Doug Hoekstra

Doug Hoekstra


Alterna-folk-poet, with a distinctly singular and modern musical twist.


"A lot of people write songs, Hoekstra writes five-minute worlds" (Wired Magazine)

Doug Hoekstra’s instantly recognizable musical persona and deep talent for songcraft have garnered years of praise from critics, djs, and fans throughout the United States and Europe. Raised in Chicago and living in Nashville, he has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man with an ear for a phrase and an eye for detail, a man known as a “songwriter’s songwriter” (CMJ Music Monthly). Hoekstra's gentle baritone anchors his music, setting sympathetic narratives against a backdrop of memorable melodies, wry rhythms, and subtle but unexpected arrangement touches. The sum total of the parts? "Americana's answer to Oscar Wilde...mesmerizing both musically and lyrically" (Americana-UK).

In addition to live discs, eps, and other oddities, Hoekstra has released six full-length works on labels in the U.S. and Europe, earning him Nashville Music Award, Independent Music Award, and NARAS nominations. Hoekstra’s latest project, Blooming Roses, features all the Hoekstra hallmarks – honest vocals, narrative lyrics, emotive chord changes and impeccable musicianship. From the soul vibe of the title track to the atmospheric groove of the closer (Everywhere is Somewhere), the music is infused with mood and purpose, creating a unified and rich musical landscape that stands as Hoekstra’s strongest work to date. The CD was recorded primarily at True Tone Recording studios in Nashville, with David Henry producing (David Mead, Josh Rouse, Rod Picott) and a bevy of Nashville’s finest helping achieve its dreamlike cohesion. The album’s closing track was cut in Stavanger, Norway at Out of Tunes Recording with members of Thomas Dybdahl’s band (Oyvind Berekvam, Eirik Lye) at the helm.

Hoekstra has toured both sides of the pond extensively, performing at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles, solo and with band in tow. Throughout this journey, Hoekstra has been participant and observer, finding time to write a boatload of prose about these and other experiences. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, and he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his tale “The Blarney Stone” (2006). His first-full length collection of prose, Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, was published in 2006 to rave reviews and earned a Bronze Medal for Best Short Fiction in the 2007 Independent Publisher Awards (IPPYs). As Paste Magazine noted, “Music runs like a liquid vein through these 80-proof experiences. Hoekstra pours it out with a Dylan-esque fervor, giving us a sputtering catalog of beauties and terrors…”

For more on Doug's many moods, go to or


Ten from "Blooming Roses"

Written By: Doug Hoekstra

1) Acquired Taste

Sunny days, silver skies, another plan to devise
Walking through the pouring rain
On a diamond studded cane
Blood running black and gray

I love you baby and I told you so
You love me too and I have always known
It’s more than acquired taste

Words we speak, beads we hold, to whom we pray, stories told
Born into a time and place
Putting on the bravest face
Masking every lucky break


A mountain view, coral reef, closer to the never seen
Sometimes it takes my breath away
All the minutes that we waste
On this endless chase


2) Blooming Roses

I was walking through public housing
Flyers in my hand
Screen doors rattled, the wash on the line
Danced like a crazy man
On the face of it, I must admit, there’s so much I don’t understand

And the garden plot that lined the walk
Was overgrown with blooming roses
Blooming Roses

She was sitting on a concrete porch
Braiding her little girl’s hair
Sirens roared, the wind kicked in
Blowing dust into the air
I wouldn’t preach, but I had to reach for a picture of my boy to share


We laughed and talked of miracles
Waves of thunder rolled
The sky grew dark, a growing storm was
Getting ready to explode
Beyond the fray, another day, all we noticed was heart and soul


3) The Best There Ever Was

He said, “I want to be the best, that there ever was
When I stand on the mound, the crowd will pause
And wait for me to fire, and when I do retire
They’ll tell stories of me to their daughter’s sons.”

She said “I want to the best, that there ever could be
When I stand on the stage, the crowd will weep.
Treasure my finest hours, throw me carts of flowers
My autograph will be worth a million bucks.”

The best there ever was….the best there ever was

Now, everything happened as they knew it would
Through college and the minor leagues he could
Dominate the hitters, throw nasty sinking splitters
His legend grew, some whispered Hall of Fame

She rose through the ranks, Hollywood hits
Action flicks and serious bits
From coast to coast, billboards called her the most
Glamorous starlet of the last hundred years….

