MRR's Andrew McNeice: "Joe has been a friend of mine since 1996 and I've seen him develop into one of the most reliable and mature songwriters in this game. On Mecca III he takes everything that came before as a launching pad for what must come next and Mecca III delivers. This is a monster record that is layers deep in rich textures that remain fresh to my ears even after first receiving the original writers' demos some 3 years ago.
I'm so proud of my friend and I'm honoured to be given the chance to bring this exceptional album to the world. The instrumentation is nothing short of world class, the production is analogue all the way - you can hear it in every crisp, clear note. And the vocals are quite simply the most stunning and emotion filled tones that I have ever heard from Joe. I simply cannot wait to hear fan reactions to this album. It's a masterpiece."
Joe Vana is equally as excited to finally reveal his masterpiece to the world. "Mecca III, here we are! I wanted to take all I had learned from the amazing list of players involved in Mecca up to this point...from Shannon Forrest to Pat Mastelotto...David Hungate to Tony Levin...Mike Aquino to Christian Wolff and my son Joey...and the production I learned over many years working closely with Jim Peterik on his songs as well as Mecca 1.
But...I wanted even more...I wanted A TRUE Audiophile record...not a pro-tooled, over edited mess of 100 takes edited into one...and the groove less, lifeless carcass that playing to the grid creates, the ruination of vibe, groove and soul in music.
I hope everyone digs the record....it's 8 tracks because that's all I needed to tell the story I wanted to convey...lyrically the record flows...All are separate but continuous chapters...vocally the songs even feel different as I move through different phases of my life."
And what does Toto's Steve Lukather think about it? "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 + killer guitars all over it! Can't say what is my fave yet cause I love all of it. Summing it up in 3 words...Well f-ing done!" Luke - 2016.
The album was produced by new Toto drummer Shannon Forrest (Tim McGraw, Michael McDonald, Kenny Rogers, Don Henley), Associate Produced by Joey Vana and Recorded at Off The Grid Studios, Nashville Tennessee.
Alongside drummer Shannon Forrest, featured on the album are some of Nashville's very finest musicians:
Tim Akers - B3 and Piano (Rascal Flatts, Amy Grant, Kid Rock, Alabama); Toto's legendary bass man David Hungate; plus David Browning (Katy Perry, Amy Grant, Hollywood Heroes).
MECCA III is:
Joe Vana - Lead Vocals
Shannon Forrest - Drums and Percussion
David Hungate - Bass
Tim Akers - B3 and Piano, Background Vocals and Duet on "Believe"
David Browning - Synths
Joey Vana - Guitars
Mark Baldwin - Guitar
Sol Philcox-Littlefield - Additional Guitars
Ethan Forrest - Additional Guitars
Rudy Chmelik - Additional Percussion on "Believe"
Bill Syniar - Vibe
All Lyrics and Melodies written by: Joe Vana
Except Track 8: Akers, Vana; Track 7 - Richard Page