Carson Williams: Born on Six Nations Indian Reservation, southern Ontario.
Production for Fire and Smoke began in April 2008 and was released September the same year. It is comprised of originals all sung by Carson with the exception of two songs - Fire and Smoke and My Tears. Harmony was provided by Randell Hill who is from the band Blackn’ Bluez’d. Hill is the producer/owner of Mudfoot Studios on the Six Nations Grand River Territory. Steel Guitar was played by Allan Fralick who is known throughout Norfolk county in Ontario, Canada. The Williams Boys consist of singer songwriter Carson Williams, bassist Roger Williams, drummer Brian Williams, and Randell Hill guitar/keyboard player who also comes from the Williams family background. Fire and Smoke was written by Earl Thomas Conley.
Carson wanted to be a guitar player, but coming from a poor family said his parents weren’t able to buy him a guitar until he was fourteen years old. His mother purchased a used guitar for him and he quickly sent off an order in the mail to get ‘Learn to Play Guitar in 7 Days’ written by Doc Williams, who was no relation to him.
“The first day was great,” Williams told the Tekawennake, a local newspaper who recently interviewed him. “After playing all day long I felt I was on my way to stardom. However, on the second day my fingers were so sore I could not touch the strings for a week.”
Carson continued practicing and developing chords then took an opportunity to play at a local church after hearing Everett Shilling.
“He was an awesome guitar player and took me under his wing and started showing me how to put things together to play a song. He was very patient and I am grateful for that.”
As an older teenager, Williams drifted into singing and playing a different style of rhythm guitar from Gospel to more modern Rock n Roll with Clare Hill and the Wanders. The band included Glen Williams and Doug Johns.
“We would play at barn dances where we were the teenaged and more modern band while other local and more experienced bands were playing Country. We were able to add variety to venues.”
Williams then went through a period of just going from party to party.
“For a few years that was all I did, learning the most popular songs people liked to hear sung at parties and that is where I met Mr. Styres. Mr. Styres asked me to join, his already popular band, Mr. Jay Styres and the Red Raiders. This band played more for dances and banquets, a whole new and different crowd of people,” Carson smiled, reflecting on how he got from the then to the present.
After the Red Raiders went separate ways Carson joined a familiar local band with Les Sowden called the Beaumonts. Williams fondly recounted hotels where John VanEvery and Russel Smith were playing, “We had a lot of fun times.”
Leaving that band Williams started playing for John Martin and the Trail Men. The band was popular and had a huge following in the Southern Ontario area. Wedding, banquets, parties were all part of a normal itinerary that included the First Nations Indian Defence League’s Annual Border Crossings celebrating and excercising a well known Native treaty called the Jay’s Treaty.
When Carson was in his fourties he formed a band called Maneto with Fred Johnson, Earl Jamieson, Sandy Jamieson and Brian Williams. After some changes in the band others were brought in that included Roger Williams, Carla Miller, Brian Williams and Josh Miller.
“After all those years, I decided to retire from music. I had thought I’d never play or sing again. Then I got an opportunity to play the Thursday Night Show on the radio after meeting Derek Sandy.
“It started out by me spontaneously making up funny songs off the cuff just for laughs,” Carson explained. “It was enough to give me a rush and fever to play again.”
In April 2008 Carson had an opportunity to make a Country CD. He had learned about a local studio and the First Nations Singer Songwriters Producers Guild, where he met Randell Hill and seized the opportunity to book studio time.
“It’s the ultimate goal for artists to produce their own CD with original music. For me it was a dream of a lifetime – to be able to leave something behind that people might remember us by and enjoy.”
Williams enlisted help from a pool of talented local muscians who all agreed to assist in creating a CD for him. Much of the help came from former bandmates who had also retired from playing as a band.
“So here it is Fire and Smoke, I hope that listeners will enjoy it as much as I do. I think I’m ‘our’ biggest fan. I love this CD and am so thankful to all those who helped create it and supported us.
“Thanks goes to these great musicians for making this once in my lifetime dream come true,” said Carson holding proudly a number of finished CDs fresh from the replicators at Ball Media in Brantford.