The Motet: Speed of Light Tour

DSP Shows

The Motet: Speed of Light Tour

West End Blend

Sun · November 10, 2019

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Gateway City Arts

Holyoke, MA

$20.00 - $25.00

The Bistro at Gateway City Arts will be serving a special event menu with counter service (no reservations) until 10pm on show nights. For information regarding The Bistro, please call 413-650-0786. For information regarding the venue or show, please call 413-650-2670

The Motet
The Motet
The Motet
Dave Watts (drums)
Joey Porter (keys)
Garrett Sayers (bass)
Ryan Jalbert (guitar)
Lyle Divinsky (vocals)
Drew Sayers (sax)
Parris Fleming (trumpet)


Throughout history, unity starts on the dancefloor. From ancient tribal cultures to neon night clubs, beats bring bodies together. Once grinding and grooving in unison, the movement generates friction, sparks, and light. That might just be the purest form of energy on the planet. The Motet harness such energy on their ninth full-length, Death or Devotion. In fact, the Denver septet—Dave Watts [drums], Joey Porter [keys], Garrett Sayers [bass], Ryan Jalbert [guitar], Lyle Divinsky [vocals], Drew Sayers [sax], and Parris Fleming [trumpet]—encode a message in their energetic mélange of boisterous badass funk, swaggering soul, and thought-provoking pop.

In the process, they challenge convention and arrive with a dynamic, diverse, and definitive statement.

“The essence is always going to be the groove, but we wanted to expand the idea of what a funk album could be,” says Lyle. “Of course, you want a driving backbeat. However, with the division that’s going on in this country and the world, I think it’s every artist’s responsibility to create a conversation. That conversation doesn’t have to be political either. It can be about love or an introspective journey. I think the commentary should be on what it’s like to be alive today. By drawing on funk, we create a fun, palatable musical vehicle for the message to go down. Our goal is for you to recognize we’re all dancing on the same dance floor—even though our steps may look a little different.”

Death or Devotion earmarks an important point in the band’s own journey. Since emerging in 1998, the boys have cooked up eight full-length albums and entranced countless crowds. 2016’s Totem saw them welcome Lyle behind the mic and Drew on sax. Shortly after, they kicked off what has become an annual tradition by selling out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater for the first time. “It was my six-month anniversary and first show for a hometown crowd,” recalls Lyle. “I’ve got 10,000 people looking at me like, ‘Who the hell is that?’,” he laughs.

That night would be chronicled on the fan favorite Live at Red Rocks. In the meantime, the group maintained a prolific pace of 100 shows per year in support of Totem. Along the way, The Motet started recording Death or Devotion during intermittent sessions at Scanhope Sound in 2017.

For the first time, Lyle, Drew, and Parris (who joined in 2018) worked on a Motet record together from start-to-finish.

“On Totem, the train was already moving, and I was just a train hopper,” says Lyle.
“Drew, Parris, and I came onboard within the same year. Now, we’re all bringing our pieces to the puzzle. For me, I brought that R&B style. Funk is the common ground, but the music is a result of different inspirations: namely Drew’s hip-hop and reggae knowledge, Ryan’s psychedelic jamming, Dave with the worldbeat, Joey with his encyclopedic understanding of punk, and Garrett being the best bass player to exist. We found a really cool balance between the funkiness and songs that challenge your emotional headspace more than typical pop.”

The first single “That Dream” showcases the myriad of musical flavors from all seven members. Clean palm-muted guitars bristle against a swaggering beat as the horns enliven each verse, while a vocal call-and-response relays a head-spinning tale.
“I took a nap, and I had the craziest dream I’ve ever had,” he recalls. “In the dream, I’m heartbroken from a nonexistent relationship, so I go out to a bar. I get seduced by this beautiful woman who serves me a glass of wine with poison. I wake up handcuffed and she’s stealing from me and torturing me. It was so dark, but I woke up and thought, ‘That would be a crazy subject to write a party song about!’”

Elsewhere, “Highly Compatible” hinges on an unshakable riff and raucous refrain upheld by sizzling sax. “It’s like that beautiful moment of falling in love where you recognize something as supremely real-life magic,” Lyle goes. “Harry Potter couldn’t conjure a better spell. It’s the magnetic nature of the chemistry. We captured that chemical recognition.”

From the infectious hooks of “Contagious” to the instrumental fireworks on “Speed of Light,” The Motet ultimately propose an important question at the heart of Death Or Devotion.

“What are you going to bring to yourself and the world?”, Lyle leaves off. “Are you going to bring death, or are you going to bring devotion? The choice is yours. When you listen to this record, I’d love for you to walk away feeling a little bit more connected, whether it be to yourself, to your friends, or to your community. Being able to drop all of the vision for a minute, be present, smile, and dance reminds us we’re all going through this together.”

www.themotet.com
West End Blend
West End Blend
Since their conception, CT-based Funk/Soul band West End Blend has been playing their version of Funk and Soul in venues all over the Northeast. Fronted by vocalist Erica T. Bryan, the band pays homage to classic throwback sounds while adding their own distinct vibe and flair. Behind her, the Blend packs two guitars, a two-piece horn section, bass, keyboards and drums onto stages every night. From humble beginnings in an epic sweaty funky basement dance party, the Blend’s goal has always been to bring that same atmosphere to every show ever since.

The Blend released their debut full length record, “Rewind”, in the Fall of 2015. The album was recorded at Telefunken Studios with Grammy Award winning engineer, Brendan Morawski. Alongside their album release, West End Blend shared the stage with Charles Bradley, Turkuaz, members of Snarky Puppy and Lettuce, Break Science, Kung Fu, Twiddle, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, The Nth Power, The Motet and countless others Jam/Funk staples. On September 28th, 2016 the Blend released their latest EP “Say Hey!” as they embarked on their Fall Tour across the Northeast. Throughout their Fall tour they shared the stage with Dopapod, The Nth Power, Turkuaz, Hayley Jane & The Primates, Deep Banana Blackout and more. After ringing in the New Year alongside Turkuaz and Kung Fu is Providence, RI, the Blend took off on their 2017 Winter Tour, which spanned from Vermont down to DC and from Massachusetts out to Ohio, as the band began to emerge out of the Northeast. Throughout 2017, the band has continued to push beyond the Northeast
Venue Information:
Gateway City Arts
92 Race Street
Holyoke, MA, 01040
http://www.gatewaycityarts.com