Karen Dalton (singer)
|Birth name||Karen J. Cariker|
July 19, 1937|
Enid, Oklahoma, United States
|Died||March 19, 1993
New York, United States
|Genres||Country blues, jazz|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, banjo|
Karen J. Dalton (born Karen J. Cariker; July 19, 1937 – March 19, 1993) was an American folk blues singer and banjo player associated with the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk music scene, particularly with Fred Neil and the Holy Modal Rounders as well as Bob Dylan.
Dalton was born Karen J. Cariker in Enid, Oklahoma. Her bluesy, world-weary voice is often compared to that of jazz singer Billie Holiday, though she claimed to be more influenced by Bessie Smith. She sang blues, folk, country, pop, Motown -- making over each song in her own style. She played the twelve string guitar and a long neck banjo.
Dalton's first album, It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best (Capitol, 1969), was re-released by Koch Records on CD in 1996. Dalton's second album, In My Own Time (1971), was recorded at Bearsville Studios and originally released by Woodstock Festival promoter Michael Lang's label, Just Sunshine Records. The album was produced and arranged by Harvey Brooks, who played bass on it. Piano player Richard Bell guested on In My Own Time. Its liner notes were written by Fred Neil and its cover photos were taken by Elliott Landy.
Both Dalton's albums were re-released in November 2006: It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best, on the French Megaphone-Music label, included a bonus DVD featuring rare performance footage of Dalton. In My Own Time was re-released on CD and LP on November 7, 2006 by Light In The Attic Records.
Known as "the folk singer's answer to Billie Holiday" and "Sweet Mother K.D.", Dalton is said to be the subject of the song Katie's Been Gone (composed by Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson) on the album The Basement Tapes by The Band and Bob Dylan, who wrote of Dalton that "My favorite singer...was Karen Dalton. Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed... I sang with her a couple of times."
She was married to guitarist Richard Tucker, with whom she sometimes played as a duo, and in a trio with Hardin.
Dalton died in 1993 in New York, under the care of her old friend Peter Walker.
- It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best (1969)
- In My Own Time (1971)
- Cotton Eyed Joe (2007) (recorded live in 1962)
- Green Rocky Road (2008) Recorded at home circa 1962-63, released by Delmore Recording Society; contains unreleased recordings.
- 1966 (2012). Released by Delmore Recording Society; contains previously unreleased recordings.
- Karen Dalton (singer) at AllMusic
- Illustrated Karen Dalton discography
- Light In The Attic Records "In My Own Time" CD
- Delmore Recordings "Cotton Eyed Joe: The Loop Tapes/Live In Boulder 1962" CD & DVD and "Green Rocky Road" CD"