And Darkness Held Sway
Raya Nova is a five-piece rock band based out of Berkeley that formed in 2001 in a different configuration. Venezuelan native, Eduardo Gamboa (lead guitar and vocals) teamed up with Grae Ryder (rhythm guitar and vocals) in both individual and collaborative song writing accompanied by Chile native Leonardo Cartes on percussion. After various incarnations of the original group under several names and a changing line up of bass players and drummers (Spinal Tap's no lie!!!) they honed their performance and evolved their music. Raya Nova combines the unique styles of Eduardo Gamboa and Grae Ryder's original melodic and harmonic vocals superimposed on the backdrop of a rhythmic, genre-bending hybrid of music. Their sound runs the gamut from early Pink Floyd (Meddle, Dark Side era) to the Buena Vista Social Club, Santana to U2 and much more. The lyrics have a depth and consciousness that has become a rarity in a darkening world. Sometimes they're ambient psychedelic and at other times folk influenced or the danceable rhythms of Latin music. The music is at times dark and brooding and at others melancholic and sweet. Sometimes they're just good ole ass kicking' rock n roll. Yet throughout this wide range of influences they maintain a consistent identity and original sound. In 2007 with the help of previous bass player Paul Durst and previous drummer Navek Ceja, they completed their first full length CD, 'and Darkness held sway', an album in the tradition of the '70's concept records with the songs loosely tied together conceptually and physically through track cross fading so that the whole stands alone as a piece but the songs can be enjoyed individually too. The record was recorded and mixed by Eduardo Gamboa, which was his debut experience as a producer and finally mastered by Gary Hobish at A. Hammer Studio San Francisco. The CD contains over an hour of music that takes you on a trip. In summer of 2007 Raya Nova was joined by Manuel Rodriguez, a bass player from Napa, CA with over 15 years experience who later recruited drummer Jason Petek to join the band for the then upcoming CD release party. Jason, who also has over 15 years experience was a former band mate of Rodriguez' from previous projects. Thus the Alchemy was completed and a successful CD party was held at the Starry Plough in Berkeley on January 31st 2008. The band is currently working on a video project and will be continuing to play throughout the Bay Area.