Yo Mama

Yo Mama

 
Ottawa, Ontario, CAN
BandAlternativeArt Rock

With potent, raw vocals balanced with smooth blues infused with jazz and soul undertones & an infectious rhythmic drive, Yo Mama creates an unfeigned musical soundscape that captures their back-to-roots sensibility.

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Biography

"Shelley Montreuil's soulful voice and powerful stage presence was electric. Yo Mama's performance at Pitaya Fest 2014 was one of the pivotal musical moments of the entire festival. Shelley raised the bar at the festival."

Brooke Rundle,
Artistic Director Pitayafest

Yo Mama is a band that you would expect to find in the back of a smoky whiskey bar or a dimly-lit French Quarter tavern just off Bourbon Street. The band's lead vocalist and founding member, Shelley Montreuil, began her musical journey in Perth, Ontario well over a decade ago as she reigned in a broad array of influences and styles. All the roads traveled led to the bands inevitable formation in 2012, which saw Montreuil joined by the eclectic ensemble of Joshua Hoffman on keys, Martin Laforest on drums (the Road Apples), Glen Scammell on bass, and recent Doobie Brothers collaborator Brian Toth on electric guitar.

With potent, raw vocals balanced with smooth blues infused with jazz and soul undertones & an infectious rhythmic drive, Yo Mama creates an unfeigned musical soundscape that captures their back-to-roots sensibility. In March 2014, Yo Mama released a short, yet poignant four-track EP called Four For the Road. The album was recorded in Ottawa at Bova Sound and produced by Phillip Victor Bova, who is known for his work with Feist, Stars, Bahamas, and many more acclaimed artists. It includes their own interpretation of Leiber and Stollers Hound Dog as well as originals that delve into story-based narratives in true raconteur fashion.

Undoubtedly influenced by Montreuils own travels to the far corners of our planet, the music touches on themes of capriciousness and change in a world where the confines of the cubicle define the lives of many. When it comes to live performance, Montreuil is a seasoned veteran of the small-town circuit, having played such events as The Nicaragua Jazz Festival, Pitayafest, Blue Skies, Stewart Park Festival, The Art of Being Green, Chocolate Railway Festival, No Dog Picnic, and Art in the Garden.

With new music in the works for late 2014, Yo Mama's journey to captivate audiences across Canada is just getting started.  This year the group hits the road in Montreuil's 'big white RV' with plans to travel to new and exciting places sharing music with new people and telling their social media followers all about it while it happens.  Montreuil has been doing this already with her www.thatgirlwiththesax.com site detailing her recent trip to and musical experiences in Nicaragua ... people seem to like it so she's gonna keep on doing it.

Lyrics

Frosted Fields

Written By: Montreuil / van Oort

On a cold clear morning I lift my head and sigh
Why - I ask myself...why.

On a cold clear morning, I tilt my head and cry
I don’t really want to try.

But the frosted fields gleam with a knowing glint in their eye
The frozen gems would not condemn a girl for asking why
The radiance of that farmer’s field is quite a sight to see
By the time I’ve gone and gotten you, it’s just a memory for me.

In the evening I crawl into my very last refuge
In the evening, I lie and wonder just what will I do?

To get me past this thing that just makes me want to cry
The days keep coming and going by and by.

But the frosted fields gleam with a knowing glint in their eye
The frozen gems would not condemn a girl for asking why
The radiance of that farmer’s field is quite a sight to see
By the time I’ve gone and gotten you, it’s just a memory for me.

[Instrumental Break]

In the evening I crawl into my very last refuge
In the evening, I lie and wonder just what will I do?

To get me past this thing that just makes me want to cry
The days keep coming and going by and by.

But the frosted fields gleam with a knowing glint in their eye
The frozen gems would not condemn a girl for asking why
The radiance of that farmer’s field is quite a sight to see
By the time I’ve gone and gotten you, it’s just a memory for me.

Grandma Owned a Pool Hall

Written By: Montreuil

Grandma owned a pool hall, fixed cues and smoked cigars
When she wasn’t playing pool she took bets behind the bar
She didn’t take any lip, take no guff
And you didn’t want to hear her say she finally had enough.

