There's something absolutely fascinating about obscure folk artists who during their time never made much of an impact, but years later their music is somehow re-discovered and they finally come closer to receiving the respect they deserve. Now this isn't the case for all 60's and 70's folk artists who don't hit it big of course. Many are forgotten because frankly their music was forgettable. However Karen Dalton sure is not forgettable. During her lifetime she only released two albums, It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love in 1969 and In My Own Time in 1971. None of the songs on either of those albums were written by her, most being traditional songs, though there's the occasional popular cover. However she's one of the few artists who truly makes a cover their own, allowing listeners to get gloriously lost in her music and never even question who originally wrote the music. Bob Dylan, Nick Cave and Devendra Banhart all consider her their favorite female singer, and Joanna Newsom, Fred Neil, Lucinda Williams, the band Fleet Foxes among numerous others are big fans. Hey, "Katie’s Been Gone" from the Basement Tapes is apparently about her.
Recently she's been shaping up to what could be seen as a female Nick Drake, another artist who struggled to get their music heard during their live time, yet wasn't fully embraced until long after his death. Last year a song of her's was featured on the soundtrack for Margot at the Wedding, and earlier this month a new collection of hers was released, Green Rocky Road, containing recently unearthed two-track recordings from 1963.
This is the title track from the album-
Karen Dalton - Green Rocky Road
Now a performance video from 1969 of the song "It Hurts Me Too"
Karen Dalton @ amazon