fusion box. Talk about a match made in heaven, drummer, Virgil Donati (PlanetX, Steve Vai), and bassist, Ric Fierabracci (Frank Gamble, Andy Summers), are the dynamic duo faced with the endless challenge of keeping up with Hoekstra. Howard Levy (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones) and Cathy Richardson, (vocals on "Spank Me"), join in the chase. Together this caliber of musicians scratch each other's itches: Donati and Fierabracci are able to ease their pedal off the metal and lay back a bit. Meanwhile, Hoekstra emerges to define and refine his articulate guitar style. Everything from "Corney," reminiscent of a Barnaby Jones 70's theme, the spacey, eclectic, "Electric Fields," to the bluesy hidden track, "Amazing Grace." Hoekstra remains diverse, fearless, and all the while keeping a sense of humor. Exacting a precise, occasionally jazzy tone from his instrument and encompassing a tremendous range both in tempo and expression, Hoekstra is an ideal guitar hero for 2001. Melodic, psychotic, and with loads of flash, he has all the burning technique of a Satriani or a Vai. Undefined showcases the creativity of a truly unique artist with impeccable talent.

Chris Ruel,

Multi-genre romp of strong axe versatility
Joel Hoekstra has come up with a collection of tracks that aim to make this album fall into the category of "Undefined" in your local music store. Though there is a definite thread of style that is woven through this album, Hoekstra is not easily pinned to one genre or style, and apparently likes it that way so that he is free to indulge in his wide-ranging musical fancies. Undefined squarely plants one leg in the realm of jazz fusion, but hops around with the other leg into a number of other musical styles resembling smooth jazz, progressive, instrumental rock, and sometimes just plain, goofy (though musically involved and entertaining) songs. But, Hoekstra is not contented by just staking his wide musical territory, and he is intent on proving his talent and capabilities in every venue that he ventures into.

The album opens with a slew of tracks that establish the groove-based jazz / fusion foundation of the effort. The tracks present accessible themes, rhythms, and grooves that are accentuated by Hoekstra's savvy brand of soloing. The stream takes a diversion with the sixth track, "Gorilla Man 2000", that introduces a more hard-edged rock style with its crunching, distorted rhythms and instrumental rock-like guitar solos. This new dimension to the album is a pleasant surprise because it offers a new direction that adds scope to the overall concept. But, Hoekstra does not stop there. The next track, "Kill Swing", ventures further out into the realm of musical styles by incorporating into the album the swing jazz underpinnings that are highlighted by the aggressive, fusionoid guitar solos that immediately bring Scott Henderson to my mind. This track, "Kill Swing", seems to me to be the point in the album where Hoekstra really opens up and lets loose in a manner that makes you think he was holding back up until this point in the album.
(edited for submission, full review at website)
Sometimes you might listen to a new album where the musicians try to cover a wide array of styles to demonstrate their Steve Morse-induced need to prove their diverse capabilities. Once in a while, you will come across a new artist that is actually capable of pulling something like this off without seeming like an imitation, and, in fact, seems more like the genuine article. Hoekstra is the exception that can pull it off, and he has on Undefined. This guy is a the real deal and is worth checking out. If Virgil Donati thought this music was good enough to warrant his attention on the drums, this just might be an indication of the caliber of music that you will get on this album. It's not just good music here, it's good entertainment! ~ Chris Ruel,


Great technique, continuous groove and humour.That's all I want man! =)
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 à 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 à 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! =)

Ted Vieira

HOT (note all caps)
This cd is a fresh instrumental guitar album displaying a combination of agressive, creative playing from everyone on the project. It combines textures of funk and rock, along with contemporary jazz fusion sounds; even a little country, swing and blues. The playing is clean, precise and tight. The guitar/bass/drum grooves are the backbone of the album. I can't say enough about the ability of the players on this cd. The music is extremely nasty and aggressive, yet tasteful and is never too stays extremely musical. I hate to compare artists, but I'd liken the music to that of Joe Satriani on steroids. There's a lot of humor in this cd. If I had one word to describe the cd it would be HOT (note all caps).

Progression Magazine

A big thumbs up for this jasper!
I'd love to live in Joel Hoekstra's head for a day. In addition to being an excellent musician, this guitarist is a superb writer and arranger, with a knack for producing very fresh-sounding, groove-oriented progressive music.

Stylistically, part of the fusion equation here tends toward the head-trip school of electric Herbie Hancock, Funkadelic, and Frank Zappa: lots of squiggly, nasty lines that want to burrow around your ears, with a view toward penetrating your brain.

The other part is an attention to sound and texture, that should appeal immensely to prog heads. "Gorilla Man 2000" could pass for current King Crimson, while "Afghanistan Blues" atmospherically evokes a Steve Hackett/David Sylvian collaboration.

The basic band is a trio, with drummer Virgil Donati, and bassist Ric Fierabracci both solid, tasteful players. Keyboards are a big part of the sound, and Chris Grove, Doug Ackman, and Jay Cappo contribute very distinctive work on their respective tracks. Great sonics, too, and a big thumbs up for this jasper.

-Larry Nai, Progression

Jason Smith

Amazing guitar work, and of course Virgil is unreal.
Fantastic grooves and some incredible picking by Joel!

MJ Brady

....gets better with every listen
I must admit my that intrigue in hearing Joel Hoekstra's Undefined cd, was more provoked by the fact that Australian musicians Virgil Donati - drums, and Ric Fierabracci - basses were guesting, of course both Donati and Fierabracci are players that are of the highest order when concerning modern fusion players. Surprisingly it was Hoekstra's guitar playing that makes this cd unique, and enjoyable. Of course it never hurts to get stellar performances from the backbone of the group, and both Donati and Fierabracci do more than admirable work on their respective instruments. Joel Hoekstra, clearly is the leader of the musical portraits that are conceived on Undefined, his penchant for using a wide array of tones and devices allows him to sound like a different guitarist on every song. The music is instrumental fusion, yet treads more on the funkier and rockier side of it, creating slick patterned grooves, which the Donati/Fierabracci team mutate to give the music a huge creativity plus. Hoekstra plays nimble notations of melodic themes, creating a 'voice' for the music, he has great chops, and doesn't mind taking advantage of using many sound enhancing devices to alter his guitar tone, at times he comes up with some very cosmic sound. The music seldom portrays Hoektra as a guitar hero, but offers more of a listening experience for fans of good fusion, played by some otherworldly musicians. This cd has a large FUN factor attached to it, though the musicians are very serious players, the music contained shows occasions towards having a humorous feel. Each passing song shows that Joel Hoekstra has more than dabbled into the many varieties of modes, and genres, and all are played with great proficiency, you will hear him touch not only on fusion, but also, rock, jazz, country, ambiant, pop, blues, and possibly repeated listens will reveal still more. Clearly Joel has had a wide range of influences to mix with his great ears, training, and keen sense of writing. This is a cd that gets better with every listen, and will be getting a lot of plays here at my humble abode. Some of the players that came to mind while ingesting this cd were: Steve Morse, Shawn Lane, Tim Pierce, David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, Lowell George, Robben Ford, Brett Garsed, Scott Henderson, etc. As you can see, this is a full spectrum of musical styles, which lends to the beauty of this recording, and one that is well worth seeking out.

-MJ Brady