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Whitesnake name new axeman

Whitesnake have confirmed Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra as their replacement for Doug Aldrich.

And mainman David Coverdale has revealed Hoekstra was one of the first people he thought of when the job became available.

Aldrich bowed out after an 11-year stint in May, admitting it had been an “insanely difficult” decision, but that he wanted to pursue other opportunities. He’s since confirmed the formation of a supergroup with Journey’s Deen Castronovo and Jack Blades, also of Night Ranger.

Coverdale describes Hoekstra as “an exceptionally talented musician” and adds: “We had met briefly last year when his band opened for Whitesnake in Arizona. Everyone was very impressed by him – not only for his ability to play amazing guitar, but also his very agreeable personality.

“He was definitely foremost in our minds when we began to search for Doug’s replacement. We jammed together – and we were impressed enough to ask him to join on the spot.”

Night Ranger have wished Hoekstra well, saying: “We couldn’t be happier for Joel. The last eight-plus years have been a blast.”

Whitesnake are currently working on a project Coverdale calls “so exciting to me that it’s beyond words.”