Lyle Divinsky. Photo by Jaquelyn Cruz at Cruz Graphic Design

Singer-songwriter and Maine native Lyle Divinsky, who has resumed his solo career after spending several years with a Colorado-based band, has a pair of upcoming shows at One Longfellow Square in Portland.

On Jan. 27, he released the gorgeous R&B track “Falling by the Wayside,” and he plans to release one song each month for the rest of the year. Together, the tracks will form the album “Seasons,” his first solo release in seven years. His last, “Uneven Floors,” reached No. 2 on the UK Soul Chart and garnered radio spins on a global level.

The tour for that album, however, never happened because two weeks after its release, Divinsky, who was born in Searsmont and was living in Portland at the time, got a phone call that changed the trajectory of his career.

Through mutual friends in bands like Lettuce and Turkauz, Divinsky was recommended to be the singer for well-established Colorado-based funk band The Motet. They told Divinsky that if he said yes, he’d get to play a show with them at the historic Red Rocks amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.

“So, naturally I was like ‘Hell yes, of course I’m gonna do that,'” Divinsky said during a lengthy conversation from his current home in Portland, Oregon.

For five years, Divinsky recorded and toured with The Motet, playing huge stages and festivals all over the country. His time with the band wound down when the pandemic hit.


“When everything stopped, you kind of take a look,” he said “We all took a zoom out look at what we were doing.”

That made Divinsky realize his heart was no longer with the party funk vibe of The Motet.

“I didn’t feel like I was gonna be able to give what was necessary to give to that,” he said.

He and his former bandmates are still close and frequently in touch.

For several months of the pandemic, Divinsky performed livestreams on Facebook and played many styles of music.

“It was everywhere from the John Prine style of sit down with your acoustic and write a song, to real mellow R&B kind of stuff like what ‘Falling by the Wayside’ is and that kind of vibe,” he said.


The idea for “Falling by the Wayside” was extracted from one of thousands of voice memos Divinsky recorded on his phone during downtime with The Motet. They often happened late at night, with Divinsky strumming his guitar and singing whatever came to mind.

One night, something clicked and Divinsky ran with it.

“I probably had too much wine or something because it was nice and sloppy, but I was just kind of humming to myself,” he said.

Some of the song is about a difficult breakup, though Divinsky didn’t want it to simply be about a lost love.

“I wanted it to be about the acknowledgment of those times when we are kind of our own worst enemy and when we’re the ones that get in our way,” he explained.

All of the songs for “Seasons” have been written and Divinsky is in the process of recording them in his home studio. He said he’s been able to ask some of his favorite musician friends to record parts of the songs remotely.


“This has been a really fun exploration and learning opportunity,” he said.

The shows at One Longfellow Square will be solo, but he may invite a guest or two to join him. He’ll play mostly originals and a couple of covers.

As the songs are released each month, Divinsky will continue to wear many hats.

“My goal is to divide my day between business and music at this point,” he said.

Often times, Divinsky said he’ll hole up in a coffee shop and send out 500 emails a day to contacts he’s accumulated over the years at radio stations and media outlets. It’s a huge shift from his days with The Motet, who had a full team working with them.

“When I joined The Motet, I was immediately lifted 75 rungs up the ladder, jumping onto these big level stages,” he said.


“Falling by the Wayside” already is closing in on 10,000 streams on Spotify. This would have felt like small potatoes with a Motet tune, but not now. Still, Divinsky said he’s learned to appreciate each small victory along the way.

Divinsky graduated from Skidmore College with a music degree but said he learned just as much from fellow students, some of whom have gone on to write hit songs. He landed in New York City after graduation and lasted three days at a coffee shop job. Instead, he took to the subway platforms and made a living for several years busking where the money was better.

He put in long hours underground so that he could afford to hire musicians for above ground shows at places like Rockwood Music Hall and Brooklyn Bowl.

“I wanted to have the best band. I would play extra in order to be able to pay the people that would make me sound good,” he said.

Divinsky returned to Maine and made “Uneven Floors” at Halo Studios in 2015.

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Hear Divinsky’s golden, soulful voice for yourself in this Portland before he heads home to the West Coast one.

Comments are not available on this story.