Friday, August 12, 2011

8/12/2011: Karen Dalton- It Hurts Me Too (1968)

And now for something completely different.

Karen Dalton is an obscure folk singer I stumbled upon while obsessed with the freak-folk genre in college. Her life was actually quite notable and interesting- Bob Dylan cites here as one of his main influences. She never recorded original material- only covers- and was stubborn of recording in a studio. In fact, she was tricked into recording her first album, not knowing it was being recorded. Her voice might be the most unique, beautiful and excruciating voices you'll ever hear- I've literally typed and erased 5 descriptions of her voice and none quite describe it accurately. Think Billy Holliday, Bob Dylan, Antony Hegarty, Devendra Banhart and Robert Johnson. Many artists today continue to discover her and continue to be influenced by her unconventional voice.

This isn't my favorite song of hers, by far. To find her best work, look to her 2nd album, "In My Own Time". This is just really the only video footage this day and age that we are left with of this incredible talent. Karen Dalton battled with drugs until her death in 1993, of which she was rumored homeless at the time. Of the minimal footage we have of this lost legend, at least we have this:

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