She never really thought that she would ever settle down
Too much work to keep a man around
She didn’t want a family, didn’t care to keep a house
What she didn’t count on was Edgar coming ‘round.

CHORUS:
Grandma Jean was lean she wasn’t mean
Fair and reasonable was all she’d ever been
She was a rock and roll mama and a boogie woogie queen
She was lean my Grandma Jean.

Well Edgar had to beg her just to let him come around
Maybe see a movie or to take her into town
The day that she told him she was carrying his twins
Is the day that old Edgar says the story just begins

CHORUS

Grandma owned a pool hall, kept the cues behind the bar.
No one dared to question her or to push her very far.
It might have been the serpent tattooed on her left bicep
or maybe just the sign that read “Don’t do anything you may regret”

Promises Were Made

Written By: Montreuil / van Oort

Elizabeth watched herself walk down the street
She never thought much of her circumstance
She fixed her hair in the window of a car
She never realized it wasn’t parked

Whatever happened to the pretty girl?
Whatever happened to that pretty girl?
Whatever happened to the pretty girl?
Whatever happened to the pretty girl?

MaryAnne fed her cat for the fifth time
She filled the bowl until it overflowed
She took a sip of her cold cold tea
And thought about just what a fool she’d been

Whatever happened to the smart girl?
Whatever happened to that smart girl?
Whatever happened to the smart girl?
Whatever happened? Whatever happened?

Promises were made, they were large and gave
Sure stability, couldn’t lose you see

Promises give a sense of providence, make you feel omnipotent and can harm the innocent, promises.
Promises make the world feel ominous, they can be calamitous and can end disastrous, promises.

Jennifer looked at her wristwatch
She never noticed that it had stopped
She turned the music on the radio
So loud she couldn’t hear the voices go

Whatever happened to the girl?
Whatever happened to the girl?
Whatever happened to the girl?
Whatever happened? Whatever happened?

Promises were made, they were large and gave
Sure stability, couldn’t lose you see

Promises give a sense of providence, make you feel omnipotent and can harm the innocent, promises.
Promises make the world feel ominous, they can be calamitous and can end disastrous, promises.

Promises were made, they were large and gave
Sure stability, couldn’t lose you see
Promises

Let It Ride

Written By: Montreuil / van Oort

Doves fly home, elephants moan
What will I do when I’m all alone
Ants don’t care - I swear
It’s a long, long walk home
when you’re all alone.

Ashes float across the air
Singers sing into the night
I just can’t make up my mind
Should I stay or should I fight?

How far will I go before I need you more than ever?
How can I make myself feel fine?
What will it take for me to start feeling better?
When will this pain in me subside?
I’m gonna let it all ride.

Ashes float across the air
Singers sing into the night
I just can’t make up my mind
Should I stay or should I fight?

How far will I go before I need you more than ever?
How can I make myself feel fine?
What will it take for me to start feeling better?
When will this pain in me subside?
I’m gonna let it all ride.

Exit Sign

Written By: Montreuil / van Oort

Been a long time baby I just can’t seem to find
The doorway out of here baby, looking for the exit sign
Have you seen it baby? Or have I lost my mind?
I think it’s that way maybe, looking for the exit sign

I came in but I can’t get out
No one here really hears me shout
I must be running out of time
To find the exit sign

Been a long time baby I just can’t seem to find
The doorway out of here baby, looking for the exit sign
Have you seen it baby? Or have I lost my mind?
I think it’s that way maybe, looking for the exit sign

I only meant to stay here for a moment,
Just until my feelings became dormant
I didn’t want to stay for very long
Now things are starting to go wrong

Been such a long time baby I just can’t seem to find
The doorway out of here baby, looking for the exit sign
Have you seen it baby? Or have I lost my mind?
I think it’s that way maybe, looking for the exit sign

Now or Never

Written By: Montreuil / van Oort

Now you’ve gone and left me hanging
By a thread too weak to tether
Now you’ve gone and left me dangling
Twisting over a sea, twisting over a sea
Twisting over a sea
Of now or never

Now you’ve gone and left me standing
On the edge, the edge of danger
Now you’ve gone and left me straddling
The possibilities, the possibilities
The possibilities of now or never

When will I learn, when will I go
When will I leave, when will I know
When will teardrops fall
When will freedom call
Will I ever leave this place at all?

