Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brewer & Shipley Tarkio Kama Sutra 1970

Brewer & Shipley Tarkio Kama Sutra 1970 CAT# KSBS 2024

Should probably be mentioned again since it's been a while since I've discussed Brewer & Shipley, but neither Brewer nor Shipley are from KC or the surrounding area.  However, they were managed by Good Karma Production out of Kansas City and like many of the acts managed by them, the act relocated to Kansas City.  So for a time, Brewer & Shipley called Kansas City their home.

And, judging by classic rock radio-play to this day, Kansas City adored the guys while they were a big deal.  Even today, you're bound to hear the hit from this album, "One Toke Over the Line" come across the airwaves at least once in a day.  As it was somewhat of a surprise hit, the band has since been regulated to "one-hit wonder" status and it'd be surprising if any other classic radio station outside of KC is still blasting the song more than once a month.  In fact, the band was so beloved in KC, that in 1989 a local radio station urged the two to reunite.  Of course, they obliged.  That was then followed by a tour and an album in 1995 that no one cared about.

As for the big hit, "One Toke Over the Line," it was actually banned by many radio stations for it's obvious reference to marijuana.  As far as hits go, it's a good representation of the band.  It's laid back, kinda country, kinda folkie, at times a bit later-era hippie, nothing over-bearing or loud, but it's got some soul to it. They are an enjoyable duo based in traditional roots based music, it makes sense they were able to sustain a career on a major label.  They kind of sound like a lite-rock version of the Band with their roots driven approach and unexpected harmonies, but I stress the "lite", the Band's sound punches Brewer & Shipley in the balls.

Outside the hit, there are some other highlights, the rootsy "the Light", the humorous "Oh Mommy",  the rollicking "Don't Want to Die in Georgia," and the title track "Tarkio Road" along with "50 States of Freedom" are pleasant enough. Also of note, the LP credits Grateful Dead front-man Jerry Garcia for some pedal guitar, making the album a part of any dead Dead Head's collections worldwide.  It also features backing vocals by another Good Karma managed artist and KC transplant, Danny Cox.

Live clip of the Boys rocking nice duds and singing their hit.
Don't Want To Die In Georgia

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