Philip Sayce

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Philip Sayce
Birth namePhilip Sayce
Born (1976-06-03) June 3, 1976 (age 44)
Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom
OriginToronto, Canada
GenresRock, Blues
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active2000–present
LabelsWarner Music Canada
Associated actsJeff Healey Band, Melissa Etheridge

Philip Sayce is a Welsh-born Canadian guitarist, singer and songwriter, now residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Early life[edit]

Sayce was born in Aberystwyth, his family moved to Canada when he was two years old, and he grew up in Toronto. His parents, Kenneth and Sheila, listened to music by Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder and Dire Straits, amongst others. His parents' love of music inspired his love for the guitar, and he also played the piano and trombone for over 10 years. He was fifteen years old when he played in his first band. Sayce and his best friend, drummer Cassius Pereira, played in bands together throughout high school, holding band practice in their basements. Sayce's style is influenced by Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose death in August 1990 affected the young guitarist.

Sayce began playing in Toronto clubs at the age of 16. He quickly became a regular fixture on Toronto's bar-scene. Some of the clubs Sayce frequented were Grossman's Tavern, The Silver Dollar, Blues on Bellair, The Horseshoe Tavern, and Albert's Hall in Toronto, known for their jam sessions with artists such as Robbie Robertson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Dylan and Jeff Healey. His other musical influences include B.B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray. Sayce joined Healey's band in 1997 and toured the world for three and a half years, playing such places as Baden Baden, Germany, Brazil, Finland and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.


Sayce quickly gained notoriety as a teenage guitarist through his regular gigs at Toronto clubs, and he gradually developed a solid fan base. Sayce moved to Los Angeles to expand his music career. He soon landed a gig with Uncle Kracker and toured with him for eighteen months. With Uncle Kracker, Philip appeared on New Year's Rockin’ Eve, Regis and Kelly, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The CBS Early Show.

Sayce also wrote the music for the 2002 short film, Cockroach Blue, which he also starred in. It was produced and directed by award-winning Robert Crossman. The film was shown at the 2003 Woodstock Film Festival.

In the fall of 2003, Sayce met John Shanks at an impromptu jam session in the amp department at Westwood Music in Los Angeles. Just a week before, Melissa Etheridge had mentioned to Shanks that she was looking for a guitar player and was thinking of trying somebody different. Shanks referred Sayce to her and in December 2003, Sayce joined Etheridge and her band for her Lucky Tour. Sayce also appeared on Etheridge's Lucky CD and the Lucky Live CD & DVD, released in September 2004, Melissa Etheridge Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled released in 2005, The Awakening" released in 2007, and A New Thought For Christmas released in September 2008. He also performed on Etheridge's "I Need To Wake Up" from the Al Gore 2006 documentary film An Inconvenient Truth. Sayce appeared with Etheridge at the 2007 Academy Awards, Live Earth in 2007, The 2005 Grammy Awards as part of a tribute to Janis Joplin (along with Joss Stone), and at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Sayce released his album Peace Machine, on Provogue Records in 2009. He released a second album Innerevolution in Europe, in May 2010. In July 2010, Sayce supported ZZ Top in Europe and in December 2010, he supported Deep Purple on their French dates. Sayce released the albums Ruby Electric (2011) and Steamroller (2012) in Europe, and promoted these releases with multiple tours across Europe and the United Kingdom.[1]

He performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 in New York City at Madison Square Garden, and was highlighted among the top performances of the festival by Premier Guitar.[2]

Sayce signed with Warner Music Canada in 2015 after Warner executive Steve Waxman discovered Sayce's music while streaming tunes on Spotify.[3] Sayce made his major label album debut on April 7, 2015 with the release of Influence, and scored a top 20 hit at rock radio in Canada with his rendition of Ten Years After's, "I'd Love To Change the World".[4] Sayce toured in support of Influence in 2015, with performances at the Fuji Rock Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, and Ottawa Bluesfest.[5][6][7]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

  • Jeff Healey Band Get Me Some (2000)
  • Uncle Kracker No Stranger To Shame (2002)
  • Jeff Healey Band Live at Montreux (2005)
  • Melissa Etheridge Lucky Live CD & DVD (2004)
  • Melissa Etheridge/Joss Stone "Cry Baby/Piece of My Heart" (2005) Grammy Awards Performance
  • Melissa Etheridge The Road Less Traveled (2005)
  • Jimmy Barnes Double Happiness (2005)
  • Melissa Etheridge "I Need To Wake Up" (2006) Academy Award-winning song
  • Melissa Etheridge The Awakening (2007)
  • Melissa Etheridge A New Thought For Christmas (2008)
  • Melissa Etheridge The Awakening Live DVD (2008)
  • Lily Wilson The Right Time' (2008)


Philip's favorite instrument is a white 1963 Fender Stratocaster named "Mother". He also owns another vintage Stratocaster in a sunburst finish as well as various other vintage instruments.

For amplifiers, Sayce has used a vintage Fender Super Reverb, which he called "my favourite amp", for much of his live work as well as some custom made amplifiers. Philip almost always plays with reverb, stating in an interview that "some people hate reverb, I love it!". Other effects include a Klon Centaur, TS808 tube screamer, multiple fuzz pedals and a Clyde McCoy Wah.


  1. ^ Francis, Pete (February 14, 2012). "Catching Up With Philip Sayce: Steamroller Interview". Blues Rock Review.
  2. ^ Charupakorn, Joe (April 15, 2013). "20 Best Moments of Crossroads 2013". Premier Guitar.
  3. ^ Saxberg, Lynn (2015). "Philip Sayce pays tribute to blues-rock influences". Ottawa Citizen.
  4. ^ America's Music Charts, Mediabase, America's Music Charts, Mediabase (May 12, 2015). "top 20 this week active rock radio canada".
  5. ^ Lanthier, Sara (May 19, 2015). "Philip Sayce's Summer Tour Announced!". Q107. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Mallion, James (July 25, 2015). "PHILIP SAYCE Guitar Hero at work!". Fuji Rock Express.
  7. ^ Saxberg, Lynn (July 13, 2015). "Bluesfest reviews: CeeLo brings his throne, Blue Rodeo brings more roots rock". Ottawa Citizen.

External links[edit]