Tuesday, June 14, 2011

PHILIP SAYCE: "Ruby Electric"

Rating: 7/10

Label: Provogue 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

Often cited as a blues rocker, but in reality much more, Philip Sayce is a Welsh born Canadian who should get together with Mikki Free, as the two of them both seem to be haunted by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix at times. His career hasn’t exactly been stellar, having worked with Uncle Kracker and Melissa Etheridge, but with this, his third album, he should be getting a lot more attention for what he can do when unencumbered by someone else’s game plan.

“Ruby Electric” is divided into two volumes, which are ostensibly studio and live, but volume 1 does have a live cut on it, so feel free to be confused. It’s not a double album, mind, just a single one of two halves. Volume 1 contains some really cool, accessible tracks, most notably the upbeat, retro vibe of the title track and the slow burning but powerful “Were You There”. Volume two kicks in and kicks ass with a plethora of blues inspired rock outs, where Sayce successfully stakes his claim as a talented guitar monster. As with many of his contemporaries, his voice is good but nothing extraordinary, whilst his playing is full of life and blisters. This is blues music with big brass bluesy balls to it, not the dull stuff that seems to go on so long you lose the will to live. Philip Sayce likes to make his guitar howl, people, and listening to the live section of this album made me want to call up the society for the protection of guitars and grass him up.

Suffice to say, Philip Sayce can rock out with the best of them. The live section of the album is more enjoyable than the studio section, but that’s sort of to be expected with hotshot young guitarists. This, guitar freaks, is the Good Shit, so lie back and enjoy it.


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