Down In L.A. ~ CD Release



First Time On CD

Brewer & Shipley's wonderful 1968 debut album has finally been released on CD.  The lost classic Down In L.A. is being released in digital format for the first time by Now Sounds/Cherry Red Records in the United Kingdom.

Interviews Michael & Tom
CD Review
Release Information



  Back Story

In 1967, folk singers Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley who had met on the coffee house circuit in 1964, got day jobs as contract songwriters for the newly established A&M Records. Their songs were recorded by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Glen Yarborough, The Poor, H.P. Lovecraft, Noel Harrison, Bobby Rydell, and a few other bands trying to
make a name for themselves in the emerging west coast music scene.

Michael & Tom say they were not good at pitching their stylized songs to others, but luckily someone at A&M recognized they had a sound of their own and green-lighted a project for them to record their songs for their own album. The effort was co-produced by Jerry Riopelle who also produced Nino Tempo and April Stevens, The We Five, and The Parade. The musicians on the album included Tom's next door neighbor, Jim Messina, and a group of superb L.A. studio musicians, the now legendary "Wrecking Crew" including Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Jim Gordon,  
  Lyle Ritz, Mike Melvoin, Milt Holland and Leon Russell.  About half the album was recorded at Leon's home studio.

The finished product was first class, with great songs and some really nice production.  Unfortunately for Down In L.A., Michael & Tom were so unhappy with L.A. that they had decided to move back to the mid-west even before they finished recording it.  In fact when Tom's lease was up on his house, he pitched a tent in Michael's backyard while the duo finished the album.  Since the music scene was in L.A., New York and Nashville, and Michael and Tom had moved to Kansas City (KANSAS CITY!), A&M assumed they had quit the business and didn't push the album. Within a year, Brewer & Shipley were signed as recording artists for Buddah Kama Sutra and released their classic Weeds album only a year after Down In L.A..

Because Down In L.A. was released on A&M Records, none of its songs ever made it to Brewer & Shipley’s Buddah compilation CDs.  Any of a half dozen songs from Down In L.A. could have legitimately been included on any label-neutral best-of compilation.  "Truly Right," "Time & Changes," and "Keeper Of The Keys" were good enough to be covered by other artists and Brewer & Shipley's versions could have easily been hits.  Other songs from the album like the beautiful "Green Bamboo," the great sounding "Dreamin' In The Shade (Down In L.A.),"  and the haunting "I Can't See Her," are equally worthy of inclusion on a Brewer & Shipley anthology.



Forty-four years of could of, should of, would of for Down In L.A.  .....
Thank you!
to Now Sounds in the U.K. for finally making this lost classic Brewer & Shipley album available on CD.








Down In L.A.