Karen Dalton Reviews in Q// Uncut// Clash// The Word (Posted By Harry)

Karen Dalton 1966' (Delmore Recordings)

Karen Dalton 1966' (Delmore Recordings)Karen Dalton
Clash/The Word

Karen Dalton ‘1966’ (Delmore Recordings)

Q Review: 4 Stars
Sounds Of The Underground
Written By Andy Fyfe

“…Her voice and the songs… including Katie Cruel, traditional tunes plus others by Fred Neil, Billie Holiday and Tim Hardin – sound as ancient as the mountains surrounding the Colorado cabin they were recorded in. Essential to anyone searching for modern folk’s head waters…”

Uncut Review: Albums: 4 Stars
Written By Mick Houghton

” This is the third set of unearthed tapes to be released since a new audience discovered her in 2005…Dalton’s expected repertoire features “Katie Cruel” and two songs written by her mentor Fred Neil, but it’s the inclusion of four Tim Hardin compositions that makes this so fascinating; Dalton was most likely the first person to cover Hardin’s timeless classics “Reason To Believe” and “Don’t Make Promises”, even if her versions were only meant to be privately heard. The old-timey accompaniment and Dalton’s bluesy vocals perfectly suit Hardin’s exquisitely sad songs.”


Clash: The Essential Ten
#5. Karen Dalton ‘Katie Cruel’

“If anyone ever truly represented that other, strange America then it was Karen Dalton. According to legend she is Bob Dylan’s favourite blues singer- who are we to argue?”


The Word:
Written By Rob Fitzpatrick

“Karen Dalton died, largely forgotten, a junkie and suffering from Aids, in New York in 1993…the sort of remarkably sad story that, however many times you hear it, never gets tired.
In 1966 Dalton was 29 years old and had left New York to live in a remote cabin in Colorado with her husband, Richard Tucker, and children. Most nights they would gather around a log fire and sing and on one of those nights a friend called Carl Baron, who’d sweated up to this address-free outpost with his precious reel-to-reel tape recorder, captured the songs as they were sung.
Forty-five years later, the ghosts of that evening have finally been let loose…Dalton certainly doesn’t seem to be performing these songs; this is eavesdropping on a grand scale and it has all the dark thrill and guilty tang that comes with that behaviour…The covers and the traditional songs that inhabit this exquisitely presented recording are deeply moving and I wouldn’t want to be without them, but rarely, if ever, have I been as haunted by a collection as I am by 1966.
A contemporary Billboard live review described Dalton as someone who “picks the dust of ruins for the traces of dream, [her voice] bordering on a wasteland, while in a trance of sorrow”, and it’s true that a pretty terrible future awaited her, but on 1966 she sounds relaxed. Safe. At peace. Whether you’re willing to risk disturbing that hard-won peace by listening in is, of course, entirely up to you.”


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