Northern Wilds Magazine
After numerous collaborations, Myhre is set to release her next album, Greetings From the Barnyard Lounge, on April 20, with her current “batch of Hootch”—i.e. the most recent make-up of the Jebberhooch. | SUBMITTED

Singer/Songwriter Colleen “Boss Mama” Myhre

Soul, Rhythm, and Grit

With roots that run deep in the Northland, singer/songwriter Colleen “Boss Mama” Myhre is a force to be reckoned with in the North Shore music scene.

Raw emotion is the foundation upon which Myhre builds her music, and her sound is something like Memphis blues with a hefty dose of northern Minnesota grit.

“Soul, rhythm, and grit,” says Myhre, “I once saw those words on a sign in Memphis when I went down there to visit Sun & Stax Records, and thought to myself that that just about sums up my sound. I sing with a lot of soul, I’m a heavy rhythm guitar player, and my songs are gritty.”

Myhre started her career as a soloist, performing locally at “honky-tonks” and taverns. Today, however, you’d be hard pressed to find Myhre onstage alone.

Her schedule is packed with collaborative gig’s that tap into the connections and friendships that she has developed over the course of her career, and the ever-changing composition of the Jebberhooch—what she endearingly calls the artists who join her to jam and collaborate—is testament to her ability to bring out the best in the musicians that she performs with.

“I am a rhythm guitar player,” says Myhre, “and my voice is my main instrument, so the process of playing with other musicians comes easy for me.”

“I love listening to the amazing musicians that I jam with,” continues Myhre, “and am intentional in giving them the freedom and space that they need to be creative. It usually works. I play with good listening musicians, people who want to make my songs sound cool. I choose to surround myself with musicians that want to add color to a song, not just shred and show-off.”

Numerous collaborations later, Myhre is set to release her next album, Greetings From the Barnyard Lounge, with her current “batch of Hootch”—i.e. the most recent make-up of the Jebberhooch—that includes artists Jacob and Owen Mahon, Jeff Gilbertson, Caleb Anderson, Nate Hynum, and Bryan “lefty” Johnson.

Myhre started her career as a soloist. Today, however, you’d be hard pressed to find Myhre onstage alone. | SUBMITTED

“The Jebberhooch and I recorded the album at Sparta Sound with Rich Mattson,” says Myhre, “and laid down 12 songs in one weekend. It came together great, and the artwork for the album is phenomenal—Duluthian Heidi Feroe, lead vocalist of Barbie Eyes, crafted the work. The songs on the album were all written by me, but co-writing some with Jacob Mahon and my husband Jimmy.”

[Greetings from the Barnyard Lounge] was the most challenging project to date, but also the one that I am most proud of,” continues Myhre. “We’ll be debuting the album April 20 at Bent Paddle with our pals Baharat and Saltydog.”

Myhre has been playing music for most of her life. At the age of 9, Myhre’s parents bought her her first piano, and almost immediately she started “making up” songs to play on her new gift.

“Growing up,” says Myhre, “I was always around music. My aunties, uncles, and family friends would sing and play together for hours at a time. I would sit and watch in amazement, sometimes joining with a little girl’s rendition of Tanya Tucker. Then, when I got my first piano, I was really able to sit in with the others to play and sing. I just loved making music.”

Myhre has been married and living in Mahtowa, Minn.—just south of Cloquet—for 26 years. When she’s not travelling for gigs and collaborating on projects, that’s where you’ll find her—at home in Mahtowa at the golf course that she and her husband own and operate.

“If I’m not playing music,” says Myhre, “I’m at The Rugged Spruce Golf Course in Mahtowa.”

“I bartend and manage the clubhouse,” continues Myhre, “and my husband and I host a concert series every Saturday night that starts the first weekend in June and runs until Labor Day. We call it Under the Blue Umbrella, named after a John Prine song.”

“We have a killer outdoor stage, and we host some pretty serious shows,” continues Myhre. “In the summer I am busy booking bands like Feeding Leroy, Blackhoof, Saltydog, Danny Frank & The Smoky Gold, Brothers Burn Mountain, Nathan Frazer, just to name a bunch.  My husband and I, we’re pretty proud of our little place.”

You can find Myhre’s 2019 EP, Boss Mama, on Spotify, and a list of upcoming performances on her website:

Information on The Rugged Spruce can be found on their website:

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