Soulever Lift
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Soulever Lift

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It’s at first difficult to pin down what sets Soulever Lift apart from
other indie rock bands, but then again, it isn’t every day you find a
band willing to meld the aggressive sounds of rock with the slick
suaveness of soul.
Soulever Lift does it, and it does it with panache.
The Fort Worth-based music outfit combines the crunching sounds of
progressive rock with a touch of soul, crafting a unique and
compelling musical mix, a mix that’s on ebullient display on the
band’s self-titled album.
The album’s 10 tracks reveal a diverse slate of influences, from punk
to R&B. The layering of these influences seems counterintuitive, but
as you dig into tracks like “Spider Webs” and “Wings,” you begin to
see the perfect sense of it.
Soulever Lift’s tracks have a funk-inspired foundation, but it’s then
layered with a smart rock sensibility. Topped off with lead vocalist
Yendor Reese’s soulful vocals (delivering smart lyrics with a social
conscience to boot), Soulever Lift sits not at the intersection of
music styles but at the intersection of American cultural movements as
well.
There’s no lack of exuberance here. In tunes like “Testimony,” the
band turns up the dial on the funk and delivers a tune that makes you
want to get your groove on. But the band can deliver the sentiment as
well. “Damaged Goods” is a slow-burning seductive track that reveals a
more tender side to Soulever Lift. And for a finale, the band delivers
an uplifting anthem in “Where Do I Start?”
If you’re the kind of music lover who’s into comparisons, the most
direct to this listener was Living Colour, but Soulever Lift is really
beyond comparisons. Their sound is a distinctive one. Give it a shot.
Soulever Lift will play Artmosphere at 10 p.m. on March 13. If you
want to sample their distinctive sound and get info on ordering their
disc, catch them at www.myspace.com/souleverliftmusic. - Times of Acadiana (Lafayette, LA) Article by Cody Daigle


(NOTE: Soulever Lift was formerly known as Red Tape)

There must be something crazy going on with the astrological signs, or perhaps the evil wizards and voodoo priestesses that cursed Aggieland to be a cultural desert have had their attention temporarily diverted. Whatever it is, be thankful, for this weekend has to be the most outlandish musical happening in Bryan-College Station since the P.Funk tour bus broke down outside of town. (Ok, that happened in a movie, not in reality, but sometimes you need to take a little creative license in order to make your point.)

Seriously, though, in addition to the Northgate Music Festival taking place all weekend in College Station, one of the hottest independent rock acts in Texas performs on Friday night at Revolutions Café and Bar in Bryan. Dallas/Ft. Worths very own Rock & Soul act, RedTape, is bringing their frenetic stage show and spectacular sonic output to town and to paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. T. I pity the fool that misses this show.

Influenced by such timeless acts as Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Kirk Franklin, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, RedTape provides its own metaphors, with drummer J. Wesley referring to the groups style as rock and roll goes to church, but likes to dance on Saturday night. The building buzz around RedTape is palpable, and there is a good chance that a couple years down the road, you will be boasting to your friends about that one time you saw RedTape play this crazy little club in Bryan. Come to think of it, I should probably add a little Prince, a touch of Erykah Badu and some Warren Zevon to the mix, too.

RedTapes singular sound is complex, crazy and cosmopolitan. This Friday, Revolutions may well be the only place in the world you will ever see a band completely freaking out onstage, with some fans doing the Harlem Shuffle while others are playing mean licks on air guitar. You, too, dear reader, will be sure to get down in your own special way.

Fronted by Yendor Reese, RedTapes vocals are top-notch. A classically trained vocalist, Reese also brings a stirring soulfulness that invites you to find the groove. Guitarist Mark Lettieri possibly the most versatile and explosive guitarist of our generation provides an energetic surge of rock and funk guitar. Joining Reese and Lettieri onstage are bassist Cole Davis and drummer J. Wesley. Davis breathes bass with a seriousness only seen in the most seasoned studio musicians, while Wesleys performance on the drum kit is monstrous and galactic.

