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Weeds & Tarkio


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Weeds
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Audio CD, August 10, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Collector's Choice
  • ASIN: B00020P828
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,343 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lady Like You
2. Rise Up (Easy Rider)
3. Boomerang
4. Indian Summer
5. All Along the Watchtower
6. People Love Each Other
7. Pigs Head
8. Oh, Sweet Lady
9. Too Soon Tomorrow
10. Witchi-Tai-To
11. One Toke Over the Line
12. Song from Platte River
13. The Light
14. Ruby on the Morning
15. Oh Mommy
16. Don't Want to Die in Georgia
17. Can't Go Home
18. Tarko Road
19. Seems Like a Long Time
20. Fifty States of Freedom

Editorial Reviews

Sure, 'Tarkio' has the hit 'One Toke over the Line', but don't stop there–these two albums by Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley rank high on the West Coast folk 'n' country-rock pantheon with the New Riders' and Beau Brummels' best. 'Weeds', in fact, may even be a better album than 'Tarkio', as it features production by Nick Gravenites and guitar by Mike Bloomfield–it's the Electric Flag as backing band! 'Tarkio', meanwhile, has pedal steel from Jerry Garcia and such a late-'60s California vibe that you just might get a contact high. We're reissuing these albums together with original art and new notes–a 'Collectors' Choice Music' exclusive!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Enjoy a great part of the 70's.
L. Graham
My personal favorite of their songs is the version of "Witchi-Tai-To," the Jim Pepper song, which closes WEEDS.
Autonomeus
The music makes you feel good, the harmonies are very sweet and the lyrics are meaningful and truthful...
Dancing spirit

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on October 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic reissue -- the record companies started reissuing vinyl on plastic back in the late 1980s, and it took until now to get these great albums! The wheels of justice turn slowly... WEEDS and TARKIO, from 1969 and 1971, were the two finest albums released by Brewer & Shipley, and this disc instantly becomes the best single-disc of their music, surpassing two or three "best of" discs over the years. My personal favorite of their songs is the version of "Witchi-Tai-To," the Jim Pepper song, which closes WEEDS. It was a staple of underground radio in the early '70s, and I used to hear it regularly on WGLD and then WXRT in the Chicago area.

Michael Brewer says in the liner notes that he considers WEEDS to be the best of their early albums, and I can see why -- it doesn't have a weak song, it flows smoothly, and the melodies and beautiful harmonies of its countrified folk-rock make you feel good down deep inside. "People Love Each Other" sweetly sums up the hippie counterculture, which had the same message as a well-known long-hair from about 2000 years ago. TARKIO is more political and controversial, from the (in)famous "One Toke Over the Line" to the impassioned "Tarkio Road" and "Fifty States of Freedom."

One of my favorites from TARKIO is "Don't Want to Die in Georgia," which captures well the raw fear that was widespread among advocates of peace and love in those days of Nixon and Vietnam, Kent State and COINTELPRO. There is a song on TARKIO that puts Brewer & Shipley's worldview in context -- "the Light." No doubt there were conservatives who saw the line from the hit song "I wanna be one toke over the line, sweet Jesus" as mocking and blasphemous. But "The Light" is clearly a Christian song, and it is 100% serious.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on March 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Like several other one-hit wonders, Brewer & Shipley were a bona fide music act before (and after) their brief intersection with Top-40 fame. The native Oklahoman and Ohioan (respective to their billing) had been kicking around the Los Angeles folk scene for a couple of years when they recorded their 1968 debut ("Down in L.A.") for A&M. By the time they waxed this pair of albums for Kama Sutra in '69 and '70, they'd settled back in the Midwest.

Both albums were recorded in San Francisco with Nick Gravenites producing and assembling the who's-who bands. "Weeds" features Mike Bloomfield on guitar, Mark Naftalin on piano and organ, Richard Greene on fiddle, and Red Rhodes on pedal steel. "Tarkio" retains several of the players (most notably Naftalin), and adds a guest spot for Jerry Garcia on his then newly learned pedal steel. Across the two LPs' 20 tracks, Brewer & Shipley forge a perfectly balanced blend of folk harmony, country twang and rock power.

"Weeds" features a number of standout originals and covers, including the easy ballad "Lady Like You," the slumberous "Indian Summer," and a truly sublime cover of Jim Pepper's ancestral peyote chant, "Witchi-Tai-To." "Tarkio" moves its hippie vibe into the '70s, with strong echoes of the Nixon Years' creeping paranoia. In addition to the rousing hit "One Toke Over the Line," and poetic, philosophical folk songs like "The Light" and "Ruby on the Morning," the album is filled with personal travelogues that match external miles with internal turbulence. "Song From Platte River" and "Tarkio Road" essay the repressed experience of the counterculture, and "Don't Want to Die in Georgia" voices the anxiety of many freaks' travel in the South.

Both albums are vastly under-known 5-star folk-rock classics.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roberta J. Caponey on November 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
At long last I can cease my search for my Holy Grail of record albums: Weeds. As a borderline hippie girl and member of a Christian commune in the early 70's, all of us blue-jean babies high-kicked to "Witchi-Tai-To" at midnight communions (Jesus People knew how to rock out!). That song still inspires me with its plaintive pre-amble, "Oh my God, must it be so hard . . . I'm doin' all that I can" seguing into a liquid bongo beat that builds and builds, then crescendos with the mantra, "what a spirit round my head, makes me feel glad that I'm not dead." Until now, all Brewer & Shipley re-issues had the lengthy song chopped in two or faded out prematurely. For anyone who misses an era long-gone, get this album and crank it up loud -- it's guaranteed to "shake off your demons," (another great Brewer & Shipley song . . . Thanks for this long-overdue re-issue!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Frank on March 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
We have been looking for a digital master of this for ages. Many of these songs, particularly on the Tarkio Road portion, not only harken back to the 70's, but seem very relevant even today. A truly wonderful compilation of a duo that should get far more credit than it does.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael on May 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Great to have this music available again...Now if only they would release "Shake Off the Demon" and "Rural Space" on CD which both had some wonderful music on them too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Corby on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This midwestern country-rock-folk singer-songwriter duo never reached the fame and glitz of other late 1960s-early 1970s groups, but their talent far exceeds the one hit they enjoyed, "One Toke Over the Line." Well worth a listen for anyone who enjoys thoughtful lyrics, stirring melodies and dedicated playing. Brewer and Shipley wrote all but three of the songs on this CD that covers their two albums. "Weeds" plays very much like a symphony, with songs moving artistically into the next. Awesome trilogy: The last three songs on the album. "Tarkio" is a slightly less succesful effort than their first album, but this is the album from which "One Toke" came so it was probably heard by more people. I was glad to find these albums on CD so I can take them on the road with me. Quite a treat for the ears.
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