Toronto native thrilled to be on blues festival bill

Raissa Tetanish
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TRURO – Philip Sayce has heard good things about the Dutch Mason Blues Festival and that’s why he jumped at the chance to perform there this weekend.

Philip Sayce, who was born in Wales and grew up in Toronto but now lives in Los Angeles, is one of the musicians on Friday’s line up for the ninth annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival.

Sayce, who was born in Wales but grew up in Toronto, is set to perform Friday night in the ninth annual festival.

“The festival has a great reputation internationally and when my friend and agent said the organizers were thinking about bringing me in, I said, ‘Oh wow, that sounds great,’” said the 36-year-old who now calls Los Angeles home. “The lineup looks so cool – there are a lot of outstanding musicians (set to perform).”

With Sayce’s album ‘Steamroller’ on the European market for the past year, the guitarist and vocalist is getting ready to launch it in North America this month.

“I’d been touring with it a lot in Europe and now I’m turning my focus to North America. I have played for a lot of people, so it feels good to put myself first. I’m really excited about it.”

Having performed with many musicians over the years, Sayce said some of them grew up in a time where the artists had the power to wear what they wanted and sing songs they wanted.

“Things have really shifted in how we consume music,” he said, noting music streaming isn’t always monetized and doesn’t necessarily help musicians to continue creating music. “In the whole, there are a lot of unscrupulous characters now that tell people to wear this and sing songs like this.”

Creating his album allowed Sayce to make his own statement on something “really emotional.”

“You can say how you really feel and stay in touch with what inspires you,” he said.

While he’s performed with Melissa Etheridge and Uncle Kracker, Sayce has spent most of his time with Jeff Healey.

“I started with him when I was just coming out of high school and he was someone I really, really looked up to. I joined his band and toured all over the world. To me, there is nobody finer – boy was he magical,” he said.

For Dutch Mason Blues Festival producer David DeWolfe, having Sayce on the bill this year is his “X factor.”

“He’s just phenomenal – what can I say?” DeWolfe said in a previous interview with the Truro Daily News. “He really shows what the future of blues is.”

Having been told DeWolfe can’t wait to see him perform, Sayce was at a loss for words.

“Wow…that’s very sweet,” he said with a laugh. “It really is an honour to be there and an honour to play at the festival.”

Sayce’s visit to the festival will have a quick turnaround, one so quick he won’t have a chance to catch the Blues Brothers on Saturday.

Dan Aykroyd introduced Sayce to a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden recently at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival.

“What a sweet guy he is,” Sayce said about Aykroyd. “He is such a huge supporter of the blues and roots. He’s a great guy.”

Sayce said, however, that he’s looking forward to catching Lucky Peterson at the festival. Sayce performs Friday at 9:30 p.m., with Peterson following right behind.

For more information on Sayce, visit, and for festival information, visit

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

Organizations: Truro Daily News, Blues Brothers, Madison Square Garden

Geographic location: Toronto, North America, Wales Los Angeles Europe

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