Innerevolution – Philip Sayce

I first came to know about Philip Sayce and his guitar playing abilities due to his liaison with Jeff Healey, touring with the late Blues legend and often jamming with him on twin guitar ditties and playing on two albums for Jeff. Post that Philip has also spent time touring with Uncle Kracker and more recently his high profile stint as the lead guitarist for Melissa Ethridge. In July 2010, Philip Sayce supported the legendary ZZ Top in Europe. In December 2010 he supported Deep Purple on their French dates. Along the way the Welsh-Canadian blues guitarist has also released two solo albums, the second of which is what I am reviewing here.

Innerevolution is a Bluesfest, dripping with rawking hot guitar leads and breaks but Sayce is a good vocalist as well, bringing us to mind a more rocking sounding Gavin DeGraw. He also has elements of Stevie Ray Vaughn & Jimi Hendrix in him – his two heroes growing up. Starting off with a thumping drums solo, Changes comes charging outta your speakers, like a rhino on steroid. It’s a song about picking up the pieces and rolling with the changes. Richard Marx has co-written some tracks on this record, like Scars the second track. Wah-wah drenched lead guitar rips through the track, singing to a lover that everyone has their scars, their pains and their hurts. Rolling drums leads into the main guitar riff announcing the onset of Bitter Monday a very energetic crowd pleaser during live performances. It’s a pulsating track about regrets and the morning after.

Anymore really sounds like Philip is using his DeGraw influences; the songs sounds like it could find a place in the latter’s repertoire. Lyrically it’s a heart-break song and about moving on. From the little subtle previous track, he goes all out a bit more in the rambunctious Take You Away which is more hard rock & roll and features a screaming solo lead guitar. Daydream Tonight is more sublime and tender, a ballad from the heart. Another wah-wah laden riff introduces the next track; My Pearl is just appreciation for the woman in your life. The chorus sounds very rnb or Motown. There’s some delectable keyboard playing during the chorus too. A nice brooding blues-rock number is Tennessee Girl, about a heartbreak & outlaw girl from the mentioned state.  A bad girl who can cause a lot of damage.

Are You Ready is a question in the form of a song to the lover is she is ready to commit and ready to accept the love of the singer. It’s a very catchy number. Another rawking track is Gimme Some More, a song about sex and love. And we come to the 11th & final track called Little Miss America, a number about the glamour & wealth that young women would do anything to possess. It’s almost got a political message to the US as a whole.

I really like this guy’s music and enjoyed the whole album; no weak tracks just a great bunch of blues rock numbers. Incidentally this album is dedicated to his mentor the late Jeff Healey. Here’s a live rendition of Bitter Monday.

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