Get this crazy baby off my head!


Joel Hoekstra

Joel Hoekstra - The Moon is Falling - 2003 - Joel Hoekstra (Ind.)

"a freewheeling rock-jazz-funk-classical ride that features the fiery axe slinger in power trio form with bassist Ric Fierabracci and the unstoppable Virgil Donati." - Drum Magazine

"Once again we see that not all "guitar albums" are the same. Joel Hoekstra has made an album that features the guitar as its principal voice, but shows that variation and imagination hold a far greater key to good music." - Bob Mulvey, Dutch Progressive Rock Page

"The Moon is Falling" shows you why he is highly sought after...I call it pure genius when these three guys get together...This disc is just phenomenal." - Wayne Klinger, Quintessence Metal Webzine

"'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

"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

Joel Hoestra rebounds from his phenomenal genre-exploring, debut release, Undefined, with a compositional masterpiece of completely original and unique instrumental material on The Moon Is Falling. The unexpected change in direction caught this reviewer completely by surprise and left me thinking that this follow up to Undefined should have been named "Unexpected - Redefined" because Joel Hoekstra has completely redefined his scope and artistic depth on this release. The album consists of complex, mind-bending compositions in a concept album format where the tracks are bound by a unifying thread of musical continuity that runs throughout the album giving it a paradoxical cohesion relative to the diverse musical ideas that Hoekstra explores. Though Hoekstra's guitar work is advanced and impressive, the fretboard finesse that Hoekstra demonstrates on the album is merely a tool that he uses to shape his musical vision that is dominated by the compositional genius that Hoekstra has achieved on this effort. Fans of Hoekstra's first release, Undefined, should abandon any expectations of a sequel that resembles in any way his previous effort. Hoekstra has taken aim on defying categorization based on his debut release and has succeeded in making a complete departure from his first album's style. The album opens with a disillusioned descent into instrumental madness that is reminiscent of Ron Thal's impressionistic compositional style that uses musical motifs to paint emotional imagery targeted at the listener's subconscious psyche, though in no way infringes on Thal's patented style. Though Hoekstra at times sounds redolent of many other instrumental artists, the manner it is done leaves the listener with the uncertainty of whether it is due to true influence or coincidental exploratory coverage of the same experimental territory. Hoekstra delves into many complex tonal themes and savory chordal phrasings that are carefully crafted together into gripping, dynamic arrangements that leave the listener bewildered with amazement because of the seeming incompatibility of the enigmatic motifs that are woven together into confoundingly coherent, exotic compositions. And then, these multifarious pieces are complemented surprisingly on other tracks by translucent melodies that haunt the listener with their eery, unearthly harmonies. Some of these melodies summon nostalgic flashes of ancient, classic musical themes from a wide variety of epic tunes conceived by the likes of thematic masters such as JS Bach, Billy Joel, Eagles, Lyle Workman, and Steve Morse, among to many other disparate artists to even attempt to list. Though again, the similarity in these profound themes to the apparent influences leaves the listener with the impression that the flares of congruence are fortuitous. And, though these bursts of impressionistic flashbacks are striking to the listener, their role in the overall scheme of the compositions are more or less subservient to the overall dauntingly intrepid and captivating mosaics that they fit. The range of styles that Hoekstra seamlessly integrates throughout the compositions is staggering, traversing many genres such as jazz, fusion, funk, classical, and concept rock, as well as many styles and schools of thought within them. This transparent integration of diverse styles is done in a deft manner that makes the listener feel as though there were some natural affinity for these incongruous styles to belong together as incorporated in and revealed by Hoekstra's enlightening revelations of stylistic fusion set forth on this CD. The net effect of Hoekstra's colossal efforts on The Moon Is Falling is a modern epic of composition, technical execution, and conceptual content that will leave fans of instrumental musics in a state of astonishment pondering the visionary musical vision contained on this album. As a parting note on this review, I will add that due to the originality and uniqueness of the content on this CD, this was one of the most difficult reviews that I have had to write to date. There really is nothing that I am familiar with that this CD could be compared to give listeners an idea of what it sounds like. The guitar work and incredible composition will surely be of interest to fans of progressive instrumental music. But, though this CD has found a fan in this listener's ear, I am not sure what audience this CD will appeal, even among fans of progressive music. The album has a very unusual dichotomy of complexity and accessiblity that makes it difficult for me to predict what listeners will acclimate to it. Be that as it may, I recommend that all fans of progressive instrumental music check out The Moon Is Falling from Joel Hoekstra and give it a chance to sink in. This is definitely not the type of album that most listeners will be able to fully absorb the first time through. But, this is the type of album that a listener will never grow tired because of its constantly shifting sonic soundscapes that relentlessly challenge the listener with one theme after another transitioning with constantly unpredictable directional changes that often resolve into profoundly and deeply satisfying conclusions. ***** © Chris Ruel © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hoekstra2

