Karen Dalton: 1966
Roots folk doesn’t get more organic than this. Recorded in the titular year on a reel to reel tape deck in a remote Colorado cabin without running water, or even an address, and never meant for public consumption, this is the purest music available from Dalton. She was an under-the-radar folk legend who seldom played live and whose two official studio albums never quite captured her homespun charm. Dylan and Fred Neil were early admirers of the authentic dust bowl child with distinctive Billie Holiday styled phrasing. This set of folk and blues covers is a laid back, raw yet stunning example of how Dalton used her rudimentary guitar and banjo technique to express deep emotions in the most primitive of conditions. Music maven Ben Edmonds’ extensive and historically enlightening liner notes are alone worth the price of this revealing and intimate document of a sadly forgotten artist.