Classic Albums: In My Own Time by Karen Dalton

It’s time for the next Classic Albums to be added to my list for this Friday morning post. So it was International Women’s Day this week a couple of days ago now and I’ve noticed in America it’s Women’s History Month just like it was Black History Month last month, now some have pointed out this might just somehow a bit racist or sexist because Females and African-American are both American anyway but it’s just highlighting them so I don’t know? What do you think about it? Anyway even if so or not this album is an epic in my collection and it’s got to be included here and now.

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Bob, Karen and Fred in the early 60’s

If you know nothing about her I’ll fill you in on, OK? It’s Karen’s only second album but her final until her death in the early 90’s and since then a few other recordings have been released. She was a Cherokee, a first on my list too and after my last CA post was about Indigenous Australia so today it’s a Native American person. Easiest way to describe the music is Dalton was a folk blues singer, guitarist, and banjo player and maybe most famous for hanging out in the New York early 60s Greenwich Village folk music scene, particularly with Fred Neil and Bob Dylan. Their is a well known photo of the three of them together jamming but here today we cut to 1971 and this album called In My Own Time. It’s only the seventh album from the 70’s so far but I’m just getting going, you know? I guess out of all the folk singers from that time including the California ones like Joni Mitchell etc. Karen Dalton would be my fave of them all, I’ve only put Leonard Cohen on my CA list so far who was around the same time but he’s Canadian. I would rated her up there more so than all the other bigger names even Dylan, not that they have anything wrong with them and maybe sooner or later they will pop up here too but I just have to put the spotlight on Karen frist.

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Karen by the river in 70’s 

Now I think Dalton didn’t really like the spotlight that much at all in her lifetime but off course she no longer with us and I’ve got to wonder what she would think of someone in 2017 blogging about her, not that I would be the first but you know how things have change. Every artist/band has online profile etc. in 1993 when she died it wasn’t even a thing. Dalton was only aged 55 at the time too.

Dylan’s her biggest fan and wrote in his 2004 book Chronicles: Volume One “My favorite singer…was Karen Dalton. Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed. My intro to her would be Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ 1992 album Henry’s Dream track called When I First Came To Town which Cave used Katie Cruel to basic his own song on. That’s not the last time one of my fave artists/bands did that, The Drones 2004 song Shark Fin Blues is loosely basic Same Old Man, both those songs are Traditional plus both albums are already on this CA list of mine but maybe I should have had it around the other way? The Drones did also a cover Are You Leaving for the Country on Gala Mill album from 2005 to which it’s interesting the songwriter Richard Tucker was married to Karen, then Gaz and Fi from The Drones are a couple too.

The whole album is a little under 35 minutes so not long at all. All the tracks are written by others and not by Karen herself but oh my god she makes they hers own. Maybe the Motown track is the most well known but I remember the Percy Sledge one as a kid because my dad loved him then. I guess it depends really but now it’s only Dalton’s versions that I totally dig. How about you? Do you know and love her? