Karen Dalton: God Bless the Child (1966)

 |   |  1 min read

Karen Dalton: God Bless the Child (1966)

The new wave of folk artists have belately come to Karen Dalton, who palled around in Greenwich Village in the early Sixties with the likes of the young Bob Dylan (who was hugely impressed with her singing and guitar playing) and Fred Neil.

It's said that she is the subject of Robbie Robertson-Richard Manuel song Katie's Been Gone on the Basement Tapes with Dylan. She was also admired by Tim Hardin, Bert Jansch and others.

She died in '93 after a long struggle with drug addiction and only released two albums in her lifetime, which have become much sought after and poured over by finger-picking folkies. The second In My Own Time was reissued in 2006 (and is reviewed here).

She sang a lot of traditional songs and dipped into the catalogues of Hardin (with whom she performed for a while in a trio with Richard Tucker, who became her partner) and Neil, but also reached to the blues.

Recently an album has been released of songs casually recorded in a cabin she was sharing with Tucker when they were in Colorado in 1966. The cabin had no address or running water, but Dalton was much more comfortable there than she was in front of an audience. The ambience of performance spaces put her off, not the people.

61RSrCUgV2L._SL500_AA300_The lo-fi album, entitled 1966, includes a remake of her moderately well known Cotton Eyed Joe, a version of Hardin's famous Reason to Believe and also Katie Cruel (which Bert Jansch covered on his  album The Black Swan).

But there are also songs by Ma Rainey and this, Billie Holiday's famous God Bless the Child.

In Chronicles, Dylan compared her voice to that of Holiday's.

There is certainly some of that ache which is borne of a pain so deep it cannot be known to most of us.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Temptations: Message from a Black Man (1969)

The Temptations: Message from a Black Man (1969)

In its early days Motown didn't directly address political issues -- although there's a good case to be made that its very existence and popular success was, like rock'n'roll of the Fifties, a... > Read more

Perrey and Kingsley; Strangers in the Night (1971)

Perrey and Kingsley; Strangers in the Night (1971)

Taken from the album Kaleidoscopic Variations; Electronic Pop Music of the Future by innovators and composers Jean Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley, this might be better subtitled "When... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TOMMY QUICKLY: The career that couldn't be created

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TOMMY QUICKLY: The career that couldn't be created

At the end of '63 the fresh and freckle-faced 18-year old Tommy Quickly was standing at the door of his dreams: he'd been signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein (who had changed his name from... > Read more

DAVE DAVIES KRONIKLES; MYSTIKAL JOURNEY, a doco by DAVE DAVIES AND MARTIN DAVIES (DVD/CD)

DAVE DAVIES KRONIKLES; MYSTIKAL JOURNEY, a doco by DAVE DAVIES AND MARTIN DAVIES (DVD/CD)

Given that Dave Davies contributed the raw guitar sound to early Kinks hits such as You Really Got Me, grew up in the same household as his famous songwriter brother Ray, was part of the... > Read more