Now you’ve gone and left me hanging
By a thread too weak to tether
Now you’ve gone and left me dangling
Twisting over a sea, twisting over a sea
Twisting over a sea
Of now or never
Of now or never
Of now or never

I Can Breathe Now

Written By: Shelley Montreuil / Franc van Oort

I can breathe now, since you've gone away
I can breathe since I made you pay, made you pay

I can breathe now, since you’re gone
I know for sure now that it was all wrong

Love shouldn’t hurt and all of that work
Was too much to bear, why did I care?
You were mean to me, made a fool of me, why could I not see?

I can breathe now, since you've gone away
I can breathe since I made you pay, made you pay

I can breathe now, since you’re gone
I know for sure now that it was all wrong

Love shouldn’t hurt and all of that work
Was too much to bear, why did I care?
I just made you leave, I could not believe that we could retrieve.

I can breathe now, since you've gone away
I can breathe since I made you pay, made you pay, made you pay

I can breathe...

Tumbling Dice

Written By: Joshua Hoffman

I have seen this type of dance before, gentle gestures point towards the lore
She’s asking them to join the hunt, she lights the way, lets them dig for more
Fortune is the main attraction, a way for her to gain some traction
The notion makes them play the game, they’re going to lose momentum
The throw of the tumbling dice
There’s no chance to think twice

Something can be seen within your eyes, your glare suggesting there’s no prize
Saturation is the key to win, to lift the veil, reveal the trail
Possession is a loosely wound term, your grasp is getting firm
The notion that they played the game, they see behind the tango
The roll of the Tumbling dice
You dance conceals the price

The miner is always at risk to the sudden collapse
Your ego, a Pinto, ready to crash and burn
A virus infecting, it cannot be controlled
Step lightly, your slippery slope, is cause for concern

The pendulum is rocking back and forth, mesmerizing it shrouds your worth
The tension of the fragile cord, there’s no reward, a sheath to hold the sword
Once they’re under your spell, you no longer need your shell
The notion that they played the game, they’ll never be the same

The miner is always at risk to the sudden collapse
Your ego, a Pinto, ready to crash and burn
A virus infecting, it cannot be controlled
Step lightly, your slippery slope, is cause for concern

What's Up With Isobel

Written By: Shelley Montreuil,Joshua Hoffman

Leaves the car door wide open as she guns it and drives away
Better to do tomorrow what you don’t have to do today
Went on a big vacation and blew all this month’s pay
Something is wrong inside her what it is she just won’t say

What’s up with Isobel? She used to be solid, she used to be swell
What’s up with Isobel? Some people think she’s gone to hell

Yesterday morning, Izzy was so in charge
Hollering orders like a fisherman on a barge
She had plans, and they were grand
But they melted away, like a snowflake in her hand

Now she’s just a shell of a woman, taking time to stand at the side
Slowing down to see where she’s going, rushing fools she cannot abide
Sold her car for a scooter, sold her house to live in a shed
Sold her jewels to live like a pauper, but she kept her soul alive instead

What’s up with Isobel? She used to be solid, she used to be swell
What’s up with Isobel? Some people think she’s gone to hell

Ramona Was

Written By: Shelley Montreuil,Franc van Oort

Ramona was good, Ramona was strong,
beautiful and her legs were long.
She loved like a sailor and left like a cat
with plenty of claw marks all down your back.

She went to Paris for lovers she went to Spain,
for conversation she went Brisbane,
for the quiet she went Nunavut,
she went to Thailand for food.

Ramona was, good, Ramona was, strong,
beautiful and her legs were long.
She loved like a sailor and left like a cat
with plenty of claw marks, all down your back.

Where did she go? For how long?
Was it right? Was it wrong?
Was she alone? Or en masse?
Was it a cheap flight? Or first class?

Ramona was good, Ramona was strong,
beautiful and her legs were long.
She loved like a sailor and left like a cat
with plenty of claw marks all down your back.

She went to Paris for lovers she went to Spain,
for the vodka she went Ukraine,
for some fun she played hula hoop,
and then she went insane.

Set List

Yo Mama performs mostly original music along with some Serena Ryder, Wilco, Elbow and Steely Dan.