Our friend Fred Mandel, a talented musician himself, told my husband and me we should check out a friend of his, a guitar player named Philip. He said the guy is an amazing player, the sort of talent you rarely find these days. So we caught a ride with Fred and his wife Jenny out to the Brass Elephant in Monrovia to catch Philip Sayce and his Band (drummer, Kenny Aronoff and bass player, Roger Bueno).
Check out this video!
Wow! They had the place entranced. From beginning to end - the nonstop sweat-flying, chest-thumping, head-slamming, finger-blurring - never waned in energy. It was simply stellar blues-rock. Philip, at one point, walked off the stage and through the bar, ending up right in front of our table.
And the venue couldn't have been better. Where else, exactly, can you see that kind of show for nothing but the price of a beer? Not that there's even a drink minimum. The cozy 1920's bar - with its thick, aged walls and whirrling pulleys of ceiling fans - was filled with locals.
They all seemed to know each other, like the guys I sat near - yelling across the room to friends, pumping their fists in the air to the guitar wails. They had photos of Philip and one of his CDs, out and ready to be signed. Others held up microphones to tape machines and video cameras. They're Philip Sayce fans who've been following the band. And last Thursday Night I heard why.