Echo in the Canyon (2018) Poster

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4/10
Mixed bag
markanthonyparra26 May 2019
Wow... this film is a must-see for musicologists familiar with the Laurel Canyon scene of the '60s. Terrific interviews w/key players during that time. But... I think a bit less Jakob Dylan and newbies would have done. I suppose his being Exec Producer on the film necessitated his being in too many scenes, annoyingly nodding knowingly at comments.... that is, one supposes, the curse of being the offspring of the Great One. I am also wondering why Mama Cass barely got mentioned and Joni Mitchell was completely omitted. Was it due to disparaging remarks Joni made about pere Dylan a few years ago? Would that this film had been an eight-part comprehensive series on Netflix.
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7/10
Go where you wanna go
ferguson-67 June 2019
Greetings again from the darkness. "Go Where You Wanna Go", a catchy pop song by The Mamas and the Papas, always seemed a quintessential 1960's song, but now, thanks to an insightful interview with singer Michelle Phillips in this new documentary, it's a reminder that even the era's free love carried a price. Director Andrew Slater, the former President of Capital Records, combines the nostalgia associated with the California Sound with the contemporary staying power of the songs and the musicians.

Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers (and Bob's son) is really the face of the film. Not only does he conduct most of the (many) interviews, he's also the driving force behind the 2015 concert at the Orpheum Theatre celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Byrds debut album ... an album we are told kicked off the fusion of folk and rock. Dylan's first interview is with the legendary Tom Petty (in one of his final interviews before suddenly passing away in 2017). The two are sitting in a guitar shop with Petty regaling the brilliance of a Rickenback, and how the music of 1965-67 influenced him as a songwriter and musician.

An aerial view of Laurel Canyon accompanies its description as the antithesis of the plastic TV world of the 1960's. It was an area that attracted bohemians - musicians, artists, and actors - and collaboration and community were the calling. Jackson Browne and Tom Petty both mention "cross-pollination" ... the "borrowing" of ideas from each other, as it's contrasted with outright theft. The concert at the Orpheum acts a bit as a framing device, and Jakob Dylan takes the lead and performs with other modern day acts such as Regina Spektor, Beck, Jade, Fiona Apple, Cat Power and Norah Jones. We cut to modern versions of the 60's classics after an interview with the original artist or clip of the original band is played. It's a way to connect the dots and show how the music still stands today.

Those interviewed include: Jackson Browne, music producer Lou Adler, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, and Ringo Starr. Each of these musical luminaries serves up a story or two, and takes a stab at defining the era and its influence. Roger McGuinn tells us how The Beatles influenced The Byrds, how The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" influenced "Sgt Pepper", and how so many songs and bands are interlinked. Brian Wilson is compared to both Mozart and Bach, and Eric Clapton admits to taking a bit from Buffalo Springfield.

We see and hear Brian in the studio with Jakob, as well as Clapton riffing with Stills. It's fascinating to listen as Brian explains 4 different local studios were used to cut "Good Vibrations" because of the various sounds needed. A bit of artistic lunacy? Perhaps. But it makes for a great tale. It's a bit odd to have clips of Jacques Demy's MODEL SHOP, starring Gary Lockwood and Anouk Aimee, interspersed throughout, but Dylan explains how the film inspired the concert and film. Lastly, we can't help but chuckle since even Jakob couldn't coax his notoriously reclusive father into providing even a touch of recollection for the project. "Expecting to Fly" is offered as the end of the era.
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5/10
Jakob Dylan is Very Talented
info-595717 June 2019
Sorry but it seems like there wasn't enough good footage available so they decided to give Jakob Dylan the starring role, even though he wasn't born until 1969. This was a very disappointing movie, as I thought it would have way more story telling about what Laurel Canyon must have been like in the 60's. There was some of that, but generally speaking, I feel like I was sold a bill of goods here...
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1/10
False Advertisement
zswickey10 June 2019
This movie is just one big vanity project for Jakob Dylan. There could be a mini documentary series on the Laurel Canyon scene and it's greater influence on music as a whole, instead you get an eighty minute documentary that is more than 50% Jakob Dylan recording cover songs of the bands mentioned in the doc and him performing said covers at a live show.

