Monday, October 15, 2007

Brewer & Shipley

"Rural Space" 1972

Before Prairie Prince joined the Tubes and the Jefferson Starship, he was helping out Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley on Rural Space, two albums after their hit "One Toke Over the Line." The project is at least consistent -- the type and style of music one would expect from Brewer & Shipley, but what's most noticeable on this odd collection of songs is that no progress is being made. The duo produce themselves here after Nick Gravenites did such a great job on the Weeds album, and the result is more like Chad & Jeremy gone hippy than what the audience might expect from these two fine musicians. "Have a Good Life" is a folksy Gregorian chant, while "Blue Highway" is a grooving coffeehouse sleepy strum. "Blue Highway" was written by David Getz of Big Brother & the Holding Company and credited also to a D. Gravenites, probably a misprint and most likely a co-write from their former producer, Nick Gravenites. It's one of the album's best tracks, and also the longest at close to six-and-a-half minutes. "Black Sky" is a tune by Steve Cash, and the song would grace the self-titled debut of his band, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, a year after this unveiling. Jesse Winchester's oft-covered "Yankee Lady" gets a fine treatment here; it's excellent singing and playing, with the first side having a bit more life than the second but with the notoriety of their hit record from early 1971, they could have played the game a little better. More spark and creativity was in order for a pair of folkies who found recognition, and the tune "Where Do We Go From Here" is truly prophetic -- they were going in circles. The cover art doesn't say much: a farmhouse and windmill on a stark plane with the modern logo flying in the air among the clouds overhead. It's good music without direction, adequate and not a bad listen years later, especially the strong "Sleeping on the Way," but at this particular point in time, they needed just a bit more. ~ Joe Viglione, All Music Guide

Side A
"Yankee Lady" (Jesse Winchester)
"Sleeping On The Way"
"When The Truth Finally Comes"
"Where Do We Go From Here"
"Blue Highway" (David Getz, Diane Gravenites)

Side B
"Fly Fly Fly" (Steve Cash)
"Crested Butte"
"Got to Get Off The Island"
"Black Sky" (Steve Cash)
"Have A Good Life"

Mike Brewer - Vocals & Guitars
Tom Shipley - Vocals & Guitars
Billy Mundi, Prarie Prince & Bill Vitt - Drums
Fred Burton - Electric Guitars
Mark Naftalin - Piano, Organ & Vibes
John Kahn - Bass
Phil Howe - Soprano Saxophone
Buddy Cage - Pedal Steel Guitar


Anonymous ge said...

M-mmmmm-wa! You amaze!

16 October, 2007 00:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


16 October, 2007 00:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to amaze us with a constant flow of interesting discs. I have teasted them all and love most. For the best I will be searching the record fairs for my own copies.
Thanks Again

16 October, 2007 21:06  
Blogger Fuzzbox said...

I love Brewer & Shipley!!!
Big big thanks for that ...

Here my
"Shake Off The Demons"

18 October, 2007 02:23  
Anonymous CL said...


29 November, 2009 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can u post brewer and shipley ST11261 PLEASE!

04 March, 2010 07:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please repost

Thanks in advance

16 October, 2012 10:00  

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