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

Freakwater: Scheherazade (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Freakwater: Scheherazade (Bloodshot/Southbound)

That looks like a pretty ordinary motel room on the cover, and in the first song -- a fiddle-dragged dark and disturbing piece entitled What the People Want -- is the story of a rural rape and then... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Lee Perry and the Upsetters: High Plains Drifter (Pressure Sounds)

Lee Perry and the Upsetters: High Plains Drifter (Pressure Sounds)

This 20 track collection of Jamaican singles picked up from 1968 to '75 catches producer Lee "Scratch" Perry at an especially productive and innovative period. And, with his Upsetters... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KLAUS NOMI: Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KLAUS NOMI: Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

There have been some remarkable voices who have landed in rock culture -- that strange world where people like Tom Waits, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), Yoko Ono and other people... > Read more