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Tony Mecca: Bio Stuff

Tony Mecca

A Troubadour That Rocks - Really!

- Philadelphia singer/songwriter Tony Mecca serves wisdom from deep in the inner city via a delicious storytelling based blueprint that inventively incorporates elements of Pop, Blues, Folk and plain old Rock 'n Roll. His stories fuse equal amounts of humor and sympathy to thoughtfully examine life experiences, personalities and real people dealing with ordinary and sometimes surreal circumstances.

- His music has been labeled Classic Rock, Singer-Songwriter and Adult Contemporary among others. He calls it Adventurous Singer/Songwriter and Urban American Heavy MeNtal. In reviews his songs and sound has been compared to Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Mellencamp and Tom Waits. But to his true fans, he just sounds like Tony Mecca.

- Through live performances with his Heavy MeNtal Gypsys, and his steadily growing recorded output of albums ...

Purple Monkeys (2003)
Princes of the New Dark Age (2005)
Hello, Goodbye & Everything in Between (2007)
Fun (2011)
Heavy Mental Gypsies (2016)

... Mecca has developed a loyal following in and around his home town that has gradually infiltrated other regions both nationally and abroad.

- During 2018, Mecca has continued work on his 6th studio album, while releasing two singles - Terrifying Lies & The Dark Side of Love - and remixed editions of his first two studio albums, Purple Monkeys & Princes of the New Dark Age.

- In a poll of his fans conducted several years ago, Mecca was described as:

“The bastard son of Huey Lewis and Joni Mitchell”
“The Who fronted by John Prine”
“The Working Man’s Wagner”

Tony Mecca
P.O. Box 11902
Philadelphia, PA 19145

... And a bit more for you history lovers

After playing along side the likes of Cinderella, Britney Fox, The A’s, Robert Hazzard/Heroes, The Hooters and many other great bands on the fertile 1980’s Philadelphia/South Jersey rock scene with his bands HABITS and MECCA, Tony had devoted all of the 1990’s to operating his rehearsal studio - THE OPERA HOUSE - while organizing its eventual resurrection as one of Philadelphia's premier recording facilities (the home of Turtle, Cambridge & Found Sound studios). He would go on to become an instrumental force on the Philly music scene as a manager, arranger and producer for several popular area bands including WARNER BROTHERS recording artists TIDEWATER GRAIN before returning to his first love, songwriting.

"Moving forward with new album projects and live performances, it is very important for our friends and fans to know that while we consider ourselves very fortunate for having the opportunity to do something we love, it means very little without their participation."

Please let us know that you're out there!
Visit our News Page for a chronological account of this continuing saga.

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The Heavy MeNtal Gypsys

Stephanie Davis-Gonzalez
Vocals - Clarinet

A graduate of the prestigious Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) in Philadelphia, Stephanie is a classically trained mezzo-soprano who has a great appreciation for the classics, as well as an open mind to all genres of music. No stranger to the stage, she has performed as a soloist throughout her high school and college years, and is a charter member of The Heavy Mental Gypsys since 2007.

In addition, Steph has recorded and performed with, Milton and the Devils Party, Stop the World, Drive 56, & Ever After.

Joe Pettit
Electric Guitar, Apposite Noise

A lifelong student of the guitar who has studied with several of the worlds most renowned and accomplished virtuosos in the legendary Pat Martino and east coast teaching guru Frank DiBussolo, Philadelphia native Joe Petitt has primarily operated in the more experimental realms of space fusion and improvisational jazz. Joe is a charter member of The Heavy Mental Gypsys since 2007.

A high caliber person guided by deep moral and spiritual beliefs, Joe's is best known for his compassionate disposition. His biggest complaint thus far? “When shirtless, barefoot drunks show-up at our live shows not knowing the lyrics.” Hey, watch Joe shred on YouTube

John Merlino
Keyboards, Theoretical Intrigue

John grew up just outside of Philadelphia in Bensalem, PA. He began his relationship with the piano at just seven years old, and has continued his passion and quest to navigate the 88's ever since. Moving to South Philadelphia in 2001, John has participated in various Classic Rock and Jazz outfits. A member of The Heavy Mental Gypsys since 2009, John also teaches piano.

Jim Drnec
Drums, Legal Council

If you took the time to listen to all the gigs Jim Drnec has played, you'd have one hell of a headache. Jim has played with Hyde Your Daughters, Habits, Cinderella & Network to mention just a few. He's tapped every style of music from classical to progressive rock and everything in between. And according to Jim, "I'll need to draw on all of those influences to color the diverse auditory program that Tony Mecca offers his listeners."

Bill Saltzer
Bass, Northern Exploration

Bill brings many years of experience in live & studio performing. He plays bass, guitar and keyboards. He also sings, writes and produces his own and others material. He has toured with Surrender Dorothy, The Pictures & A Month of Sundays. Bill has played every genre of music, but knows that the thing he loves most about playing with Tony Mecca, "in addition to the quality material" - is that "playing music is FUN again.”

Angelo Esposito
Bass, Farm Equipment

Angelo joined The Heavy Mental Gypsys in the fall of 2015, and has keep things positive and loose from the beginning. Currently, he doesn't have much to say except "I love playing in this band ... and be safe out there!" Until he offers a hint of his busy musical past, The Gypsys are just happy to have him aboard!