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Lyle Divinsky’s Soul Survivors Debut In Denver With Members Of The Motet, Lettuce, And More [Videos]

On Thursday evening, Lyle Divinsky brought his latest solo project, Lyle Divinsky’s Soul Survivors, to Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, marking the first time The Motet vocalist has performed a show dedicated to his own originals in Colorado. Divinsky tapped Lettuce’s Adam Deitch (Drums) and Adam Smirnoff (Guitar) along with Mingo Fishtrap’s Dane Farnsworth (Keys) and Kyle Hollingworth Band’s Paul McDaniel (Bass) to round out the lineup for his Soul Survivors, making for a stellar crew to help bring his soulful numbers (as well as a healthy number of covers) to life.

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As the singer noted, “This show was really special to me. It was the first time I’ve brought my original music to Colorado. I had released my solo album, Uneven Floors, exactly a month before The Motet and I started talking, so the album had to be put on the back burner and for the most part ignored. Most people now associate me with heavy funk, but soul has always been what I’m drawn to. I haven’t seen a lot of soul music around Denver, so I was at the same time anxious and exhilarated. The band and the crowd far exceeded all hopes and expectations. Everyone on and off stage was ready to go any and every step of the journey together, whether it was an original they had never heard, a familiar funky groove, or a patient ballad. It only furthered my love and appreciation for the Colorado community and their relentless love and support for live music.”

Two Trains

The show opened with an a capella rendition of Divinsky’s original “Strengthen My Soul,” with the audience reverent as the singer showed off his vocal chops to start the show. The first string of opening numbers was a highlight of the night, with the rest of the band dropping in and making for an explosive transition into another original, “Disaster.” From there, the group moved directly through to the first cover of the evening, Earth Wind & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love.” This spirited three-song sprint to start the show was augmented by the energy brought forth during Dane Farnsworth’s solo in “Can’t Hide Love.”

After Little Feat’s “Two Trains,” another Divinsky original “Fallin’,” and Bobby Womack’s “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” the Soul Survivors put on a stellar rendition of The Band’s “It Makes No Difference,” marking another highlight of the evening. As Divinsky told Live For Live Music, “‘It Makes No Difference’ was an incredibly powerful part of the set for me. It’s one of my favorite songs, but it’s a different song than most people hear from me. I don’t know if anyone saw an acoustic guitar-driven slow soul/Americana ballad coming from a band like this, but everyone in the audience was fully there to go wherever we could take them. There was so much space, I felt like I could be in the song fully, exploring subtleties and nuances throughout the whole of it. Dane’s harmonies really drove the choruses, and then Adam Smirnoff’s solo to take it out was on another level. I was in heaven.”

It Makes No Difference


From there, the group moved into a cover of the classic “Feels Like Making Love” by Roberta Flack. Contrasted with The Band’s song that came before it, the funk number was a discrete shift both in tone and with the chemistry among the musicians on stage. As Divinsky noted, “With ‘Feels Like Making Love,’ at that point in the show, we had all become really comfortable with each other and the vibe, so this was the first time we really opened up and explored the reaches of what we were capable of.”

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Before the end of their performance, The Soul Survivor’s performed the title track of Divinsky’s solo album, Uneven Floors. (You can check out the album for yourself in full here.) As the show rolled to its close ahead of the final song “Hitman,” “Uneven Floors” was a powerful way to begin to wind down their set. With Divinsky’s soulful vocals, Farnsworth’s lyric keys, and Shmeeans’ gorgeous guitar stylings, the song was an example of the emotional range the group can portray with ease. Divinsky spoke on the meaning of “Uneven Floors” as well: “By the time the bridge comes, there’s a supreme arrival musically and emotionally. Shmeeans entered in with a straight up transcendent solo that brought the moment to a fully spiritual place for me. This song means so much to me, and to experience it in a new place with these incredible musicians for the first time nearly brought me to tears. I may have been luckiest guy in the entire world in that exact moment in time.”

Setlist: Lyle Divinsky & The Soul Survivors | Cervantes’ Other Side | Denver, CO | 6/15/2017

Set: Strengthen My Soul (Acapella Original), Disaster -> (Original), Can’t Hide Love (Earth Wind & Fire), Two Trains (Little Feat), Fallin (Original), Woman’s Gotta Have it (Bobby Womack), It Makes No Difference (The Band), Feel Like Makin Love (Roberta Flack), Ring My Bell (Rance Allen), Uneven Floors (Original), Hit Man (Original)

Encore: Footsteps in the Dark (Isley Brothers)