From left to right: Vic Griffith, Asher, TC Morse, and Dave Guglielmana
Photo: Barbara Yasuhara
The local Chamber of Commerce is not the usual venue for putting together a rock band, but for Lucid Rays one networking event led to a lot of music. When Asher, representing an acupuncture clinic, met TC Morse, attending as a home security specialist, they connected musically. When asked about how they decided to play together, TC said, "It was clearly fate...First time we played together, we knew."
Informal jamming led to a search for like-minded San Francisco Bay Area musicians to join them. The line-up grew organically. Asher provided lead guitar, keyboards and background vocals, as well as original music, and TC Morse handled lead vocals, rhythm guitar and lyrics. Asher invited friend Dave Guglielmana to be the band's bassist, and Guglielmana engaged Vic Griffith, a self-taught drummer he had played with in local cover bands. And Lucid Rays was born.
All four shared similar musical backgrounds – picking up instruments in childhood, playing in school bands, learning other instruments, college level studies and wide-ranging musical interests. Among them, they brought everything but the kitchen sink to their music: acoustic anti-war songs, classic rock, and Italian opera with liberal doses of jazz and hard rock. Experiences included studies with jazz master Jimmy Heath, Brett Wilmot (Berklee School of Music), and Ross Valory (Journey’s bass player), and playing with Les Claypool before he joined Primus. Out of the mix, they have fashioned a classic rock band, but one with a decidedly modern beat and with lyrics reflecting their commitment to raising social awareness and promoting positive change.
When they entered El Cerrito Studio to record, their partnership with Producer and Recording Engineer Oscar Autie (Omar Sosa, Yalil Guerra, and Skankin’ Pickle), put the final touches on their sound. With enough original material to record several albums, they created their first release, “Hard Time in the City” in 2012. The album includes 12 cuts incorporating hand percussion, piano, strings and saxophone, for a diverse and original sound.
"The album is really a conglomeration of diverse influences. If you look at all four of the members, it started out as an idea, and everyone's experience really comes into play," says Asher.
In 2014, Lucid Rays released their single “More In Common” as an introduction to their next album, Stand Before The Systems, which wasn’t finished until 2016. Also in 2016, Asher decided to move to the mountains, so he could compose an Opera Rock and spend more time in his Acupuncture clinic. He made himself available for the studio recordings; however, Lucid Rays found two other guitarists to play live: Jim Johnson and Reinhard Seidl, who are now officially band members. Asher is still very invested in the band and will continue composing, arranging, and recording with Lucid Rays. While Jim and Reinhard will continue recording and playing live.
The second album, Stand Before The Systems, steers away from pure classic rock to incorporate some more alternative rhythms and sounds.
This album opened the door to the UK audience, and all their songs are now being played on the radio.