'Tiger' Will Mason
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'Tiger' Will Mason

Ottawa, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Ottawa, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Discography

CD: "Long Walk 49" - original music, with tracks written or co-written by David Roy Parsons, John Law, Corine Mason, and the late Edmund Daley.

David Roy Parsons - "Purple" CD (2003) - "Big Truck in a Small Town";
CD - Songs of Survival (2007) - track: Blade Of Sweetgrass"; also track
"Super Happy Fun Jamboree" from EP of same title(www.myspace.com/davidroyparsons

Joey Only - "Radical Folk of the Great North" (2003); several tracks including "Anarchist Mountain", others

Songs that have been on radio:
"Morning Train";
"Long Walk 49 Song";
"Barbwire Blues";
"Railroad Baby";
"Silverbirds";
"The Battle Raging";
"Million Miles/Solidarity (You and Me)"
"Hey Hey (I Can't Do It All)"

Joey Only:
"Anarchist Mountain" (www.myspace.com/xjoeyonlyx)

Photos

Bio

'Tiger' Will Mason - formerly known as Andy Mason, is an award-winning First Nations (Upper Cayuga/Mohawk) singer/songwriter/actor and multi-instrumentalist, with over 30 years on stage as a musician or actor. His unique style and voice has won a few accolades, and continues to win over fans.

He remembers singing before talking; listening to the radio as a small child, by six he learned to imitate voices of the singers of his favorite songs. In a family of musicians (his late mother, his sister, and three older brothers who all played music), Will was always more interested in music and the stage than most anything else. By age seven, he taught himself to play drums and percussion. He sang in choirs, and tried acting too, landing a small part in an 'operetta', where people immediately recognized his potential.

In 1979, he was invited to play at his high school assembly. It was a turning point for him; while teaching himself songs by Supertramp and Stevie Wonder, two of his many influences then, an older brothers lent him a Rickenbacker electric guitar which he took home to teach himself. Within a few months, he was playing original and cover songs on stage on piano and guitar to standing ovations for his high school. He moved to Toronto in 1983, with 15 dollars, a beat-up SilverTone guitar, and pursued a career in both music and acting. He was introduced to musicians/actors David Campbell, Don Francks, Gary Farmer, Graham Greene, a then-seventeen-year old Eric Schweig, and Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman. He became a regular peformer at the first all-Native run coffee house in Toronto, The Native Expressions Night at the Trojan Horse Cafe on Danforth.

Within a year, on the urging of his father, the late James E. Mason, OMC, he was accepted into K.Y.T.E.S., a unique ensemble community theater group, who took youth from the streets and taught them job skills, confidence and theater skills. The troupe toured Canada in '85, and was the subject of a Sunrise Films Documentary, directed by Deepa Mehta, and featured music by Will and his sister Corine.

At a coffeehouse beside the legendary El Mocambo, in front of peers and family in 1986, he was given the name Kahn-tah-wi-wim'-tchi-get, which in Anishinabe(Ojibway) means, "Beautiful Music Maker". While doing theater and busking around Toronto, he met others busking on Yonge Street, and they formed a band called 4 Way Street, covering the songs of CSNY. (Will was always a fan of Neil Young; when he was given his Ojibway name, he was learning songs from "Rust Never Sleeps"). They relocated to the Ottawa area, and toured around Canada from '88 to '95, opening for many major acts along the way. CSN had even heard of them; Will met them at their show in '89 at the NAC in Ottawa. Crosby and Nash reportedly liked their sound. The late great Jeff Healey jumped onstage to perform CSNY songs with them at the Penguin Club, Canada Day 1993. In late summer 1995 one member, John Law, had met Michele Chiasson, at a show in Delta, where 4 Way Street played an outdoor party for the carnies. Soon after, John and Michelle left Ontario behind, got married, and became award-winning singer/songwriter duo "The Laws" (http://www.reverbnation.com/thelaws). After John's departure, Will went on his own, playing solo shows as well as with other bands, and helped others develop their craft.

In 1994, Will won "Adult Male Vocal Performer" on local Ottawa program "HomeGrown Cafe", on CJOH-TV, playing his own original songs on that show. He also fought for buskers' right to busk in Ottawa in the early 90s'; many buskers at the time were harassed by authorities for playing on the street and the Byward Market. Soon after, that changed somewhat due to Will's and others' efforts.

He moved to the Lower Mainland of B.C. in '98; relocated Ottawa musician David Roy Parsons (http://www.myspace.com/davidroyparsons) encouraged and helped him to put together an album of songs he had been writing since his coffeehouse days. The result was "Long Walk 49"; the title song written in the KYTES days, one of the featured songs in the Sunrise Films documentary.

"Tiger" Will has won awards, and accolades; John Law called him the 'harmony Master'; the late Brian Rading of 5 Man Electrical Band fame, as a mentor and friend. Will won "Mainstream Song of the Year" at the NEMAs in Albuquerque, NM in 08; and Canada's Aboriginals Got Talent in 2012.