‘A great mix of heavy Rock, Soul, Pop, stompin’ Boogie and dirty Rhythm & Blues!’
1990: Ruben Hoeke starts playing the guitar at age fourteen. His childhood dreams of becoming a professional Football player in the Dutch National football team vanish overnight when all of a sudden the guitar intro of Guns N’ Roses classic ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ catches his ear. The melody makes him trade his football for a guitar in a heartbeat. Nowadays he’s considered as one of the best Dutch leading guitar players. Since his first debut performance in 1992 he’s been touring Holland constantly and played various stages in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, USA, Ireland, Luxembourg and Curaçao.
Inspired by the albums ‘Cricklewood Green’ (Ten Years After) and ‘A hard Road’ by John Mayall Ruben forms his first band named ‘Blues on the Road’ in 1992. With an average age of only 14 years old the band is considered as Holland’s youngest blues corporation. By the end of 1994 the group splits and Ruben joins the band of Dutch rock & roll piano player Henk Pepping. During that period he also collaborates with well known rocksinger Reniet Vrieze (‘The Pilgrims’) who turns him onto pop music. The fall of 1996 he left for Chicago and the deep south of America to get the real feel of where ‘The Blues’ actually comes from. In old blues clubs, he performs with a lot of musicians, including ‘Daughter of the Blues’, Shirley King. Back in Holland he sets up two new bands; The Hurricane Bluesband and Stonefreak (‘concrete-rock’). From time to time he gets to join his father’s band (Rob Hoeke) to gain experience. From 1998 to 2002, he and boogie-woogie pianist Gerbren Deves host the radio program ‘Live & Pure’. They get to interview BB King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Jools Holland, Randy Newman, Walter Trout, John Mayall, Son Seals, Sam Brown etc.
2000: Ruben runs into drummer Jeroen Booy from legendary Dutch band ‘The Scene’ and starts a new pop-rock band named SKELTER. 2001-2003: With the famous 80’s band ‘Roberto Jacketti & the Scooters’ Ruben performs three times at the prestigious Amsterdam Heineken Music Hall and on several more national and international stages. January 2003: Ruben plays the Ahoy Rotterdam, six times in a row during the ‘Vrienden van Amstel LIVE’ festival. SKELTER acts as support for famous Dutch bands ‘De Dijk’ and ‘Blof’ and release their debut album ‘SKELTER’. Both press and public are very enthousiastic by their new and energetic raw sound. Also during that period, Ruben cooperates with singer/writer Jan Blaauw which results in the album ‘Freedom Road’ by their new project; JURA.
In june 2003 Ruben is invited by singer/songwriter Thé Lau to join his band. That summer he gets to perform on big stages across The Netherlands as well as Belgium. 2004: Ruben starts his own ‘Ruben Hoeke Band’. He’s also working on old manuscripts he has found on his trip to the States in 1996. The sheets contain chords progressions composed by a musician named Kenneth C. Harder. Early 2005 he performs with Thé Lau and band in a variety of Dutch theaters and he plays gigs on The Dutch Antilles with Roberto Jacketti & the Scooters. On the 5th of May 2005 Thé Lau and band fly with a Dutch army helicopter to four different Dutch cities to perform in connection with the Dutch National Celebration of Freedom. Early July the rock-pop band Kenneth Harder release their worldwide ‘I’ debut album. In november the Ruben Hoeke Band start recording for major record label Munich Records.
2006-2007: The first RHB album ‘SUGAR’ sees an international release on March 13. Several guest appearances are made by (among others) Jan Akkerman, Kaz Lux, Tineke Schoemaker, Boris van der Lek, David Hollestelle, Wouter Planteijdt and Thé Lau. The release party is completely sold out. ‘SUGAR’ becomes ‘Tour de France’ record as top Dutch radio stations plug the album all day. In the same year the band is busy playing festivals and touring, taking the band to Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Belgium. Together with a couple of live performances on Dutch national radio result in the fact that the Sugar album becomes the best selling R&B cd of the year.
2008-2009: Ruben is voted ‘Holland’s best Guitarist’ by his colleagues and receives a ‘Duiveltje’. The major of his city grants him an ‘Official certificate of Qualification’. Ruben receives his own signature guitar and speaker cabinet. In August he plays a sold out show at the prestigious Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam with Jan Akkerman and Gary Moore. 2010-2011: The bands new album COEXIST is released March 24th. Ruben takes second place in the “Best Blues-rock Guitarist Benelux 2010” poll. Around the same time Ruben begins his monthly column in the Dutch guitar magazine “Guitar plus”. In October Rubens own signature guitar pedal “RH Boost-Drive” is released. During the summer of 2011 a planned cooperation with guitar player Mick Taylor was cancelled when Taylor was asked to rejoin the Rolling Stones on tour.
2012-2014: June 20th 2012, almost 20 years to the day, Ruben gets to meet the man who had influenced and inspired him to pick up the guitar in the first place. His meeting with Slash is published in Dutch “Music Maker” magazine. Back in the studio the band are busy recording a new cd, after completing a tour through Estland. On March 23rd 2013 the third RHB cd entitled ‘LOADED’ is presented to a sold out crowd at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. In thge beginning of 2015 JURA reforms and in March Ruben is voted ‘Best Blues-Rock Guitarist Benelux’ by readers of the influencel ‘Guitarist Magazine’.
2015: In April Ruben wins the ‘Dutch Blues Award’ and JURA releases their new album ‘River Songs’. In November Ruben recieves the first prototype of the new ‘Radix RH signature’ guitar which is built in Jakarta, Indonesia. 2015 sees a change in the bands line up. Besides Ruben and bassplayer Paul Brandsen the band is completed with vocalist Lucas Pruim and his brother Eric Hoeke on drums.
By the end of April 2016 the RHB starts working on their fourth album. During the summer Ruben is asked to join singer Beth Hart on a worldwide tour but he chooses to stick with his own music. The new RHB-album ‘SONIC REVOLVER’ is released in Europe on the 23th of September and is considered as ‘one of the top 2016 albums’. By the end of the year Ruben sets of a tour with Jan Akkerman. During the summer of 2017 Ruben and his brother Eric start recording an album with music by their late father, Rob. By the end of 2017 the RHB starts touring extensively through Holland to celebrate Rubens ’25 years on tour’.
Media describe Ruben Hoeke as a ‘Worldclass guitarist’ and ‘one of Holland finest players of todays scene’. Although Ruben is a guitarist who can relate to several music styles, the Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll is something that comes to him naturally and straight from the heart. With dozens of great (press) reviews the Ruben Hoeke Band will continue touring and playing it’s repertoire filled with Soul, heavy rock, pop, stompin’ boogie and dirty rhythm & blues!