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 at Elsewhere articles index

My Pet Dragon: Mountains and Cities (Gimme That Sound)

My Pet Dragon: Mountains and Cities (Gimme That Sound)

About 16 months ago Elsewhere gave a Heads Up on an impending album by this group out of New York (here). As far as I can tell the impending album never arrived . . . but this seems to be it. A... > Read more

THE LOCAL LIGHT TOUCH? (2021): Unobjectionable sounds for summer

THE LOCAL LIGHT TOUCH? (2021): Unobjectionable sounds for summer

Once upon a longtime ago reggae was rebel music and righteously indignant about the world. For the most part those days are long gone in Aotearoa reggae. Hard political issues (poverty,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

POP TO POPISM (2014): Marilyn, Mickey and money

POP TO POPISM (2014): Marilyn, Mickey and money

In the early Sixties just before the Beatles conquered America through a combination of art, smarts and image -- and thereby shifted the coordinates of popular culture to Britain -- America was the... > Read more

ELTON JOHN REVIEWED (2020): Still a Captain Fantastic, despite everything

ELTON JOHN REVIEWED (2020): Still a Captain Fantastic, despite everything

Back at the dawn of recorded time, 1971 in fact, I saw Elton John's first New Zealand appearance when he played at Western Springs. And there were a few worrying moments last night at Mt Smart... > Read more