|Philip Sayce - 'Ruby Electric' (Provogue Records)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Tuesday, 12 July 2011 04:45|
During 2010 we saw a staggering array of quality albums all make a bid for our Uber Rock albums of the year lists, and as you can probably imagine not all of them got the attention they maybe disserved first time around. One such album that I admit should have made it onto my final ten and probably would have easily done so if it hadn't taken me until December get around to listening to it, was the fantastic 'Innerevolution' from Aberystwyth's very own blues rock protégé Philip Sayce.
'Innerevolution', Sayce's second album was a superb eleven track blast of funked up blues that exuded a class and confidence in the songwriting department that betrayed Philip's tender years. Think of what Lenny Kravitz jamming with Stevie Ray Vaughan might have sounded like and you wouldn't be too far off the mark, in fact I'd actually put 'Innerevolution' up there with the debut album from the awesome Arc Angels (you know...the supergroup featuring Charlie Sexton and Doyle Bramhall II), yes it really is that good.
Anyway not wanting to miss the boat this time around, when Philip's new album 'Ruby Electric' dropped into the URHQ PO Box a week or so ago, I was quickly "In Like Flint" and this half studio half live album has pretty much been on constant replay on my car stereo ever since that day.
Philip Sayce's career to date has seen him honing his six string skills with the likes of Jeff Healey, Uncle Kracker and Melissa Etheridge. And it is the multi platinum selling whiskey soaked vocals of Etheridge that helps introduce 'Ruby Electric' with the Hammond driven stomp that is the album's lead single 'Let The Love In' picking up the mood from where 'Innerevolution' left off seamlessly.
Spanning a total of six studio tracks Volume 1 of 'Ruby Electric' mixes the turbo charged blues funk of 'Set Us Free' and 'King Of New Mexico' with the subtler moments of 'Were You There' and 'Daydream Tonight' (which is rerecorded here) and wraps things up in a frenzy with the little under one minute album title track. The latter actually sounding just like a long lost Jimi Hendrix track. So with things over way too quickly on this expertly produced (by Dave Cobb) set of tunes... All I can say is "I want more, and I want it now..."
And, I kind of get more in the shape of Volume 2; with eight Eddie Kramer mixed live tracks recorded at various venues across Europe during Sayce's 2010 World Tour. Made up almost entirely of tracks from his debut album 'Peace Machine' this set of songs perfectly showcases Philip's undoubted talent as a guitarist, but this material although still very good just doesn't quite match up to the quality of the songs that followed them, and as such it is the live "edge" and the inclusion of 'Take You Away' from 'Innerevolution' that rescues this set from the skip button as what I really want to hear is Volume 1 of 'Ruby Electric' all over again.
With Vintage Trouble, Rival Sons, and Black Country Communion all releasing excellent classic retro sounding albums already this year, you can add Philip Sayce to that list, as the studio element of 'Ruby Electric' is a truly remarkable set of songs that should see Philip destined for sure fire greatness in the blues rock genre. All you have to do now is get out there and buy Philip Sayce's back catalogue and check out the guy live as he plays a short 4 date tour later this month.