Shelley Montreuil and Franc van Oort make up this unlikely writing duo. Shelley, a sax-playing, singer/lyricist and Franc a Dutch composer/artist, the two found each other in , Ontario as sidemen to Big Steve Forster. Like yin & yang, the sun and the valley or a sailbot and its mast, these two compliment each other’s strengths - the result, jazz and blues infused folk funk - the perfect combination of engaging lyrics and insightful composition.
Take a handful of Peggy Lee, stir in some Kathleen Edwards, add a smidgeon of , Norah Jones and and you are starting to get an idea of the Tell Mama style. & van Oort have collectively played alongside , Keith Glass (Prairie Oyster), & Chris Whiteley and have shared the stage with Salome Bey, Georgette Fry, Christine Graves and Lynn Miles.
With recognition from Festivals and Events Ontario as "Best Original Act 2008", Trailer Park Ave. (www.trailerparkavenue.net), the International Songwriting Competition and the Songwriter’s Association Annual Song Contest, this group is establishing themselves as a writing/performance duo worth noticing.
A portion of each "She's Right" CD sale is being donated to breast cancer research. The tune, Red Devil, was written to honor the strength of breast cancer survivors and the fortitude it takes just to get through the treatment.
Shelley - Lead vocals, tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet
Franc van Oort - Electric guitar and backup vocals
Cam Gray - Electric Bass and backup vocals
Dave Colter - Drums
Tell Mama has just released their debut CD "She's Right"
Producer: Phillip Victor Bova (Hilotrons)
Studio: Bova Sound - , ON
Label: Mama’s Kitchen Sync
From this Cd, "I Can Breathe Now", "Frosted Fields" and "" have been played on-air in New York, , and Argentina to date.
No Old Warhorses Here...
[+ Show ]
Tell Mama have eschewed falling back on any of the old jazz warhorses out there. Instead, they have ...Tell Mama have eschewed falling back on any of the old jazz warhorses out there. Instead, they have penned a batch of songs that comprise stories about tough or abandoned women, sex, feckless men and confused love without dipping into the sweet waters of sentimentality and self-pity. You will even find some half-decent poetry here and there.
... Definitely Juno material with not a weak song on the CD. Buy this one while you can.
March 7, 2009
Link to entire article: http://frogblogreviews.bullfrogmusic.com/?p=114
A bawdy celebration of small-town life
[+ Show ]
"Together van Oort and Montreuil create the dusky sound of bar-blues and smoky jazz. Their 2008 debu..."Together van Oort and Montreuil create the dusky sound of bar-blues and smoky jazz. Their 2008 debut is at times a nostalgic nod to memories, other times a gentle lingering introspection. But most often, She’s Right, is a swinging bawdy celebration of small town life. With solidly crafted guitar lines, deep funky basslines and the expressive punctuation of Tim Roberts on sax, the album’s only clear shortcoming is that has been so long in coming.
If there is a notable point that stands out in “She’s Right”, it is Montreuil’s voice – a voice that is not perfect, nor boasts an expansive range – but nevertheless tugs at heartstrings with a husky sincerity."
Capital City Xtra
All I can say is WOW!
[+ Show ]
I have listened to the whole thing a couple of times, and all I can say is: WOW! We really love list...I have listened to the whole thing a couple of times, and all I can say is: WOW! We really love listening to Diana Krall, and I like your CD just as much.
Let it Ride is my favourite too
[+ Show ]
I agree with you -- Let It Ride is my favourite, too: very nice texture to the accompaniment (lovel...I agree with you -- Let It Ride is my favourite, too: very nice texture to the accompaniment (lovely opening melody on the keyboard -- a Rhodes?), the typically tasteful Vanoort touch on guitar, good use of synth, effective vocal harmonies, and a lovely orchestration that really supports the overall form. It has a neat, open-ended phrase structure (in part due to the melody's focus on the 3rd and 6th scale degrees, that teases the ear by suggesting that the key might end up being F, while it's really in D minor all along) that, along with the nice, unexpected turns in harmony, keep the tune moving forward in a pleasing way. I like the way the verse harmony is subtly varied when you and Franc take your instrumental solos, and the way you gather up the notes that end each melodic phrase of the verse (E, F, & G), and build the entire chorus melody around them. And, of course, the story is both poignant and universal. Good work, Shelley!
Very happy to hear Patricia done so well
[+ Show ]
Hi Shelley; Thanks so much for letting me visit Tell Mama’s home page and have a listen. I’ll enjoy ...Hi Shelley; Thanks so much for letting me visit Tell Mama’s home page and have a listen. I’ll enjoy listening to the whole album but for now I just want to say how happy I am to hear Full Court Press and Patricia done so well. Pat, especially, is one of my favorite lyrics ever — a whole little story, all on its own. You sound good.
Much appreciated at Main Stage concerts
[+ Show ]
“My name is Oskar Graf, I'm a founding member of the Blue Skies Music Festival and a Director of the...“My name is Oskar Graf, I'm a founding member of the Blue Skies Music Festival and a Director of the Blue Skies Cultural Center...I became aware of Tell Mama about 3-4 years ago through their performances in various venues and community events, from fundraisers for "Hill FM" to the Perth Stewart Park Festival. From the original trio they have expanded to a sextet and it was in this configuration that Tell Mama played at Blue Skies this summer. The added keyboard and second sax fills out their sound and gives them a much larger presence that is much appreciated at main stage concerts.”
