Joel Hoekstra is leaving Night Ranger to join Whitesnake. Hoesktra, who originally took over for founding second guitarist Jeff Watson in 2008, replaces the departed Doug Aldrich in David Coverdale's group.

"Everyone was very impressed by him, not only for his ability to play amazing guitar but also his very agreeable personality," Coverdale said on Whitesnake's official site. "He was definitely foremost in our minds when we began to search for Doug’s replacement in Whitesnake."

Coverdale confirmed that Hoekstra will fulfill the remaining dates on Night Ranger's ongoing tour in support of 'High Road' before officially joining Whitesnake. He adds that Hoekstra was offered the position back in May.

"We couldn't be happier for Joel," Night Ranger said in a Facebook post announcing Hoekstra's departure. "The last 8-plus years have been a blast, and we wish him nothing but the best.'

Hoekstra appeared on two Night Ranger studio efforts, 2011's 'Somewhere in California' and the newly released 'High Road' -- as well as on 2012's 30th-anniversary acoustic concert release '24 Strings & a Drummer.' He maintained an active career outside of Night Ranger along the way, performing in the Broadway musical 'Rock of Ages' and on tour with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He also made a cameo appearance in the film adaptation of 'Rock of Ages.'

As for who will take over alongside Night Ranger stalwart guitarist Brad Gillis, the band promises it "will be announcing Joel's replacement shortly."

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