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Karen Dalton

1966

Delmore Recording Society

DE23CD

CD $12
LP Green $27
  • Newly unearthed rehearsal tape from 1966
  • Features Karen solo on banjo and guitar, plus 4 duets with Richard Tucker. Many never-before-heard 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.
  • CD Booklet containing beautiful, unseen photos (including Karen with Fred Neil and Tim Hardin) and a 3,500-word essay by Ben Edmonds (MOJO)
  • LP housed in tip-on jacket with 4-page heavy insert, exclusive color portrait, and download card
  • Special Edition: Remastered/recut/re-pressed at Third Man on Clear Green Rocky Road vinyl with OBI

Description

Newly unearthed rehearsal tape from 1966

Features Karen solo on banjo and guitar, plus 4 duets with Richard Tucker. Many never-before-heard 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.

Karen Dalton was a remote, elusive creature. A hybrid of tough and tender with an unearthly voice that seemed to embody a time long past. As is often the case with such fragile beings, she instinctively understood that the only way to survive the harshness of the world around her was to keep herself hidden. So it comes as no great surprise that she rarely sang in public or ventured into the unnatural setting of a recording studio. Only twice, for 1969’s It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best and then again for 1971’s In My Own Time, was she coaxed from her natural habitat into the studio. Other times, she made music in casual settings, sitting around a kitchen table or a wood burning stove with her friends, singing and playing until daybreak.

In 1966, Carl Baron brought his reel-to-reel over to her remote cabin in Summerville, Colorado and recorded one of those exquisite musical evenings. Karen and Richard Tucker were rehearsing for a gig when Carl hit the “record” button. The result is a 45-year-old tape, carefully exhumed, documenting Karen at her most raw and unfiltered. On it are Fred Neil and Tim Hardin songs we’ve never heard Karen give voice to before as well as traditional songs she uncannily makes her own, including a devastating version of "Katie Cruel" that is so powerful, it is as if the ghost of Katie Cruel possessed her. This recording is a window into her Summerville cabin, opened and allowing us to eavesdrop on Karen Dalton at her most pure and unaffected.

Artist 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.”

Learn more about  In My Own Time and it's 50th anniversary: 

"Karen was tall, willowy, had straight black hair, was long-waisted and slender, what we all wanted to look like. 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.’” - Lacy J. Dalton 

Preview Tracklist

  • 1 Reason To Believe
  • 2 Katie Cruel
  • 3 Cotton Eyed Joe
  • 4 Green Rocky Road
  • 5 Don't Make Promises
  • 6 Other Side To This Life
  • 7 God Bless The Child
  • 8 Little Bit Of Rain
  • 9 While You're On Your Way
  • 10 2:19 Train
  • 11 Misery Blues
  • 12 Mole In The Ground
  • 13 Shiloh Town
  • 14 Hallelujah