About Philip Sayce
Philip Sayce is a Welsh-born-American-Canadian guitarist, singer, songwriter, performer, and producer.
Sayce was born in Aberystwyth on June 3, 1976, 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 Jeff Healey's band in 1997 and toured the world for three and a half years, playing across North America, Europe, UK, Brazil, Finland and Scandinavia. A commercially released performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland is a snapshot of Philip's first European tour with Healey and his band.
Sayce quickly gained attention as a teenage guitarist through his regular gigs at Toronto clubs, and he gradually developed a solid fan base. Sayce moved to Los Angeles with his wife to expand his music career. He soon landed a gig with Uncle Kracker and toured with him for eighteen months. During this time the powerful cover of Dobie Gray’s Drift Away set a Billboard record for most weeks at #1 on any chart, for a staggering 28 weeks in the United States. With Uncle Kracker, Philip appeared on the album "No Stranger To Shame", and on TV shows such as 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 autumn of 2003, Sayce met John Shanks in the amp department at Westwood Music in Los Angeles while trying out some amplifiers. 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 January 2004, 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 , and at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
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