Joel Hoekstra is back and his band once again includes the winning rhythm section of Virgil Donati on drums and Ric Fierabracci on bass, and we also have Chris Grove on keyboards. The band come roaring out of the starting gate with the title track, which is a Country-Funk-Metal blend with a fusiony Eddie Van Halen shred solo that announces loudly and proudly that this follow-up to Hoekstra's Undefined CD from 2000 is going to be another monstrous and lusciously varied slab of instrumental guitar heaven. Among the highlights is "Fire Island", which begins as an easy-paced jazz tune, but includes moments of roadburning rock and mind blowing guitar. Hoekstra excels at incorporating an array of styles and themes into individual tracks in a way that flows seamlessly and comes off like a multi-themed progressive rock suite... all compacted within a 3-4 minute construction. Only 2 of the CD's 14 tracks break the 5 minute mark. Yet Hoekstra manages to make highly sophisticated and totally kick ass statements within a framework that, for him, is clearly not a limitation. "9/11" is a frantic and quirky rocker that includes calmer moments of jazz fusion and much more. And it's interesting that a song called "9/11" would be followed by one with samples of Michael Rennie's statement to the world in The Day The Earth Stood Still for mankind to abandon his war-like ways and join the advanced races' "system that works". Food for thought. And it's a killer tune with the usual Hoekstra variety and includes moments of pounding King Crimson styled power. "The Great Og" is a crunchy rocker with a metallic edge, fiery shred guitar and some cool little spacey bits. "Antonia" and "Confessions" are among the more sedate songs on the CD, and appearing back-to-back in the playlist serve as peaceful breathers in the midst of the storm. "Maybe Just At Parties" is an excellent funky jazz-in-space tune I enjoyed. At nearly 7 minutes "Kaleidoscope" is the longest track of the set and is a roller coaster ride of progressive rock, jazz fusion and metal. And the closing track, the aptly titled "Lull", is an acoustic guitar piece given a freaky edge by barely audible UFO electronics swirling around in the background. In summary, I give this CD a big thumbs up to guitar fans of all stripes, and the prog rock crowd will find much to enjoy too. Hoekstra is full of flash, but keeps the discerning listener interested and at full attention throughout the album with his skillful and imaginative blend of styles and turn-on-a-dime thematic twists and turns. Hot shit. Check it out. Reviewed by & © Jerry Kranitz & Uploaded to Aural Innovations: September 2003 © http://aural-innovations.com/2003/september/hoekstr2.html

“The Moon is Falling” is the follow-up to New York guitarist Joel Hoekstra’s acclaimed ”Undefined” album. As before, he is backed by the amazing Virgil Donati (Planet X, Steve Vai) on drums and the incredible Ric Fierabracci (Chick Corea, Andy Summers) on bass. The album is another great example of the creativity and inventiveness of this wonderful guitarist. Joel uses rock, jazz, funk and classical elements to produce an album of complex mostly guitar driven instrumental music that is often experimental but definitely “mind-bending” and played with an impressive and advanced technique. The music is always very accessible and truly enjoyable from a guy who is trying to do something different in the jazz rock/fusion genre. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Joel’s “13 Acoustic Songs” album and promote great innovative modern progressive music. Check out Joel’s website @ http://www.joelhoekstra.com/index.html [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 132 Mb]


1. The Moon is Falling (3:55)
2. Fire Island (5:02)
3. Euphoria (3:56)
4. Translucent (3:32)
5. 9/11 (3:46)
6. Join Us (4:31)
7. The Great Og (3:43)
8. Baboons Are Dangerous (3:28)
9. Antonia (4:05)
10. Confessions (4:45)
11. Snoop (4:23)
12. Maybe Just at Parties (4:58)
13. Kaleidoscope (6:47)
14. Lull (3:15)

All tracks composed by Joel Hoekstra


Joel Hoekstra - Guitar
Ric Fierrabracci - Bass
Chris Grove - Keyboards
Jay Cappo – Keyboards on Tracks 11,12,13
Virgil Donati - Drums
Dan Cipriano – Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo


Joel Hoekstra is an American guitarist currently in the band Night Ranger. The son of classical musicians, he started out playing cello and piano at a young age, but it was hearing Angus Young that inspired him to start guitar. He was raised in Chicago he has lived in New York City for over 10 years. When not touring with Night Ranger, he performs as a guitarist in the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages. He also made a cameo appearance alongside Sebastain Bach, Nuno Bettencourt, Kevin Cronin and Debbie Gibson in the big screen movie adaptation. Hoekstra also plays with Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their Winter tours. Joel has played on stage and in studio with Foreigner (band), Dee Snider, Jeff Scott Soto, Jim Peterik, The Turtles, Big Brother & the Holding Company and many more.


A.O.O.F.C said...


Click small white arrow at left of download (middle of web page)

Password is aoofc

francisco santos said...

i like the album a lot...maybe going to buy the other ''Undefined (2000)''...love the bass & the drum players ''Ric & Virgil'' and they play also...thanks for the tip Paul

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Francisco. I think it's a good original fusion album, and his other one also. I've been putting a lot of fusion on this blog lately. I might inject it with a good shot of the blues, soon! Thanks, my friend & TTU soon....Paul

Bart said...

Just downloaded because he's dutch and will see and hear what it sounds like.. Looking forward to more blues!! :o) Keep up the good work man! Love this site!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Bart. He's pretty good around the fretboard. Let me know what you think. Thanks, & TTU soon...Paul

Bart said...

Hey Paul. Actually enjoyed listening to it, but still love the blues better! :o)
Keep ut the good work man!
Your site is the only one where I could find Innes Sibun - Superstitious.. Awesome work!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,Bart!Thanks, & TTU soon...Paul