Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Karen Dalton: It's so hard to tell who's going to love you the best

Karen Dalton had her fifteen minutes of (posthumous) fame in 2004 when Bob Dylan spent very fine words for her work in Chronicles Vol.1, but unfortunately she never was that lucky in life: after releasing this incredible first album in 1969 and another one in 1971 ("In my own time") she went through a lot of hard times, mostly drugs and alcohol issues, only to die -probably- as homeless in 1993.
It is very difficult to see how such a talented voice could not receive more from her career and life, and it is even more difficult to get it while listening to "It's so hard...", an LP that, or so the legend goes, was recorded by chance by her and by some other musicians/friends in just one night, and, moreover, that Karen Dalton was almost forced to sing these songs by some friends of her. Nonetheless the result is hell of a gem: an album rich where it is poor, with its simple and nightly arrengements, with her voice often so similar to Billy Holiday's, as many have noticed ever since then, and of course also thanks to a tracklist full of passionate songs (by Leadbelly, Tim Hardin, Jelly Roll Morton and traditionals).
Call it blues, call it jazz, call it folk, this anyway is a music so intense that it is very hard to find something comparable. Yeah, it's so hard to tell.

It's so hard to tell


ziggy said...

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if the link is down? Anxious to listen to this. Ta.

Primus said...

Looks like the link protection is somewhat over-protective, I can't have access to the download link... But with such an enthusiastic review (words and feelings are important, it's not just about downloading stuff, it's about music moving you, I guess) I'm eager to listen to this.