Many of Rightley’s songs are inspired by his childhood home in Colorado. The bouncy tune “Before Too Long” reminiscences about the Ponderosa pine and mountain mahogany of Colorado’s forests, foothills, and canyons. The hard-driving “When the Dam Comes Down” imagines the fate of the Colorado River. A melodic instrumental, “Song for the Flatirons” began its life while Rightley was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder. Inspired by the famous sheaves of rock that jut out of the Earth, he wrote this song as a salute to the town’s dramatic backdrop. He graduated from CU-Boulder in 2007.
“I got the urge to write and release this music after spending a lot of time in the recording studio with some of my other bands,” Rightley said. “It was validating when The Big Payback recorded one of my tunes, and I really admired the work ethic of Beefus, which put out two full albums in only six months.
“The process for these solo releases started when I wrote and recorded an acoustic song, ‘Before Too Long,’ in January,” he said. “I played it for friends and family, and the response was very positive. People started asking me if I was going to start a solo career, so I figured, why not? With ‘Before Too Long’ as a sort of model, I assembled a small collection of songs that became Raven Steals the Moon.”
Perhaps best known as the guitar player and lead songwriter for The Big Payback (an award-winning jazz/funk/R&B orchestra,) Rightley’s compositions have twice been finalists for Madison (Wis.) Area Music Awards (MAMAs). This self-taught guitarist has also been nominated as Guitar Player of the Year.