An Evening with Tom Shipley of Brewer & Shipley
St. Louis filmmaker Kathy Corley is nearing completion of a feature documentary on the folk-rock duo Brewer & Shipley, whose Top 10 hit “One Toke Over the Line” was a constant presence on the radio in the 1970s. Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley — who both now live in Missouri — continue to blend guitars and voices and perform for audiences 50 years after their trademark vocal harmonies and intertwined acoustic guitars carved a unique niche in America's soundboard. In this special program, Corley will show excerpts from her work-in-progress documentary, and Shipley — who also is an accomplished documentarian — will screen some of his own films, including “Treehouse: An Ozark Story” (1989, 29 min.), which tells a tale of river life and how it has changed since the turn of the century. The film profiles Ralph “Treehouse” Brown — famous for his gunfights, his house on stilts, and living life on his own terms — and features original music by Brewer & Shipley. Tom also offers a few brief pieces that feature performances and stories by musicians he’s encountered in the Ozarks and on his travels, including Missouri fiddle player Charlie Pashia, who plays a few old French songs he learned from his father; Roy Boyer, Merl Belt, and Uncle Walt, who gather to play French tunes in Roy’s yard; and a group of Andean pan-flute players who were filmed in Bolivia when Tom was shooting his short “Tacachia.” The evening concludes with a Q&A with Corley and Shipley.