Rumors of rock and roll's demise are greatly exaggerated, and Philip Sayce wants it to stay that way. On his new album "Spirit Rising," Sayce boldly confirms his status as one of the best electric guitarists in the world right now.
These ideas have been brewing for a while, as Spirit Rising is Sayce's first studio project since the 2015 album Influence, where he and famed producer Dave Cobb superbly revived a broad range of obscure rock nuggets. Thanks to the influence that drew many new listeners to Sayce, Spirit Rising showcases the full range of his talents and how much they have evolved.
Fans who want to hear Sayce's blazing fretwork will certainly find plenty of it during his concert. This aspect of Sayce's musical identity is, after all, how he built his reputation, starting from his hometown of Toronto, where the legendary Jeff Healey took him under his wing in the late 90s. After touring the world as a member of Healey's band, Sayce moved to Los Angeles, where he performed with Melissa Etheridge for four years before officially launching an independent solo career in 2009 with the album Peace Machine. Sayce's subsequent albums firmly established a horde of fervent fans in Europe, where he toured with bands such as ZZ Top and Deep Purple. All of this ultimately caught the attention of Warner Music Canada in 2015, leading to the release of Influence.
"For me, rock, blues, jazz, and hip-hop all come from the same family tree," says Sayce. "So I most often define my sound as roots music, as it includes influences from all these elements. At the same time, I want to lead my sound in new directions that reflect who I am, where I am, and where I'm heading."
It's often said that it takes many years to become an overnight sensation, and in many ways, this is the trajectory Philip Sayce has followed. Listening to Spirit Rising, the experience he has amassed so far is undeniable. Yet, there is also an undeniable desire to explore new possibilities. With artists like Philip Sayce, the future of rock and roll is in good hands.