Karen Dalton

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BIO

The late Karen Dalton has been the muse for countless folk rock geniuses, from Bob Dylan to Devendra Banhart, from Lucinda Williams to Joanna Newsom. Legendary singer Lacy J. Dalton actually adopted her hero’s surname as her own when she started her career in country music. Karen Dalton had that affect on people – her timeless, aching, blues-soaked, Native American spirit inspired both Dylan & The Band’s “Katie’s Been Gone” (on ‘The Basement Tapes’) and Nick Cave’s “When I First Came To Town” (from ’Henry’s Dream’).

Recorded over a six month period in 1970/71 at Bearsville, ‘In My Own Time’ was Dalton’s only fully planned and realized studio album. The material was carefully selected and crafted for her by producer/musician Harvey Brooks, the Renaissance man of rock-jazz who played bass on Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” and Miles’ “Bitches Brew”. It features ten songs that reflected Dalton’s incredible ability to break just about anybody’s heart – from her spectral evocation of Joe Tate’s “One Night of Love,” to the dark tragedy of the traditional “Katie Cruel.” Known as a great interpreter of choice material, Dalton could master both country and soul genres with hauntingly pining covers of George Jones’ “Take Me” and Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “How Sweet It Is.”

From Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Group):

“Karen’s mother was full Cherokee, and told her that if your vibrations were right, plants would grow into your room, as Karen had grown onto the Village folk scene. She had the Beat spirit as well, the existential angst which felt life was dark, perpetually in pain, and that was how you became your art, if you were a real artist.’

“‘Karen was tall, willowy, had straight black hair, was long-waisted and slender, what we all wanted to look like,’ Lacy J. Dalton said. And her blend of influences – the jazz of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the immersion of Nina Simone, the Appalachian keen of Jean Ritchie, the R&B and country that had to seep in as she made her way to New York from Oklahoma – created a ‘voice for the jaded ear.’”

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Listen & Buy

  • In My Own Time

    Karen Dalton

    In My Own Time

    LITA 022

    Recorded over a six month period in 1970/71 at Bearsville, In My Own Time was Daltons only fully planned and realized studio album. The material was carefully selected and crafted for her by producer/musician Harvey Brooks, the Renaissance man of rock-jazz who played bass on Dylans Highway 61 Revisited and Miles Bitches Brew. It features ten songs that reflected Daltons incredible ability to break just about anybodys heart – from her spectral evocation of Joe Tates One Night of Love, to the dark tragedy of the traditional Katie Cruel.

    • regular price $12 WISH

    • regular price $15 WISH

    • regular price $9 WISH

    • regular price $12 WISH

  • Karen Dalton - Limited Edition "45

    Karen Dalton

    Karen Dalton - Limited Edition "45

    -LITA 45-005

    This limited edition seven inch single features the hauntingly beautiful “Something On Your Mind,” taken from Light In The Attic’s brand-new reissue of Dalton’s 1971 acid folk masterpiece In My Own Time. The track had a devastating effect on Nick Cave, who said, “that song really stayed with me and I must have played it a million times. It’s just the most extraordinary vocal I’ve ever heard.” As an added bonus, the flipside is a previously unreleased alternate mix of the classic traditional “Katie Cruel,” currently being covered by a number of artists, including Bert Jansch with Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart, as well as the new single from

    • regular price $2 WISH

  • It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best

    Karen Dalton

    It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best

    LITA 045

    World weary and filled with the blues, Dalton’s tragic life story was a rocky road. While no longer with us in the physical, her growing musical presence is stronger than ever and worthy of re-examination by the converted and uninitiated alike. Selling poorly at the time of release, original vinyl copies of It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best have all but vanished while bootleg internet rips take away all the soul. With period artwork, tip-on jacket, extensive liner notes, photos, and clear audio re-mastered from the original Capitol masters, this Light In The Attic reissue is set to become the definitive analogue version of Dalton’s stunning debut. Dim the lights and turn that stereo up, Karen Dalton will turn your living room into private concert, an intimate performance you will never forget.

  • 1966

    Karen Dalton

    1966

    DE23

    Newly unearthed rehearsal tape from 1966

    Features Karen solo on banjo and guitar, plus 4 duets with Richard Tucker. Many never heard before covers including ‘Reason To Believe’ & ‘Don’t Make Promises’ by Tim Hardin, and ‘Other Side To This Life’ by Fred Neil. KD at her most intimate and unfiltered.

  • In My Own Time Cassette

    Karen Dalton

    In My Own Time Cassette

    LITA022

    Everyone knows Burger Records loves cassettes. Heck, they practically made their name in that game! You know who else loves cassettes? Why, Light In The Attic, that’s who!