Joel Hoekstra, best known to rock fans as the current guitarist for Whitesnake and Trans-Siberian Orchestra (and also known for his work with Night Ranger and the Broadway show Rock of Ages), returns with his second album, ‘Running Games’ from his electrifying solo project, Joel Hoekstra’s 13 on February 12, 2021. Joined by Russell Allen (vocals), Tony Franklin (bass), Vinny Appice (drums), and Derek Sherinian (keyboards), Joel and company pick up where his debut, ‘Dying To Live‘ left off. Fans can get their first taste of the album with the newly released single ‘Hard To Say Goodbye’, available on all streaming platforms and via this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/4twyJ-VON5k
Pre-order/save the album here: https://orcd.co/runninggames
Hoekstra once again handles the bulk of the creative process, overseeing production, songwriting, and arranging (music and lyrics), and crafting his vision for this powerful hard rock gem. Add Chris Collier’s masterful mixing and the result is ‘70s/’80s classic hard rock with 2020’s muscle. As with the debut, ‘Running Games’ features an all-star cast of musicians including none other than Russell Allen (vocals), Tony Franklin (bass), Vinny Appice (drums), and Derek Sherinian (keyboards). The amazing Jeff Scott Soto also lends a helping hand with background vocals.
Says Joel, “Years ago, I released three solo albums that were mainly instrumental guitar music. With Joel Hoekstra’s 13, I have started to work on something that showcases my production, writing, and playing in the genre that I’m known for, which is melodic hard rock.” Like “Dying to Live”, “Running Games” can be described as DIO’ish at it’s heaviest, but is also influenced by the blues-based sound of Whitesnake as well as melodic bands like Foreigner, Journey, and the like. Hoekstra says, “‘Hard to Say Goodbye’ definitely represents the more melodic sound of the album, but rock fans can also look forward to some aggressive tracks.”
On ‘Running Games’, lyrically Joel focuses on escaping problems both past and present by providing playful, imaginary, and serious takes on the situations.
Long hailed for his fiery, tasteful guitar playing, Hoekstra’s playing here raises the bar to a new level.