I'm tellin you... you get so sick of seeing Dylan in every frame. He is in frame during the interviews. And he consistently offers random meandering thoughts on the Laurel Canyon scene. There is no cohesion to be found whatsoever. It's a shame bc Dylan had the access but there's no focus to be found.

My only hope is that there will be a REAL documentary on the subject someday. Don't support this vanity project.
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9/10
The Kind of World Where We Belong
kouch2131 May 2019
I saw the film this past Saturday night and thought it was outstanding. It put many songs from the 60s into their proper context in terms of development, highlighting the cross-collaborative efforts between bands that were in the canyon scene during that time, as well as further afield, primarily in the UK, to which I wasn't fully aware of the extent.

The film also shows the impact and influence that this particular music scene has had on contemporary musical artists, illustrated by renditions of many of the songs from that window in time by a particular stable of modern-day musicians at a show at Downtown LA's Orpheum Theatre in October of 2015. While I enjoyed seeing the highlights of that show in the film, it felt like they focused on that concert a little too much during the film's 90-minute runtime. There's also the not so subtle implication that these artists are the direct descendants of that culture and should be revered accordingly. While I like many of the artists depicted on-screen, the impact of the music made in, or inspired by, the late-1960s Laurel Canyon scene goes far beyond the indie/alt rock/pop genres. It would have been nice to have seen that acknowledged. That's my only real complaint with the film, and a relatively minor one at that.

All-in-all, I'm pleased that the filmmakers made the efforts that they did, interviewing many of the artists from that era that are still alive today, and visiting several of the recording studios that will likely be consumed in full by L.A.'s cutthroat real estate market in favor of redevelopment. When those days inevitably arrive, I'm hoping that some rich music lover(s) will have the foresight to purchase and digitally preserve them, even if they have to be relocated, or ultimately replicated, to another location...perhaps in the form of a "Music Studio Museum" in the Capitol Records Building, or in/with some other venue/institution of a similar stature, such as the Grammy Museum.

I enjoyed the film immensely and highly recommend it.
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3/10
More of a self-indulgent home movie than a documentary
polmuir14 July 2019
I had been looking forward to seeing this since the trailers first appeared as it covered the groups that a grew up listening to. Sadly, it didn't meet up to expectations as more than half the "documentary" is focused on Jakob Dylan and not the groups.

On a plus side the interviews with key players of the era are excellent but diluted by the ego of Mr. Dylan, turning up like an unwanted gatecrasher at the party.