The best there ever was…the best there ever was

Brother and sister on a mountain train, peaks and valleys in every frame
Nothing’s ever what it seems to be

The final game at Fenway Park
The sun was low, it was getting dark
He struck out the side, at home that night
Stopped the flow with a flourish and a flash

She read all about it in the L.A. Times
Didn’t know whether or not cry
The sun began to rise, she watched it justify
All the movements that anyone ever made

4) The Naper Vegas Scrabble Club

The Naper Vegas Scrabble Club
Meets every other week
In a three story yellow house
On a quiet shady street

I’m going home - home today
Well, let me tell ya, man, this place has changed
This place has changed
She studies her tiles for hours,
He descends like a starving man
Smiles come over weathered skin,
And aching shaking hands

Everybody knows what’s comin’,
But they still act surprised
It doesn’t matter who you are,
You never have enough time

I’m going home - home today
Well, let me tell you man, this place has changed
I’m going home, I’m going home, I’m going home
Today….this place has changed

When it rains, they ride the bus
Otherwise, they drive
Coming to a four-way stop
Searching for a sign

All that's thought or been forgot
Dangles on the trees
Where words fit perfect on the board
Free of life's tragedies

I’m going home, home today
Let me tell ya, man, this place has changed

5) Instincts

I trusted my instincts, but they led me astray
Telling me of a brighter day
When all that we have is in front of us now
My instincts have let me down somehow

My instincts were true, my instincts were wrong
Should’ve given a clue instead of a song
Should’ve told me to walk when I wanted to run
My instincts are tired, my instincts are done

I’m selling my instincts to the bidder who knows
The up from the down, the way that life goes
All that I have are the pearls of your love
The truth that I need in a place I can’t touch

My instincts come cheap, they were only a crutch
My instincts are tired, but my instincts are good

6) Subway Train

A ladies-only subway train rides through Yokahoma
In the morning hour, pink doors, little flowers
A seat for mama, it rides through Yokahama
In the morning

The subway train, there goes the subway train

A fellow on the platform watches as it flies
Filled with lovely women, he feels like he’s in prison
The fence is ten feet high, tips his hat as life goes passin’ by

Pockets lined with wishes, heart inside his sleeve
A bridge of


Hoekstra CD Releases:

- Blooming Roses (WingDing Records, U.S/Europe, February 2008)
- Su Casa Mi Casa The Official Live Bootleg
(Headroom UK & US, June, 2005)
- Waiting
(Paste US, June 2003/Headroom UK, Feb. 2004)
- The Past is Never Past
(Inbetweens Europe, October 2001)
- Around the Margins
(Inbetweens Europe & US, March 2001)
- Make Me Believe
(Round Tower UK, 2000)
- Rickety Stairs (Back Porch, 1996)
- When the Tubes Begin to Glow (Back Porch, 1995)

Hoekstra Books, EPs, Compilations:

- Bothering the Coffee Drinkers
(Canopic Publishing IPPY Award Winning Book, June 2006)
- Six Songs
(Wing Ding Records EP, June 2005)
- Sound Asleep/Hit the Hay
(“Camden Town,” Sweden 2005)
- Americana-UK Collection
(“The Bottomless Pit,” UK, 2005)
- Comes With a Smile
(“Because She Loves Him,” UK, 2003)
- Acuarela Songs
(“Watercolor Rose,” Spain, 2001)
- Doug Hoekstra Combo Live at Sal’s
(Hinah, France, 2001)
- Comes With a Smile
("If the World Was Blind," UK, 2001)
- Songwriter: a contemporary collection
(“Cottonwood Tree” /“Slipping Through the Cracks,” XIII Bis Records, France, 1997)

Set List

This is tough, because I have no set set list. It's pretty dependent on audience. It's all original material, playing anywhere from 1-2 sets. I generally read from my book in the middle of one of the sets. Here's a typical template:

Hoekstra Set One

Diminishing Returns
Sunday Blues
Crawling Out From Under
The Family Tree
Dark Side of a Pearl
Pieces of Man / Eternity
Gavin Geist / Waiting
Broken Tower
Blooming Roses
Birmingham Jail
500 Miles Away/Choices
Celebrate the Trance
Sam Cooke
Picture of the Soul

Hoekstra Set One – Version Two
Sam Cooke Sang the Gospel
Choices / Have it All
The Family Tree
Dark Side of Pearl
Pieces of Man/Eternity
Gavin Geist/Waiting
Broken Tower
Diminishing Returns
Picture of the Soul
500 Miles Away
NaperVegas Scrabble Club
Birmingham Jail
Laminate Man