Echo in the Canyon

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Wow, we end up watching a lot of movies in December, as original TV fare drops to nothing. This one was on impulse, a Netflix streamer, aimed at nostalgic boomer music lovers.

It's apparently a project masterminded by Jakob Dylan, examining the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene, how a bunch of American musicians influenced each other, with side-influences over in England. A lot of talking heads, archival footage, a live concert resurrecting some of the era's songs. And (of course) there's a soundtrack, featuring Jakob's versions of some of those oldies.

Those talking heads are a pretty amazing array, though: Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Michelle Phillips, John Sebastian, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Brian Wilson. Not everyone is totally coherent. What do you expect, they're old. Also as you might expect, some tales of sex and drugs get mixed in with the rock and roll.

Joni Mitchell? Not mentioned at all. What the hell? She was the Lady of the Canyon. I can understand if you can't get her to interview, but making her a non-person is … problematic.

Jakob also corralled a number of more modern musicians to help him perform some of the oldies: Norah Jones, Beck, Fiona Apple. (Tom Petty also appears, but didn't make it to the performances.)