Yo Mama
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Yo Mama

Ottawa, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Ottawa, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Americana Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
02
Yo Mama @ Zaphod Beeblebrox

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Oct
10
Yo Mama @ Sonny's Bar & Grill

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Aug
21
Yo Mama @ Hot Shots

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Music

Press


“As always, Sundays are dedicated to featuring local artists, which includes Yo Mama. “Shelley Montreuil is really exceptional,” Martin says of Yo Mama’s lead singer. “If there was a reincarnation of Janis Joplin it would be her. She also plays sax and has a killer band.” - Daily Xtra


Yo Mama is a real act to behold, I figure Shelley must channel the greats to put on a show that I can only compare to the best showmanship of the past yet her groove is far from outdated - and they rock! - Elaina Martin, Producer Westfest


I was so impressed by Yo Mama when they played at The Haviland on Sunday – they had a smooth, tight, seasoned sound and fronted by a sexy saxophonist … terrific!

I just had to bring them back for one more night before they left the Island. And their Janis Joplin is terrific!

Jamie Larkin,
Manager, The Haviland Club
Charlottetown, PEI - Jamie Larkin - The Haviland


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 - Pitaya Festival


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.

Jeremiah Sutherland
March 7, 2009

Link to entire article: http://frogblogreviews.bullfrogmusic.com/?p=114 - BullFrogMusic Reviews


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.

Kris Riendeau
The Humm – Arts, Entertainment & Ideas
www.thehumm.com - The Humm ~Arts, Entertainment & Ideas


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.

Kris Riendeau
The Humm – Arts, Entertainment & Ideas
www.thehumm.com - The Humm ~Arts, Entertainment & Ideas


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.

Chris Must
Reporter, EMC - EMC


"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."


Lara Purvis,
Capital City Xtra - Capital Xtra


“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.” - — Bryn Matthews, Past President CJOH TV


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! - Michael Leibson, music analyst / litigation consultant - True North Records...


“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.” - — Oskar Graf, Blue Skies Music Festival


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. - Tim Wynne-Jones, award winning author and lyricist, Patricia Down the Hall and Full Court Press


"... 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. - — Michael Leibson


"... 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. - — Michael Leibson


As always, Sundays are dedicated to featuring local artists, which includes Yo Mama.

“Shelley Montreuil is really exceptional,” Martin says of Yo Mama’s lead singer. “If there was a reincarnation of Janis Joplin it would be her. She also plays sax and has a killer band.” - Daily Xtra


Discography

  • Kiss You Because I Can - EP - October 2014
  • Four for the Road - EP - August 2014
  • She's Right - January 2008



Photos

Bio

Few bands rumble up and down the highways of the East Coast and Ontario in a big, white RV as often as jazz-rock band, Yo Mama does. At the wheel, singer/saxophonist Shelley Montreuil leads the five-piece with her edgy vocals, biting lyrics and scorching saxophone solos. 

Formed in Perth, Ontario in 2012, the band continually makes new fans as they bring their infectiously energetic live show to new audiences by way of major festivals like Ottawa's Westfest and small East Coast bars like the Trailside Inn where the locals can’t help but get up and dance. Having opened for Rae Spoon, Sarah Harmer and The Acorn, this band has put their own spin on adult contemporary.

Drawing on influences like Wilco, Fleetwood Mac, Portishead & Janis Joplin, Yo Mama is set to return to the Bova Sound Studio Spring 2016 to record their first full LP. Lyrically Montreuil crafts songs that spin stories about forbidden love, life on the road & levelling the playing field. Their most recent single, “Kiss You Because I Can,” an LGBT-proud anthem, which made its rounds on the CBC Searchlight contest and community radio was also recorded with producer Phil Bova (Feist, Bahamas, The Acorn, Jeremy Fisher).

Attending a Yo Mama show you’re guaranteed to feel the grooves and dig the ambience these experienced musicians bring to the stage in the form of electric guitar grit, perfectly placed keys, ambient sax and soaring vocals with tight harmonies. Be sure not to miss it!

Band Members