If you are interested in whetting your appetite before Fridays show, check out two of RedTapes most impressive tracks, Damaged Goods and Thieves, currently streaming for free at www.myspace.com/redtapeband. Look for their currently available demo and keep your eyes peeled for an album release date in September. See you on Friday, March 23!
- Maroon Weekly (College Station, TX) Article by Justin Vaughn


Admittedly, the four members of Soulever Lift realize they’re just another local band following every possible avenue to achieve some sort of success in the independent music market. The Fort Worthians all grew up listening to and playing music — they are no strangers to the craft. Now all college graduates loaded with business and musical skills, the guys in Soulever Lift are putting one collective foot in front of the other with their eponymous debut album.
Guitarist Mark Lettieri and singer Yendor Reese met at Texas Christian University, where both were members of the gospel choir. Reese, having developed his singing abilities as a child in church, was a vocal performance major for several years. Lettieri, who relocated here from Menlo Park, Calif., was a business student who assumed the role of the gospel group’s organizer. When the complications of coordinating schedules proved too difficult, Lettieri and Reese left the choir to form their own band, which, Lettieri said, simplified things exponentially.
As Red Tape, the duo plied its trade at Schooner’s, a now-defunct dive near TCU on University Drive. Drummer John Wesley and bassist Cole Davis joined not long after, prompting — along with the existence of a California band called Red Tape — a name change. Enter: Soulever Lift. (Though the name has strong spiritual connotations, Lettieri pilfered it from the back of a tissue box.)
The name definitely fits the band’s vision: “uplifting thoughts,” Reese said.
Rather than promoting personal agendas or grinding metaphorical axes, Soulever Lift’s songs are focused on capturing life’s everyday moments. All four members are practicing Christians but do not proselytize.
“We are a band of Christians, not a Christian band. We’re all semi-based on church music,” Lettieri said, but the band members “try to blend that with a type of rock with a classic appeal and a modern sensibility.”
Most bands strive to be unique, and by playing to their various skill sets, the Soulever Lift musicians acommplish that: They turn out soul- and R&B-inflected grooves fueled by rock ’n’ roll energy.
Lettieri said listeners have compared his band to greats as diverse as Yes, Jamiroquai, Steely Dan, and King’s X. The guitarist, who also works regularly as a freelance session musician, arranges most of the music. His well-thought-out axe parts are what give most of the songs their weird edges.
The band has been playing out a lot recently and has almost outgrown its CD, recorded at a friend’s studio in the back of a church. The result is rough, but considering that the songs’ hearts are strong, it is still something about which the band can be justifiably proud.
“We’re cool with making music we like and our friends like,” Lettieri said. “There is a middle class of musicians. You don’t have to be a rock star or be poor.”

- Fort Worth Weekly (Fort Worth, TX) Article by Caroline Collier


Fort Worth soul rockers Soulever Lift recently filmed an acoustic set with Executive Music Group's Raw Session Inc. series. According to Raw Sessions, "we challenge all of our artists to strip-down their musical performances to the most minimal acoustic arrangements possible." While the series currently features lesser know artists, they'll begin filming celebrity artists to get a new spin on songs the artist might not otherwise perform.

For Soulever Lift's session, the band covers "Better In Time" by Grammy nominee Leona Lewis. Replacing the piano with an acoustic guitar and a single drum head, lead singer Yendor Reese ably performs the vocals, taking the production down a notch to give it an R&B jam band feel. Check out the video below, with Lewis' original to follow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J28YslbMF2Q&feature=PlayList&p=A38B1336DA762357&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=8
- Pegasus News (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX) Article from Staff Reports


Discography

2008: "Soulever Lift"
2009: "Live" (EP)
2009: "Everything Must Collide"

Photos

Bio

Soulever Lift is a Fort Worth, TX group known for boldly blending fierce, progressive rock with funk and soul.

Since their formation in the fall of 2006 and the release of their debut album in early 2008, the band has built a growing base of fans and enjoyed a steady stream of shows throughout Texas and surrounding states.

In December 2008, Soulever Lift was featured on YouTube as part of Los Angeles-based record label Executive Music Group's "Raw Session" series of videos. The format features up-and-coming artists performing acoustic covers of current Billboard hits. Soulever Lift’s cover of Leona Lewis’ “Better In Time” has generated upwards of 20,000 hits. (Link to video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J28YslbMF2Q)

The band’s four members, vocalist and lyricist Yendor Reese, guitarist and principle songwriter Mark Lettieri, bassist Cole Davis and drummer John Wesley, each bring a different musical element to the sound. Reese combines licks from his gospel church upbringing with a blistering rock tone to form a style equally at home in a humid Texas storefront church or a stadium. Lettieri is a guitarist with an instantly recognizable sound and feel that has established him as an in-demand session musician in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, having worked with industry heavyweights Erykah Badu, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Keite Young and Myron Butler & Levi, among others. Davis and Wesley form the bedrock of the band’s sound, and one of the tightest rhythm sections in Funkytown. They are a force both solid and fluid that keeps brains and booties in motion.

As Times of Acadiana (Lafayette, LA) writer Cody Daigle puts it, “It isn’t every day you find a band willing to meld the aggressive sounds of rock with the slick suaveness of soul. Soulever Lift does it, and it does it with panache.”

The band will release their next studio album, "Everything Must Collide," in November 2009.