I hope someone makes a less self-indulgent tribute to what was surely a collective seam of talent we'll never see the likes of again.
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6/10
12:30 (Young Girls Coming To the Canyon)!
eohlson6 July 2019
Film was interesting strictly from an anecdotal point of view. Some interesting tidbits, archival footage and new versions of the old songs. Jakob Dylan was too fawning and not enough probing with his questions and the group session with Beck, Regina Spektor and Cat Power added nothing to the proceedings. As a result the doc lost some of it's focus at time. Also, can someone tell me how the song 12:30 (Young Girls Coming To the Canyon)! was not included either in the film or over the closing credits. I mean, come on!
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2/10
Major Fail
rmsdds18 July 2019
This could have been so, so good. Instead it was so, so bad. Jakob Dylan is the WORST interviewer, the worst musician, a weak lame singer and BORING. When he interviewed these talented gods of 60s music, his face was dead, lacking ANY expression, soulless. It was like getting interviewed by a corpse. He reacted not at all to the musicians. Just stared at them with dead eyes. He singlehandedly WRECKED this project. And to have his sad, pathetic band of wannabes do all the music was a travesty. Well, good idea for a project. POORLY handled. Result: a disaster! Keep Dylan away from film and music. Forever. He's a tumor!
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9/10
The canyon came to life with music
schad-2843020 June 2019
Wonderfulthe, nostalgic music dominates this fascinating, entertaining, uplifting, informative, 88-minute, 2018 documentary narrated by Jakob Dylan that examines the birth and influence of popular folk-rock music from bands such as The Beach Boys, The Association, The Mamas and the Papas, The Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield in Laurel Canyon in the 1960s and showcases music from both rehearsals and a 2015 concert at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, archival film footage, and interviews with singers and musicians such as Tom Petty, Brian Wilson, Michelle Phillips, Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr, Graham Nash, Stephen Sills, David Crosby, Lou Alder, Beck, Eric Clapton, Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, Cat Power, Roger McGuinn, John Sebastian, Jade Castrinos, and Regina Spektor.
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4/10
Needs more Echo!
peeedeee-9428114 June 2019
This documentary had some good stories told by people who were a part of the scene back in the 1960s. But ultimately, this felt more like a vehicle for Jakob Dylan showcasing his remakes of the classics. Some of them were okay, and some were downright bad (like changing the key for In My Room and turning it into a solo vocal performance). There were a few other clunkers. I guess you could say it was nostalgia for 2 generations, the 60s folks, and the 90s folks who chatted about the 60s music scene. As an actual documentary about Laurel Canyon's heyday, I give it about half marks, and one less for bad interviewing skills of Dylan, or perhaps bad editing by the director showing Dylan's expressionless face too long as he listens to someone talk.
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10/10
Awesome story and presentation
m_mileur31 July 2019
Ignore those who don't understand this was about a 2 year period....sorry Joni Mitchell wasn't around then! Andrew Slater and Jakob Dylan do a good job of telling the stories through interviews probably only he could get. Jakob like his dad is a love or hate artist and his covers are all well done. Tom Petty gives the entire film a good boost in his last on 📷 interview and it is dedicated to him. Very enjoying to watch and sing along!
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6/10
For what it's worth
decopix-6604427 June 2019
If I hadn't read so many rave reviews I might not have been disappointed. But I did, and I was. The only person who shoud be unabashedly in love with this movie is John Hall.

Put it this way. If you're the sort of person who believes older is always better and the sequel never equals the original, Echo In The Canyon will not change your mind.

The celebrity cast speaks for itself. There is the heartbreaking charm of Tom Petty and suprising late in life wisdom from David Crosby. But the film seems to be about a group of young performers trying to capture what it was like, based in part on the movie Model Shop. Seriously. It could be worse; someday people will study City Of Industry or Miracle Mile as realistic documents of what L.A. was like.

There are brief snippets of vintage performances and some are thrilling. Like Buffalo Springfield doing a seque from For What It's Worth to Mr. Soul. But the movie works it's way toward a tribute concert and unfortunately, none of the rehearsals or performances can match, let alone improve on, the originals. And that makes the whole thing kind of melancholy.
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3/10
A Huge Disappointment
Cheezwiz7024 June 2019
This is such a worthy subject, one that hasn't been explored in a lot of detail in other documentaries, so I was very excited to see it.

What a disappointment this film turned out to be. I'm a little surprised by all the rave reviews on the site - perhaps people are confusing the great music that was showcased, with a good documentary, which this was certainly not.

Point blank, this was a 90 minute exercise in false advertising. It is essentially an extended promotional video for Jakob Dylan. The interviews with music veterans, and interesting photos and bits of archival footage are great when we get to see them, but they only comprise about 30% of the whole show. The rest of the time the audience is subjected to footage Jakob Dylan in concert, Jakob Dylan in recording studios, Jacob Dylan in conversation with his music pals, and Jakob Dylan nodding along in interview clips. Basically Jakob Dylan inserts himself into virtually every frame, whilst having the humourless stony faced charisma of his old man. The songs he's playing are cover versions of classics, but I wanted to see a documentary about the creative ferment in L.A. during the mid-to-late sixties, not a movie about Jakob Dylan (who last had a hit about 25 years ago).

