Reid Masson - Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
A latecomer to music, Reid started playing only in 2011, first learning mandolin and then switching full time to bass in 2012. He started singing for fun after joining up with Gilles Lemieux to form an acoustic duo and carried that into the formation of 50 PROOF. The group had no singer, so Reid volunteered to sing until someone better came along.
Reid loves all kinds of music, from Classic Rock to Celtic to Classical. His musical influences include REM, Thin Lizzy, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and many others. Most of all he is a huge Steve Earle fan. Reid also loves bass guitars and has developed a small collection, most notably his Gretsch electric and his vintage Guild B30E acoustic/electric bass.
Dr. Shawn Hayley - Lead Guitar
50 PROOF's Guitar Doctor Shawn Hayley is a Research Scientist and Professor at Carleton University by day and a rock guitarist by night (and most Saturday mornings).
Shawn started playing guitar and jamming in rock bands in the late 1980s before taking an extended hiatus to earn Bachelor’s and PhD degrees in Neuroscience. He and Reid were lucky enough to team up a few years ago in another Classic Rock band and the two are together again in 50 PROOF. these days Shawn enjoys splitting his time between his scientific research and love of music.
Shawn has a large number of influences, ranging from the classic rock of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton to the blues of Joe Bonamassa and Mike Bloomfield to the jazz of Miles Davis and acoustic work of Tom Petty and Johnny Cash. He also has a hidden nostalgic love of '80s heavy metal and pop.
Playing in 50 PROOF allows Shawn to explore many facets of his guitar influences and hang out with the greatest bunch of guys around. Also, he loves performing for those who love music.
Thaila Riden - Drums, Cajon, Djembe,Vocals
Simply put, Thaila loves to play drums. In addition to running The Grand Barn in Vankleek Hill and helping to make tasty Beau's beer, Thaila plays music whenever he can. Lots and lots of music.
Thaila got his first drum kit, a Remo Junior Pro, at the tender age of six. He honed his senses while first learning to drum along to his father's progressive guitar style. While so many musicians are busy hearing themselves, Thaila's active listening and care for dynamics is a refreshing change of pace.
Always ready to release his inner groove, Thaila is right at home with 50 PROOF, channeling Bonham, Moon and Mitchell as he lays down the beat for the band's Classic Rock songs. In additon to a full drum kit, Thaila also plays the Cajon and Djembe when 50 PROOF goes acoustic. His versatility on all types of percussion instruments has allowed the band the opportunity to explore a wide catalogue of music.
Gilles Lemieux - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
50 PROOF's resident snowbird heads south every December and then returns in the Spring to add his acoustic guitar and harmonica to the band's sounds of summer. Growing up left-handed with two right-handed brothers, Gilles learned to play guitar upside-down and backwards so as not to have to change strings all the time. Returning to music a few years ago, he decided to start all over again and learn to play left-handed.
Gilles is one of the most dedicated players one could ever meet, practicing for hours almost daily on both guitar and harmonica. He absolutely loves to play. Equally adept on both electric and acoustic guitar, Gilles loves the fact that 50 PROOF is now also playing as an acoustic group, as it allows him to explore both facets. For Gilles, playing with 50 PROOF is a dream realized and one notch off of his bucket list. He loves all types of music and cites his ace-guitaristbrother Mike as his biggest influence.