The folk-rock duo Brewer & Shipley, an act with deep ties to Kansas City, is still together more than 40 years after achieving a few international hits. They perform with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils at Crossroads KC on Saturday, July 2.
Three reasons we’re listening to Brewer & Shipley this week:
1. Brewer & Shipley’s relaxed, folk-rock sound is back in style. You can hear echoes of it in the music of young musicians such as Dawes and the Avett Brothers.
2. Once based in Kansas City, Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley continue to live in Missouri. They named their 1970 album Tarkio after the small Missouri town about halfway between Kansas City and Omaha. Guest artists on the record include the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and star guitarist Paul Butterfield.
3. Tarkio featured the duo’s biggest hit: “One Toke Over the Line.” It spent 14 weeks on the charts, making it to No. 10 in April 1971. Forty-five years later, with marijuana increasingly legal, Brewer & Shipley deserve a little respect before their catchy little hit disappears in a haze of lost memories.
With all respect to "One Toke," however, here's the much cooler, Missouri-centric "Tarkio Road":
We’re also listening to Springfield, Missouri’s Ozark Mountain Daredevils, sure to revive hits including “Jackie Blue” and “If You Wanna Get To Heaven” on Saturday.
Bill Brownlee’s writing appears weekly in The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine. He blogs about Kansas City’s jazz scene at Plastic Sax.