ECHO IN THE CANYON

"Celebrating the Magic of the Music"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

ECHO IN THE CANYON is a documentary about the famed folk-rock scene of the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles in the late 1960s and the influence that bands like The Byrds, Beach Boys, and the Mamas and the Papas had on future generations of rock musicians. Containing some wonderful concert footage, ECHO IN THE CANYON has a strong Romantic worldview with pagan elements as the stars sing some songs and discuss their younger hedonistic lives, with discretion, but the movie’s focus is mostly on the creative process and the magic of the music.

Review:

ECHO IN THE CANYON is a documentary about the famed folk-rock scene of the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles in the late 1960s and the influence that the music of bands like The Byrds, Beach Boys, and the Mamas and the Papas had on future generations of rock musicians. ECHO IN THE CANYON has a strong Romantic worldview with pagan elements as the stars sing some songs and discuss their younger hedonistic lives, with discretion, but the movie’s focus is mostly on the creative process and the magic of the music.

The documentary is the brainchild of former Capitol Records CEO Andrew Slater and rock singer Jakob Dylan, the son of Bob Dylan who was a star in the 1990s himself as leader of the band The Wallflowers. Dylan engages numerous figures from the Laurel Canyon music scene’s 1960s heyday including Jackson Browne, the members of The Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Mamas and the Papas, and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, as they recount what inspired their music and perform some of their greatest tunes.

Between the many interviews, Dylan is seen leading an assortment of old and younger star musicians as they gather to rehearse and sometimes record cover versions of the classic rock songs. However, they are mainly building up to staging an epic Los Angeles concert featuring the songs, and the resulting performance footage is often a wonder to behold.

The interviews are mostly profanity-free and tasteful despite the occasional discussions of promiscuous affairs and illegal drug usage. The focus mostly remains on the creative process and spirit, resulting in a movie that discusses adult subject matter but can be enjoyed by mature teenagers as well as adults.

The concert footage is spectacular and inspires a terrific soundtrack album of the same name. Dylan is an engaging and in-depth interviewer whose own musical career inspires fascinating and funny revelations from his interview subjects. Due to some foul language and the discussion of illicit sex and drugs, ECHO IN THE CANYON merits extreme caution. That said, the general feel of the movie is pleasantly nostalgic, with the focus squarely placed on the magic of the music.

Content:

(RoRo, PaPa, B, LL, S, A, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Romantic worldview with some hedonistic pagan and moral elements in a documentary about the famed folk-rock scene of the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles in the late 1960s, and the influence the music of bands and singers, who sing some of their hits and discuss their past sex lives and drug abuse, but they all express some regrets about that hedonistic lifestyle, but the movie’s focus remains mostly on the creative process and the magic of the music

Foul Language:
16 obscenities (including one “f” word) and some lewd references

Violence:
No violence

Sex:
some discussion of the sexual exploits of famous musicians, including one star’s attempt to record a song about having a threesome, and another female star discussing her many affairs without any regard for morality

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Social drinking of alcohol in a couple scenes

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking but past drug use is discussed by numerous musicians; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A general anything-goes spirit permeates the movie, as the music stars recount their affairs and liaisons with fans and each other.

In Brief:

ECHO IN THE CANYON is a documentary about the famed folk-rock scene of the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles in the late 1960s and the influence that bands like The Byrds, Beach Boys, and the Mamas and the Papas had on future generations of rock musicians. The documentary is the brainchild of former Capitol Records CEO Andrew Slater and rock singer Jakob Dylan, the son of Bob Dylan who was a star in the 1990s as band leader of The Wallflowers. Between interviews, Dylan leads an assortment of old and younger musicians rehearsing and recording cover versions of classic songs. The second half builds up to staging an epic Los Angeles concert.

The concert footage is spectacular and a wonder to behold. Dylan is an engaging, in-depth interviewer whose own musical career inspires fascinating and funny revelations from his interview subjects. ECHO IN THE CANYON has a strong Romantic worldview with pagan elements as the stars sing some songs and discuss their younger hedonistic lives. However, the movie’s focus is mostly on the creative process and the magic of the music.

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