[+ Show ]
“I have been and remain involved in the Television Entertainment Industry in Canada for over forty y...“I have been and remain involved in the Television Entertainment Industry in Canada for over forty years, and believe I can discern outstanding talent when I see and hear it. Such is the basis for my support for this particular group of musicians...The Tell Mama Kick Ass Jass band need to produce a professionally produced and engineered recording of their original work, so they can continue to expand their reach beyond the immediate Ottawa area, where they are already well known and much appreciated.”
Ever-expanding fan base
[+ Show ]
"... these are no flakes: every band member was already a highly experienced and talented musician b..."... these are no flakes: every band member was already a highly experienced and talented musician before Tell Mama ever existed. All have always been in music for the long-term, and have always been very dedicated. Second, this is a band that seriously works at self-development – in terms of music, performance, marketing and audience relations. I’ve had real pleasure watching and hearing their musical development over the past five years, and it has been satisfying to see that this development has not gone un-noticed by their ever-expanding fan base in Eastern Ontario.”
Michael Leibson is a professional composer, teacher and music consultant living in the Perth area. He has been a music consultant for True North Records, Anthem Entertainment/SRO Management, BMG Music, and other music publishers for the past twenty years, as both a transcriber and litigation consultant on music copyright cases.
Something to Tell Mama About
[+ Show ]
On the auspicious date of April 1, Lanark County’s Tell Mama will take to the stage as part of the f...On the auspicious date of April 1, Lanark County’s Tell Mama will take to the stage as part of the final concert in this year’s Folkus Concert Series. For the past four years this band has been developing a very unique blend of jazz, blues, rock and funk, which they intriguingly describe as “kick-ass-jass”. The term jass originated back in the early part of the 20th century (the spelling was changed to “jazz in 1917) and was associated with the Original Dixieland Jass Band. According to Shelley Montreuil, Tell Mama’s lead singer and horn player, the band uses “jass” as a short form for having a really good time, which is what they do best!
Tell Mama originated when Shelley met guitarist Franc van Oort through their mutual musical friend Steve Forster. At that time both Franc and Shelley played with Forster in a band called Big Steve and the Mudcats, but Shelley was inspired and encouraged by Steve to form her own band. She and Franc hooked up with bass payer Ed Ashton, and Tell Mama was on its way.
Franc and Shelley collaborate to write most of the band’s original material. Since Shelley doesn’t play guitar or keyboards, she often brings lyrics and some ideas for a tune, and then Franc rounds out the sound. She stresses the importance of their musical partnership: “I’ll get an idea for a song, bring it to Franc and say ‘I want it to sound kind of like this…’and he just gets it.”
Shelley also praises the musicians supportive spouses and partners who realize that for the members of the band to be happy they need to be making music; although she does acknowledge that “without it, we’re just miserable cows to live with.” The band also has to fit within the framework its members day jobs: Shelley is the Executive Assistant to the Almonte General Hos[ital ~ Fairview Manor Foundation, Franc is a visual artist who travels to South America for a few months each winter, and Ed is an electrical technician with Albany International in Perth.
Within the past year and a half, Tell Mama has grown from a three-piece band to a five-piece with the addition of Jeff Kohl on keyboards and Brian Downey on drums. Jeff has played in the Perth area for many years, and brings great vocal harmonies as well as his own original tunes to the Tell Mama mix. Brian is well known in the Ottawa area, playing with ensembles such as the Brian Downey Big Band as well as a Latin sextet, a jazz quartet and any number of trios. In addition to having played with the likes of John Lee Hooker and Chet Baker, Brian can also toss his drumsticks in the air during a song and catch them again; his showmanship adds to the already energetic stage presence of this dynamic band.
The Folkus audience can expect to hear lots of kick-ass jass originals, as well as covers of tunes by Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Double Trouble, Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock and others. Jazz standards such Summertime and Georgia On My Mind will share the stage with local treasures co-written by Franc van Oort and the author Tim Wynne-Jones.
For the April 1 concert, Tell Mama shares the bill with the flamenco guitar grooves of Ottawa’s James Cohen Caravan, so there will be no shortage of fabulous styles and tunes to enjoy. Tickets are $22 in advance from The Miller’s Tale in Almonte (256-9090) or $25 at the door (the last two shows in this series have sold out early, so advance tickets are recommended). The concert starts at 8pm at the Almonte Old Town Hall and is generously sponsored by Don Duncan of Royal LePage Gale Real Estate.
The Humm – Arts, Entertainment & Ideas
Tell Mama can perform as an acoustic duo / trio or plugged in as a quartet / quintet / sextet.
Tell Mama’s performance is flexible. We have enough material to play 1, 2 or 3 - 45 minute sets of originals as well as some cover songs from our favorite performers including: Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, , Big Mama & .
There are no upcoming dates at this time.