Frontiers Records is proud to present “20 Years”, a best of collection assembling the works of Mecca, the classic AOR band started by vocalist Joe Vana.
When he was only 13 years old, Joe Vana’s life was forever changed through a chance meeting with Survivor’s Jim Peterik. Jim taught him everything he knew about music and the music business. But, it wasn’t until he was 28 years old that he discovered his voice, which is when he became Peterik’s in-house demo singer for many years. Joe and Jim eventually created a band called Project Voyager, which ultimately morphed into Mecca. In 2002, Mecca released their debut self-titled album, which featured David Hungate (ex-Toto) on bass, Shannon Forrest on drums, Fergie Frederiksen (ex-Toto) and Joe on vocals, Mike Aquino on guitars and Jimmy Nichols on keyboards. “Mecca” created a sonic treasure that was more than well-received by the Melodic Rock/AOR community.
Fans had a nine year wait for the follow-up album, but it was worth it. Titled “Undeniable” (2011), it saw Vana working with Swedish guitarist Christian Wolff and producer/songwriter/guitarist Tommy Denander. The results were again breathtaking, an album which perfectly melded the outstanding high-tech AOR approach of Mr. Mister’s “Welcome to the Real World” to the sheer commercial brilliance of Toto’s “The Seventh One”.
In 2016, the “III” album finally saw the light of day, a record that would have topped AOR charts back in the glory days of the genre. The list of players involved is impressive: Shannon Forrest (Toto), Pat Mastelotto (Mr Mister, King Crimson), David Hungate (ex-Toto), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel), Mike Aquino (Pride of Lions), Christian Wolff and Joe's son Joey on guitar. In Toto's Steve Lukather words: "Killer new music! Great songs! Great playing from everyone ... and Joe's vocals are better than ever! Smooth, real and soulful. I love the 'surprise modulations' that are now his style which make this a great listen for fans of his and the entire genre of melodic rock music. Creative arrangements throughout and I love the synth/keyboard work. David Hungate is amazing as is Shannon Forrest on drums and production. Great sounds and killer guitars all over it! Can't say which track is my fave yet, cause I love all of them. Summing it up in 3 words: Well f***ing done!”
Whether for the uninitiated or for those who are due to revisit Mecca, “20 Years” is for you!