Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic/Global Routes)

 |   |  1 min read

Karen Dalton: In a Station
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic/Global Routes)

Dalton, who died in 93, was one of the leading lights in the New York folk scene in the early 60s and was much admired by Bob Dylan.

The track Katie's Been Gone on Dylan and the Band's Basement Tapes is allegedly about her, and Nick Cave's When I First Came To Town was inspired by her.

Cave, neo-folkie Devendra Banhart, Fred Neil and many others have been fans of her aching, world weary style.

This is a reissue of her long unavailable second album recorded in 71 and was produced by Dylan's former bassist Harvey Brooks. The reissue comes with essays by Lenny Kaye, Banhart and Cave.

By this time Dalton was reaching way beyond the country-flavoured folk and blues that she had made her reputation with, and was edging into soul and using jazz phrasing. On this album she takes her fragile voice -- sort of like Chet Baker's trumpet in places -- through the soul standards When A Man Loves A Woman and How Sweet It Is, Richard Manuel's In A Station, George Jones' Take Me and some traditional country songs.

Her voice often it sounds as if her heart is going to break right there in your hearing, and because of that she is considered by many to be the Billie Holiday of the folk world. She certainly punished herself in the same way, and her death was attributed to a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse. But that was to follow this remarkable album.

As Cave says in his essay, "I know people who cannot bear to listen to Bob Dylan. And often to me this denotes a great, very individual, idiosyncratic voice".

Dalton is all that, and more.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Eels: Wonderful, Glorious (Universal)

Eels: Wonderful, Glorious (Universal)

Mark Everett (aka Eels) has written albums about family death/illness (not as bleak as that sounds, but dark nonetheless), knows his way around an uplifting pop song and on Hombre Loco (2009)... > Read more

A Mountain of One: Institute of Joy (Pod)

A Mountain of One: Institute of Joy (Pod)

After a couple of much sought after EPs the London duo of Zeben Jameson and Mo Morris here (with a lot of help from their friends) unveiled their much anticipated debut album last year. And quite... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Travelling light: it's in the bag

Travelling light: it's in the bag

As with most people who fancy themselves as a glamorously casual traveller -- able to pick up and run when a flight becomes available -- I would, for many years, pride myself on how economically I... > Read more

ZOMBEAVERS, a film by JORDAN RUBIN

ZOMBEAVERS, a film by JORDAN RUBIN

Because some of the most academic and intelligent people I have met in my life are also among the most socially inept, emotionally fragile and stupid, I've never thought being intelligent made... > Read more