The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Philip Sayce & Earthquake Zinfandel

Christmas has been rather sad for me this year. My son-in-law’s cancer has metastasized to his spine which means the end is near. He and my daughter have been married for two short years and it seems only yesterday that I answered the question, “Who gives Rachel to be married?” with the words, “her mother and I.” Nothing prepared me for my daughter’s question this Christmas: “How do I prepare him to die, Daddy?” As a result, I’m going to feature the blues this week, which I think is an appropriate sentiment for the week.

Tonight, I’m featuring Philip Sayce. Sayce was born in Aberystwyth, England, but his family moved to Canada when he was two years old, and he grew up in Toronto. He began playing in Toronto clubs at the age of sixteen and quickly became a regular fixture on Toronto’s bar-scene. One of the clubs Sayce frequented was Grossman's Tavern in Toronto, known for its famous jam sessions.

In 1997, he joined Jeff Healey’s band and toured the world for three and a half years, playing such places as Germany, Brazil, Finland, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In December 2003, Sayce joined Melissa Etheridge and her band for The Lucky Tour and has subsequently played on several of her CDs.

As you listen to him you find his style is strongly influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. His powerful technique fuses both styles into a soulful, driving example of virtuoso blues playing.

Over my head:

Powerful thing:

Angels live inside:

Can’t find my way:

Born under a bad sign:


Who knows:

Ottawa blues fest:

Save me from myself:

All I want:

Slip away: 

It’s over now:

Complimenting Philip, I recommend a 2006 Earthquake Zinfandel ($19.00). The Earthquake label is part of the Michael David Family of Wines, the makers of one of my favorites, Seven Deadly Zins Zinfandel. Earthquake is another fine example of this wine. Earthquake has a little bit of Syrah and Petit Sirah blended in which gives it a nice balance.

This Zinfandel isn’t for those looking for a subtle wine as it’s anything but. The nose has plum, cinnamon, and mulled berry fruit notes with a palate of jam-filled black raspberry and vanilla and a hint of pie crust and mocha. The finish lingers with spice and plum goodness. It’s a big, yet smooth wine, perfect for the big blues guitar of Philip Sayce. Enjoy!


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