The musicians featured had such great stories, and I wanted MORE of them, not a concert film of Jakob Dylan and his contemporaries. Aside from Michelle Phillips, the film also pretty much ignores the female artists who were active at that time in Laurel Canyon. On a poignant note, Tom Petty is a wonderful interview subject, and watching this final footage of him made me sad that he is no longer with us.

Instead of a frustrating and annoying vanity project, someone needs to give these musicians their proper due, perhaps in a multi-part cable documentary, before they too, are gone.
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10/10
Fascinating.... Entertaining
vic-lundquist15 June 2019
Having grown up in this era, with all of those albums, made the film come alive for me/us. My wife kept leaning over asking "Who is that guy?!" referring to Jakob Dylan. She was distracted a bit by his stone face and said, "He seems very depressed." Maybe because his dad wouldn't give an interview? Aside from his prominence in the film, the short documentary was an absolute pleasure to watch and get a glimpse into that world.

For those of us married to artists, it's always fascinating to me to understand a bit more of how they think and to see what makes them tick. The interviews of the great Eric Clapton and Tom Petty made the film for me. Both of them seem to have a genuine natural kindness and wisdom that seems a part of their DNA.

I'm taking my songwriter/singer son in law tonight to see it. He knows more about the subjects of the documentary than I and he wasn't even alive then.
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10/10
Musical history lesson
ccorral41910 June 2019
Relative new comer to the Director/Writer/Producer arena (Andrew Slater) grabs hold of the 1965-1967 LA (Laurel Canyon) music experience, showing us first hand how and when folk music went electric under the guidance of groups like The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas. Jakob Dylan (son of Bob Dylan) gathers a group of contemporaries (Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones) in a Laurel Canyon home, as they look over 60's albums and discuss how music changed, all in preparation for a future live concert featuring the music of that time. While the contemporaries discuss the past, Dylan interviews the characters who lived the experience (Brian Wilson Michelle Phillips, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, John Sebastian and Lou Adler). As an interviewer, Dylan is rather and lifeless. However, his list of start studded interviewees are full of intriguing historical music stories that will keep you glued to the screen. Where Dylan succeeds is his live 2015 LA's Orpheum Theatre concert with Jade Castrinos, Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones, as they bring the music of the past into the present. If you are at all a music fan, and even better yet you have any relationship with the Laurel Canyon neighborhood, you will not want to miss "Echo in the Canyon". Stick around for the credits as Bob Dylan makes a musical camera appearance.
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2/10
A showcase for Jakob Dylan. The history of the canyon is given short shrift.
david-374312 July 2019
So much history was neglected. And attention was given to musicians who live nowhere near the canyon. The contemporary renditions of the original music that had no resonance and lacked the energy and spirit of those seminal recordings. Color me disappointed.
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5/10
Good Interviews, Poor Coverage
texbard24 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Out of 1960's Laurel Canyon came an explosion of collaboration, talent, and creativity that shaped music for decades to come and still shapes it today. This movie is a showcase for Jakob Dylan, disguised as a half-hearted attempt at documenting that history. Too much time is spent on singers from today performing covers of 1960's songs, and way too little time showing performances of 1960's Laurel Canyon artists themselves. Also, too much Beatles. Their influence on Laurel Canyon artists is important, but the Beatles themselves did not rise out of Laurel Canyon and I think they should have been a side story rather than a centerpiece of this film. I give it 5 stars because of the amazing interviews with living icons of that era. The missing 5 stars is for what is missing from the film: Not enough variety, not enough female artists, not enough comprehensive history. Mama Cass Elliott gets way too little coverage although the Mamas and the Papas collectively get good coverage. Still, though, Cass's personal story isn't told at all which is, in my opinion, a huge omission. Carole King, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and Frank Zappa are mentioned almost in passing. Completely missing are Joni Mitchell, Dusty Springfield, James Taylor, Judy Collins, Janice Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, The Monkees, The Eagles, America, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison, which is unacceptable for a documentary attempting to cover that era. Also missing are The Roxy and The Troubadour, among other clubs that showcased the music of these artists. This is more aptly a documentary about the background behind Jakob Dylan's tribute concert for that era and a marketing tool for the accompanying album. However, for hardcore fans of the era, it is very much worth a watch for the interviews and some of the older footage.
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6/10
False advertising
collegeforall11 July 2019
Don't go expecting to see a cool documentary about a wonderful era of pop music and culture. Yes, there are interviews and archival footage but way too much time is devoted to Jakob Dylan and some concert he put together featuring thinly talented contemporary musicians singing those songs and offering banal observations about an era before they were born. It might have been interesting to hear how current performers have been influenced by the California sound, but all they do is imitate the sounds without any of the depth. Very disappointing and very incomplete.
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9/10
Cool doc ...
TaxPayer9922 June 2019
Ignore the critics and the cranks in the User Reviews, this is a great documentary whether you lived during the period or are just learning about it.

