Oklahoma music

The Year In Garage Rock: 5 Favorites For 2011

Jan 3, 2012

Garage rock has undergone a serious rejuvenation in recent memory. Over the last few years, bands like The Black Keys and Best Coast have surfaced in the mainstream, and as a result, garage-rock artists that might have gone unnoticed less than a decade ago are now landing major attention (see: Thee Oh Sees and Black Lips).

Karen Dalton: A Reluctant Voice, Rediscovered

Jul 12, 2008

Karen Dalton's new album, Green Rocky Road, was 45 years in the making.

The folk singer made the record at her cabin in Colorado with nothing but a 12-string guitar, a banjo and her voice. Joe Loop captured the recordings on a reel-to-reel tape deck in 1963.

"I can still see her in my mind, sitting in her rocking chair with that long-neck banjo, rocking back and forth playing," he says.

In her lifetime, Karen Dalton was anything but prolific: She recorded two albums, 1969's It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best and 1971's In My Own Time, before spending the rest of her life avoiding the studio and sliding into drug abuse and poverty. Since her death in 1994, however, Dalton has experienced an unlikely resurgence in both popularity and prolificacy.

As a solo artist, Karen Dalton only recorded two albums (1969's It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You the Best and 1971's In My Own Time), and until recently, the latter remained primarily in the hands of a few obsessed vinyl collectors. Fortunately, some of those collectors include the likes of Devendra Banhart, who helped raise the late singer's profile in interviews and contributes an essay to a lavish new reissue of In My Own Time.

Karen Dalton (1938-1993) sang in a room-hushing confessional style, with a tone that earned her constant comparison with Billie Holiday. Part of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s, Dalton hung out and performed with such luminaries as Fred Neil, the Holy Modal Rounders and Bob Dylan. Her debut, It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best, was produced by Nik Venet, an executive and talent-spotter who produced Neil and helped launch Linda Ronstadt's first group the Stone Poneys.

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