Tony Mason-Cox - I Must Sing
The late Tony Mason-Cox was an Australian insurance salesman whose self-released CDs are surely the “outsider music” find of the decade! The mixture of dramatic covers (“The Impossible Dream”) and jaw-dropping originals (“Black”), performed with a vocal range that cannot be charted, makes for a stunning, emotionally jarring listening experience. Tony’s sometimes inflammatory lyrics reflect his belief that he was the reincarnation of a black slave from 19th-century Alabama.
These unusual recordings came to the attention of Neil Hamburger, who in 2008 asked Tony to be his opening act on a short Australian tour; these legendary shows turned out to be Tony’s first (and final) live performances, as he died in December of that year. Eabla is proud to make these CDs available for the first time ever in America, while our limited supply lasts!
"There's a rough quality about his singing, it's not polished, it's up and down like a yo yo but it's full of heart and it's full of truth, it's very real. His whole life is going into it. A lot of vocalists who are working all the time can become blasé about their singing and their situation. This was Tony's opportunity to leave something for posterity I suppose. He is not pretentious in any way, he wears his heart on his sleeve and I think that projects to anyone listening to his music."
Serge Ermoll, arranger and accompanist
"There is a strong tradition of big voices in Australia's history - from Nelly Melba to Joan Sutherland. Well this guy is amongst them, he sounds like the famous Oz Peter Dawson on acid...Tony Mason-Cox may not have made as many albums as Mr. Dawson (the world's most famous baritone sold over 13 million copies from the beginnings of recording to the Second World War) but he certainly sings with the same kind of spirit.
"He is certainly an outsider, doing what he does without any sign of self-consciousness. Untrained, full on, unfashionable, incapable of compromise because there is no alternative. This is raw material, sung with vernacular grain in the language. Do this at the Opera House and the bourgeois in the front row would be shifting uncomfortably in their seats I'll wager."
Brent Clough, ABC Radio National, Australia