No, it's not comprehensive, there's likely some factual errors and it's flawed like everything else documented in media--but it's a great introduction and gives you direction if you want to learn about the artists, the time period or cultural references.

Enjoy it for what it is!
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4/10
Where were The Doors .?
twominds7914 September 2019
How do you make a film about the music that came out of laurel canyon and leave out the biggest and most influential band of the time ? This is how . Maybe I'll make a film about the English invasion and omit the Beatles .
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1/10
Incredibly dull
pietclausen12 September 2019
What was supposed to be an enjoyable memory back to the 60's with the songs of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas etc., turns out to be a long-winded talk-talk show reminiscing those days, with a few bars of a song here and there in between.

Even as a documentary it is a total flop with no merit, best forgotten immediately!
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2/10
The Jakob Dylan show
saberlee445 September 2019
If you're really interested in Jakob Dylan, which I sure as hell am not, then you'll love this movie which shows more of him than anything else.

This could have been an amazing project. For me, it was just an ego trip for JD using famous bands as a backdrop.
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Young Man, until you learn to appreciate the ART......
princeofmontecito10 June 2019
I saw this film yesterday in Santa Barbara. After telling some guy to turn off his cellphone. Never saw the little theater so crowded. The film was a spoonful of Laurel Canyon music honey when there is so much more to tell. Music is personal. Yesterday I finished writing a song out in the trees and hills of Gaviota on my 12 string guitar. The song is called "Tom Petty's Gone." A friend picked me up and we had a picnic on the road to where Jackson Browne lives. We were then headed into town to see "Echo In the Canyon." A film reveals the intent of the story, the viewer then likes it or not. Crosby, Stills, Nash. Brian Wilson. Roger McGuinn and others were sharing stories. Absent were Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and other untold tales. This morning I woke up feeling what the film drove home for me. What happened to us ? Many of us were open and the music was the reflection of that beautiful spirit. People today are what happened to them. Peace and love was not a game for me. Miracles happen when we listen and talk to one another. So at the end of the film, it was dedicated to Tom Petty. While I was finishing my song yesterday, I wondered what Mike Campbell would do with the lead guitar part. He's a beautiful person, very kind. But, I can't make that phone call since I am not connected. I laughed thinking if I went to David Crosby's house and asked him to listen to the song, would he invite me in? Joan Baez's father picked me up hitchhiking once and asked me to play my guitar. I said no. He drops me off by Stanford University and says, "Young man, until you learn to appreciate the art for the art itself, it doesn't matter if two people, or two thousand people clap for you." True wisdom, but I wish you could hear my song. I felt like I lost a brother when Tom died. Keep on keepin on.
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8/10
Musicians Will Get It
verul11 July 2019
While this movie that may or may not satisfy fans of the artists and songs, musicians will get it.
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10/10
Great !
beerman-049615 July 2019
What a time to be alive back in the mid to late 60s. Just amazing music. Top notch documentary here
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