Tarkio (album)

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Tariko album cover.JPG
Studio album by Brewer & Shipley
Released 1970
Recorded Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco
Genre Folk rock
Length 36:43
Label Kama Sutra Records
Producer Nick Gravenites
Brewer & Shipley chronology
Shake Off The Demon
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Tarkio is the third album by Brewer & Shipley. Released in 1970, the album (also known as Tarkio Road, as that title was printed on the labels of original pressings of the LP and pre-recorded tapes) yielded the hit singles "One Toke Over the Line" and "Tarkio Road."

The title came about when they left California in 1969 returning to the Midwest, this time to Kansas City, Missouri, where they played college towns in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. One regular gig was Tarkio College in the small town of Tarkio, Missouri. They found they could just make it from Tarkio to Saint Joseph, Missouri on a single tank of gas and took to calling the route "Tarkio Road."

The single, "One Toke Over the Line," peaked at #10 (#5 in Canada), garnering notice from Spiro Agnew for what he saw as its subversiveness. Ironically, the song was performed (by Gail Farrell and Dick Dale) on The Lawrence Welk Show, which billed it a "modern spiritual."[2] The song is notably mentioned in the opening of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and was notably "sung" by Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) in the film of the same name. "Tarkio Road" reached #41 in Canada.

Jerry Garcia contributed a distinctive steel guitar intro to the track "Oh Mommy," which was purportedly a plea to throw Richard Nixon out of office. The album also features John Kahn and Bill Vitt on bass guitar and drums, respectively; they were regulars of The Jerry Garcia Band.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Brewer & Shipley except where marked

Side A

  1. "One Toke Over the Line" – 3:16
  2. "Song from Platte River" – 3:15
  3. "The Light" – 3:09
  4. "Ruby on the Morning" – 2:15
  5. "Oh Mommy" – 3:03

Side B

  1. "Don't Want to Die in Georgia" – 3:45
  2. "Can't Go Home" – 2:29
  3. "Tarkio Road" – 4:30
  4. "Seems Like a Long Time" (Ted Anderson) – 4:12
  5. "Fifty States of Freedom" – 6:49

A CD reissue in 1996 added the following tracks



  1. ^ Tarkio (album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ ""Toking" with Lawrence Welk". YouTube. 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2012-12-09.