As if The Motet needed to add intrigue to the wound-up audience, the band opened with an instrumental song before introducing its whirling dervish of a lead singer, Lyle Divinsky.
In Lake Tahoe onstage at elevation 6,300 feet, Divinsky sang “So High,” kicking a cord with his big foot and stomping a set list into a trampled wad as he smiled and danced about. That explains why he’s nicknamed “The Sasquatch of Soul.”
It wasn’t so long ago when Divinsky’s musical platform was in a New York City subway, where he busked for his meal money – a good way to develop a stage presence. He’s been with The Boulder-based septet for more than a year, joining at the same time as tenor saxophonist Drew Sayers.
Divinsky said it was great to return to the venue, which The Motet visits almost every year. The band was formed in 1998 and only drummer Dave Watts remains from the original lineup. The sound started with an Afro-Cuban vibe but it has changed over the years with the personnel.
On a slushy Sierra Nevada night, Divinsky quickly worked up a sweat.
“It may be cold outside but it’s hot up here,” he said.
The Motet, a collection that could be called the Colorado Chill Harmonic, offered the enthusiastic crowd of nearly 700 a variety of musical styles such as funk, jam and even disco.
It played six tunes from its 2016 album, “The Totem.”
Led by the powerful rhythm section of Watts and the band’s longtime bassist, Garrett Sayers, the musicianship was extraordinary and the Crown Room quickly filled with a dancing crowd. Keyboardist Joey Porter was in a playful mood, The Motet Horns – Drew Sayers and Gabe Mervine – popped and punched soul and guitarist Ryan Jalbert changed his tone and delivery to match the style of each tune. Jalbert bopped to the music moving just his fingers and neck muscles, tipping his head from side to side, a restrained contrast to the frenzied frontman.
Related story: ‘The Truth’ about Lyle Divinsky. LINK
- ‘An Evening with The Motet’
Feb. 3, 2017
Crystal Bay Casino
Just Around The Corner
Ain’t No Way
Like We Own It
Back It Up
Fool No More
Know It Too Well
Keep On Closed