Brewer & Shipley

Brewer & ShipleyFrom: Kansas, USA

Michael Brewer & Tom Shipley were a duet that wrote solid country-rock songs that featured some great harmonies and excellent arrangements. Their lyrics delved into topics of drugs and hippie values, allowing them to fit in with the counter-culture of the 1960s. Brewer & Shipley also had a number of connections with the Bay Area music scene

Meeting at the Blind Owl coffeehouse in Kent, Ohio in 1964, the two did not start working together until 1967. Shipley spent the three years working the Toronto folk circuit. Brewer traveled to Los Angeles near the end of 1965 with partner Tom Mastin. The two formed Mastin & Brewer, until Brewer’s brother Keith replaced Mastin in 1966. The brothers continued writing together until mid-1967. Michael had landed a songwriting job with Good Sam Music, an affiliation of A&M. He was able to arrange for Shipley to also be recruited, and that summer, they began to record their debut album, which was partially recorded at Leon Russell’s house.

During their first year together, Brewer & Shipley wrote songs independently for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Poor, along with others. H.P. Lovecraft would eventually do a cover of “Keeper Of The Keys”, a song that appears on Brewer & Shipley’s debut album.

The first album was produced by Allen Stanton (The Byrds, Mort Garson) and Jerry Riopelle. They called the album Down In L.A. and it defined their sound perfectly. The songs were short, structured pieces of music that featured good harmonies, solid lyrics, and great musicianship: Leon Russell, Lance Wakely (Joyous Noise), and Jim Messina (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) to name a few.

The duo would move to Kansas signing a new contract with Kama Sutra. Their second and third albums also feature some excellent musicians, including Richard Green (Seatrain), Mark Naftalin (Buterfield Blues Band, Mother Earth, Quicksilver), Michael Bloomfield, Bob Jones (We Five, Southern Comfort), Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), John Cipollina, David La Flamme (It’s A Beautiful Day), and Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Airplane).

Brewer & Shipley recorded for Karma Sutra and Capital for several more years, but their albums became more conventional.

Artist information sources include: Fuzz, Acid & Flowers by Vernon Joynson

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1968 album Down In L.A.
Down In L.A

  • An Incredible State Of Affairs
  • Keeper Of The Keys
  • She Thinks She’s A Woman
  • Time And Changes
  • Truly Right

From the 1969 album Weeds
Weeds

  • Boomerang

From the 1970 album Tariko
Tariko

  • Don’t Want To Die In Georgia
  • Oh Mommy
  • One Toke Over The Line