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Tiger Tiger channeled the traditions of their Native American heritage and the spirit of their native Florida Everglades to create its distinctively mystical brand of contemporary folk. Brothers Lee and Stephen Tiger were the sons of Buffalo Tiger, the chairman of Florida's Miccosukee Tribe. As teens they discovered rock & roll, gigging in Miami-area garage bands including the Renegades and even serving briefly in an early incarnation of NRBQ. Upon forming Sun Country in early 1968, the brothers vaulted to renown just months later when in May they appeared at the inaugural Miami Pop Festival alongside the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, and Procol Harum. After a stint in New York City, the band toured the West Coast in 1969, playing venues including the famed Whisky-a-Go-Go and opening for acts including Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Upon signing to Bernard Stollman's legendary ESP label, Sun Country issued its self-titled debut LP in 1969. The album fared poorly at retail, and after the group sputtered to a halt in 1972, the Tiger brothers formed a new act, Tiger Tiger, a name suggested by RCA Studios engineer Bob Ferguson. Despite steadily gigging throughout south Florida for more than a decade, Tiger Tiger didn't issue their debut LP, Space Age Indian, until 1994. Discs including 1996's Dream Scout and 2000's Southern Exposure followed, and in mid-2006 the band received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native American Music Association. While readying the release of the LP Native to This Country, Stephen Tiger suffered a fatal fall at his Miami home on June 27, 2006, at the age of 57. Lee Tiger vowed to continue touring under the Tiger Tiger aegis, recruiting Stephen's son Joey and former Blues Image/Alice Cooper guitarist Mike Pinera to round out the lineup. ~ Jason Ankeny
'80s, '90s, '00s