MICHAEL BREWER was born on April 14th, 1944 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The oldest of four children, he performed on the radio at age four. He was a singing drummer in a rock and roll band in high school, along with fellow band mate and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. In 1960 he sold his drums and bought his first guitar ( A Martin D-18. The same guitar heard on six "Brewer & Shipley" albums). After graduating high school in 1962, he traveled the folk circuit performing in coffee houses from coast to coast, and began writing songs. He met Tom Shipley in 1964 at The Blind Owl coffee house in Kent, Ohio, but they wouldn't become a team for a few more years.
Tom Mastin, Billy Mundi, Michael, & Jim Fielder
He teamed with first partner Tom Mastin in 1965, and settled in San Francisco, then Los Angeles. His first recording contract was with Columbia Records as Mastin and Brewer. They formed a band with drummer Billy Mundi (later a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention), and bassist Jim Fielder (later an original member of Blood, Sweat & Tears). Mastin & Brewer toured southern California opening for The Byrds ("Eight Miles High" was their current hit), along with another newly formed band Buffalo Springfield. Buffalo
Springfield got together in a house next door to Michael, once owned by Lenny Bruce, and they got their name from a road work vehicle that was parked in front of Michael's house. Mastin & Brewer began headlining clubs in L.A., and began recording, but Mastin decided he couldn't take the pressure, and they separated. Sadly, years later Tom Mastin committed suicide.
Mastin & Brewer's man at Columbia Records was leaving to help create a new record company being formed by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss called A&M Records. He took Michael with him, and Michael became a staff song writer for A&M's publishing company Good Sam Music.
Tom Shipley moved into a house around the corner from Michael and they began writing songs together. Soon, Tom was a staff writer for A&M, as well. Their demos for the publishing company exhibited a sound and style of their own, and A&M suggested they record their songs themselves. Their first album Brewer & Shipley/Down In L.A. was released in 1968.
Unhappy with life on the coast, Michael and Tom moved back to the heartland, doing what they'd done before.....performing their songs for those who'd care to listen. They made Kansas City, Missouri their home,
and with friends, formed a company named Good Karma Productions. "Brewer & Shipley" acquired a new recording contract with Buddha/Kama Sutra Records in New York City. They recorded four albums for that label Weeds, Tarkio (containing the now classic rock anthem "One Toke Over The Line"), Shake Off The Demon, and Rural Space. Eventually, they moved to Capitol Records and recorded two albums ST-11261 and Welcome To Riddle Bridge.
In 1980 Michael and Tom amicably went their separate ways. Michael met Dan Fogelberg in a bar in the Rocky mountains, and Dan invited him to sing on a song on his latest album. The album was The Innocent Age and the song was "The Reach". Dan produced Michael's first solo LP entitled Beauty Lies, on Full Moon/Warner Bros. Records, and it was released in 1983.
In 1987 "Brewer & Shipley" regrouped for a special concert in Kansas City. They did a few more reunion shows, but writing new songs is what got them back together. While on tour in Alaska, they decided to form their own company "One Toke Productions". They have written songs for and recorded two CD's for that company, Shanghai and Heartland, and after forty plus years together "Brewer & Shipley" are still performing.
Michael released his second solo effort, entitled Michael Brewer/ Retro Man in 2004,
and in the last few years he has been more prolific than ever writing songs. In 2010 he released his third solo album entitled It Is What It Is. In 2012 he followed up with Dancing With My Shadow.
To purchase Michael's CDs or Brewer & Shipley CDs click on the Store link on pages in this site.
Michael has written songs that have been recorded by Stephen Stills, The Byrds, Jonathon Edwards, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Dillards, Seldom Scene, Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pederson to name a few.
Today Michael resides in the Ozark mountains in southern Missouri.