In House #1744: Karen Dalton's In My Own Time; New Yusuf (Cat Stevens)
In many respects, it's rather astounding that Karen Dalton has, until recently at least, remained an obscure footnote to the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960's that produced luminaries like Bob Dylan, Fred Neil, and Tim Hardin. Dylan himself has called the folksinger his "favorite singer" of the Village folkie era, and her unique voice-- sort of a Billie Holliday gone Appalachian-- has been cited as an influence by everyone from Lacy J. Dalton (who took her surname as a tribute) to Lucinda Williams to Joanna Newsom. Yet, the recent reissue by Light In the Attic Records of her second and final full-length recording, 1971's In My Own Time, has served as an introduction for many, and the posthumous buzz Dalton's been garnering is reminiscent of the late 90's renaissance of Nick Drake, also underappreciated during his lifetime.
Representing the debut of In My Own Time on CD, the reissue features entirely remastered content, as well as a 32-page booklet with commentary from the likes of Devendra Banhart, Lenny Kaye, and Nick Cave. While Dalton was not a songwriter, her abilities as a master interpreter shine through on the album, as she mixes elements of British and Appalachian folk with blues, soul, and even country flavors on versions of songs by Dino Valenti, George Jones, and Paul Butterfield, among others. She even rises to the occasion of Lewis and Wright's "When a Man Loves a Woman," arguably even surpassing Percy Sledge's version, and bringing an entirely novel angle to the song in the process. The ten songs chosen by producer Harvey Brooks show off Dalton's amazing range, serving as a great testament to a talent that shined all too briefly. Later plagued by drug and alcohol addiction for most of the rest of her life, Dalton died homeless and penniless in 1993.
In House #1744.
Focus: New reissue of Karen Dalton's 1971 release In My Own Time, plus new music from Yusuf (Cat Stevens),Tom Waits, Bert Jansch, Isobel Campbell, and more.
Karen Dalton, from In My Owm Time: "Katie Cruel" (MP3)
In House PODCAST #206