Rayo band metamorphosizes | TheUnion.com

Rayo band metamorphosizes

Saul Rayo and his band will perform tonight at Cooper's.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Cooper’s acoustic showcase tonight features Saul Rayo’s relatively new core band members.

For six months, the Nevada City singer-songwriter-guitarist-percussionist has played with Jay “Bird” Ladner on percussion and drums and Joshua “Tree” Letcher on bass and vocals in clubs outside the immediate area. Rayo calls the two very solid and versatile musicians.

“Jay Bird is my nephew from Colfax. He and Josh grew up together; they’ve played together forever. This is a natural metamorphosis for them and me. They are a wonderful little unit,” Rayo said.

Rounding out the core group is longtime Rayo band member John Christian on keyboards, accordion and harp.

The current Rayo lineup performed in Nevada City once before at the Motherlode Festival in September.

“We’re going to take listeners (tonight) all over the planet. It’s extremely eclectic. There’s always something new for the audience,” said Rayo, who has performed in various configurations for at least 10 years in Nevada County.

Groove rhythms have always been a big component of his originals.

“The music’s changing as usual. For me, it’s much more rootsy and worldly. I call this music bukra music (a derogatory term for a white person in the South with unknown origins),” Rayo added with a laugh.

He said his band is frantically working on a recording of originals to be released in time for the West Coast’s summer festival circuit.

“I’m hoping that the music will be magic,” Rayo said.

So far, it’s working.

The Rayo group played a Truckee club last Friday and Saturday. There were seats available the first night, but none the second night.

“On Saturday, it was a packed, full house by word-of-mouth. We were playing all originals all night long. We’re doing something right,” Rayo said. “I’m really happy the way things are going. I hope on the local level, we get the kind of support we’re getting regionally.”


WHAT: Rayo Band Showcase

WHEN: 8 to 11 tonight

WHERE: Cooper1s, 235 Commercial St., Nevada City




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