This documentary follows the nigh-genius idea (and breathtaking financial ruin) that was a traveling Canadian music festival in the summer of 1970. Some Woodstock-era draws Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Band, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Buddy Guy Band and others played three concerts in the course of a five-day private train ride from Toronto to Calgary. Onboard is where the real deal went down, as the bands drank and jammed nonstop. And though Festival's genial vibe and musical bliss are evenly spread, Joplin is the sinus clearer. Caught on film a mere three months before her overdose, she brings to mind a Dorothy Parker raised by bayou gypsies whether she's captured in hair-raising performance or just sitting on the train (next to a howlingly blotto Rick Danko singing "Ain't No More Cane" to Jerry Garcia's accompaniment). From the moment Joplin announces her arrival in the film with a "Cry Baby" opening wail that drives a spike right through the heart she holds you rapt under her spell.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.