i had not heard of karen dalton until last night when her music was featured on 'rockinitis' (shaw channel 4 - 10pm monday). her voice was amazing - and just as quickly as i was thrilled to learn of her, i was saddened to learn that such a talent lived her last years homeless on the streets of new york.
"Karen's mother was full Cherokee, and told her that if your vibrations were right, plants would grow into your room, as Karen had grown onto the Village folk scene. She had the Beat spirit as well, the existential angst which felt life was dark, perpetually in pain, and that was how you became your art, if you were a real artist.'
"'Karen was tall, willowy, had straight black hair, was long-waisted and slender, what we all wanted to look like,' Lacy J. Dalton said. And her blend of influences - the jazz of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the immersion of Nina Simone, the Appalachian keen of Jean Ritchie, the R&B and country that had to seep in as she made her way to New York from Oklahoma - created a 'voice for the jaded ear.'"
From the exclusive liner notes by Lenny Kaye ("Nuggets," Patti Smith Group).