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It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best
After re-releasing vaunted folk-singer Karen Dalton’s sophomore LP In My Own Time in 2006, Light In The Attic Records is proud to announce a much-needed official vinyl reissue of her 1969 Capitol debut. It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best is a heart-wrenching and bluesy introduction to the intoxicating world of Dalton and her deep well of musical secrets.
It’s So Hard To Tell spans generations of classic American songwriting (Lead Belly, Jelly Roll Morton, and Tim Hardin) and with Dalton’s unsurpassed interpretive depth and emotional range, it’s no surprise that artists from Fred Neil to Nick Cave have sung Dalton’s praises over the years. Even the likes of Bob Dylan have fallen under her spell, recalling the singer’s illuminating presence on the New York music scene during the pair’s formative Greenwich Village days: “My favorite singer in the place was Karen Dalton. She had a voice like Billie Holiday’s and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed.” But championing endorsements aside, all you have to do is drop the needle on the grooves to understand.
World-weary and filled with the blues, Dalton’s tragic life story was a rocky road. While no longer with us in the physical realm, 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 transform your living room into private concert, an intimate performance you'll never forget.
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.”
“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." - Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Group)
"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