As a Los Angeles resident, I drive through Laurel Canyon multiple times a week. Not one time did I ever give a thought to what lurked up in those hills, until I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday in a restaurant located in the bottom of the Laurel Canyon store. The place was packed and filled with very affluential residents of the area. Only then, did I wonder why and how this store became such a quite hot spot. All that and them some was answered after screening ECHO IN THE CANYON.
The 60’s represents an era in American associated with free love, the Vietnam war and a type of kindness and innocence that’s absent from our country and our world today. Meanwhile, in California a sound was brewing in the hills of Laurel Canyon from such iconic groups as The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and The Papas, Crosby, Stills and Nash, John Sebastian and Buffalo Springfield (who lead singer was a young Neil Young). The Laurel Canyon sound defined the ‘California Sound’ and rock music for generations to come and was a heavy influence for The Beatles – who knew?
Inspired by the 1969 Jacques Demy film ‘Model Shop’ about a young man finding himself in 60’s Los Angeles wandering around Hollywood landmarks, Subject/Executive Producer Jakob Dylan and Producer/Director Andrew Slater were reminded of this time period which attracted them to the music industry in the first place, while contemplating recording some the era’s classic songs. Echo in The Canyon transports its audience into that world, era and the origins of that sound through personally candid interviews. Jakob Dylan grabs some heartfelt nostalgic gems from the likes of Michelle Phillips, Lou Adler, John Sebastian, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and the late Tom Petty. Intercut with studio sessions Dylan recording Norah Jones, Brian Wilson and others, culminating in a tribute concert at The Orpheum in 2015.
There are many humorously warm moments like when Michelle Phillips recounts how the song ‘Go Where You Wanna Go’ came into existence or watching the memories wash across her face as she listens in on a studio re-record of The Mamas and Papas hit, recalling how they were signed by Lou Adler or Ringo Starr flashing back to the shenanigans that would occur every time he and George.
Attendees at select screenings in Los Angeles were treated to a concert with Jakob Dylan and the Echo in The Canyon band joined by Stephen Stills, Cat Power, Jade Castrinos and Regina Spector. You too can be catapulted back to the 60’s with your own personal concert featuring Fiona Apple when you catch Echo In The Canyon as it hits theatres in limited release this Memorial Day Weekend.