Album review: MECCA – III

MelodicRock Records [Release date 14.10.16]

It seems ages since the last Mecca album came  out, ‘Undeniable’, although in fact it came out in 2011 and not that long in some bands eyes. However, this third album has been recorded over the past three years and thankfully MelodicRock Records are giving it a release. Joe Vana is the mastermind behind this and he is joined by top draw musicians including Toto’s drummer Shannon Forrest (who also handles production), fellow Toto member David Hungate and keyboards player Tim Akers (Rascal Flatts/Kid Rock).

This is glorious stuff it has to be said, from the crystal clear production through to the vocals of Joe Vana. Given his vocal style and the fact two Toto members are involved in the music, it is not surprising the sound of that band is all over the sound, none more so than on the blissful ‘Unknown’. The way ‘Alone’ builds up from the keys, percussion, keys and handclaps to a rousing chorus is simply magnificent. This is how you do ballads and ones that will stand the test of time.

West Coast fans will lap up the gentle refrains of ‘Gone’ and again you marvel at the musicianship and how new sounds reveal themselves after each listen. ‘A Kiss On the Wind’ is a vocal tour de force from Joe Vana, with just the right amount of musical backing. Shannon Forest deserves a special mention to for not only  the production/sound, but also his drumming which is spot on and never too much or too little.

I can easily see this album making many melodic rock/AOR fans year end best of lists and although only eight songs, it is all about the quality not quantity. Mecca show again how top quality melodic rock is done and then some. Even better news is that album number four is underway, so hopefully not such a long wait between albums. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 22 November 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 24 November 2020


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Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)

Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)

L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)



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