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“Troubadours: The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter,”
is a set consisting of a DVD accompanied by a CD,
released in 2011 under the Concord Music Group label.
The name of this set serves a two-fold purpose,
as it applies to both the musicians featured herein,
as well as the famous nightclub which opened in 1957
on La Cienega Boulevard. In 1961, the Troubadour
moved to its present location on Santa Monica
Boulevard in West Hollywood.

Presumably shot during 2010, this 91-minute
documentary takes a look at the movement in
Pop/Rock music which spawned such
singer-songwriters as Carole King, James Taylor,
Elton John, Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson,
Joni Mitchell, and many others. Like Carole King, many
of these talented performers had been churning out
hit songs for other artists for years. Their onstage
appearances at the Troubadour finally allowed them
to receive the attention they deserved as artists.
When these stars were “born,” Los Angeles Times
music critic, Robert Hilburn, was there to write about
them, and he was a major contributor to this
excellent film.

There is plenty of archival footage herein, as well
as modern-day shots of these artists during interviews
and performances. The narrative is told primarily
through the musical symbiosis of participants
James Taylor and Carole King, and also features early
banjo performances by the multitalented Steve Martin,
as well as footage of David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt, and
Carole King’s daughter, Sherry Goffin Kondor. Other
valuable clips include early concert footage of a band that
was later known as the “Eagles.”

Of course, Troubadour owner Doug Weston is also
featured prominently, and it was interesting to learn
how his contractual demands alienated so many artists
over the years, resulting in wide scale defection to
the newly opened Roxy Theatre in 1973.

This film does a great job of providing a snapshot of
this crucial movement in Popular music, establishing the
“Laurel Canyon Crowd” and the Troubadour as a sort of
Southern California Mecca. Despite the fact that
I didn’t listen to the accompanying CD containing one
song from each of 10 artists, ranging from James Taylor
and Carole King to Linda Ronstadt and Little Feat, I still
recommend this set without reservation.