Last week you will have spotted that we gave you the links to the new video and a free download for Philip Sayce’s track “Steamroller. Those of you that did can’t have failed to be impressed by the work of the guitar and vocal powerhouse.
Welsh-born Sayce is one of the best live guitarists on the planet, carving out an international career in the world of blues, rock and funk with his six-string guitar. For four years he toured with the legendary Jeff Healey and he has also played for the likes of Melissa Etheridge and Uncle Kracker. Not only does he have a loyal UK fan base but his contemporaries in the business regard him as one of the best. He is also seen as “The One to Watch” in 2012. Now Rock-Zone UK are really pleased top review Philip’s fourth album, also entitled “Steamroller” – which isn’t due for release until 27th February.
The title track is up first and is very hard blues rock. A driving mid-tempo groove that oozes with a sleazey swagger this sets the scene for an album that, although rooted in Philip’s blues influences, creates a very current sound. “Stung by a Woman” continues with a more funky back-beat and a searing solo – at times it reminded me a little of Lenny Kravitz, but Sayce’s sound is really his own. “Black Train” manages to mix an almost 70s glam guitar riff in the intro into another hard hitting track.
Not all the tracks are as driving in style – with three beautiful, ballads making a welcome addition to the more driving songs. These really are fantastically structured songs. “Marigold”, although with a full band arrangement, is very much based on Philip’s acoustic guitar and has the space to breathe and allow the meaning and lyrics to wash over you as the plaintive chorus allows the song to build. “Aberystwyth” is a more traditional, slow blues instrumental that paints an aural picture of the beauty that is Wales. “Holding On” is the ballad that truly bridges the gap to the faster songs on the record. Beautiful lyrics blend with a searing guitar solo – adding soul to the mix on the album.
This is the first Philip Sayce album that I have had the pleasure of listening to. I have read about his work (especially the glowing terms surrounding his guitar playing) and the impression I had was of an immensely talented, young blues player. “Steamroller” proves that he is all this and much, much more. Yes the blues influence is there for all to see but Philip Sayce is also clearly a rocker – “The Bull” comes complete with enough venom (and a bit of swearing!) to show the harder side.
Everything you’ve read about Philip Sayce is true…and then some! A genius and this has got to be one of the blues/rock albums of the year. A perfect blend of rock, blues, funk and soul – something for everyone.
The album, “Steamroller” is released on 27th February on the Provogue label
Fans can download the first track “Steamroller“ here, for FREE:
And watch the video here:
You can also see Sayce play live in the UK soon. Tour dates to follow. More details on
By David Wilson