Usually, I’m not a person to chase any ‘rare recordings’ by artists that I like, especially if they’re dead. I assume that had the artist wanted, he’d release those recordings while he was still alive, and if he didn’t, and the recordings were long forgotten – let it be.
All that I’ve said has nothing to do with the newly discovered 1966 Karen Dalton recordings, of which I’m thankful for the last three months I’ve been listening to.
Karen Dalton was an amazing, fragile voiced singer that was active in the mid-late sixties, a part of the Cafe-a-Go-Go scene, with folk legends like Fred Neil and others. She released two albums and I have no idea what happened to her after 1971 when the second album was release.
It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best , her 1969 debut, is a folk-blues masterpiece. All covers and traditional, Dalton’s Billy Holiday-like voice was so unique the soulful, that I always felt a great need to hug her, so she won’t break. But she was strong.
The newly discovered 1966 recordings, are unearthed reel-to-reel recordings made of the elusive songstress rehearsing with her estranged husband Richard Tucker in the Colorado cabin they shared. She is singing some Tim Hardin and some Fred Neil tunes, among traditional tunes and some originals, all just perfect and amazingly touching. I’d give a lot to be in the same room with her when she sang Just a Little Bit Of Rain and Shiloh Town. In anyway, for fans of sixties folk, Dylan and Neil and Hardin – don’t miss this one.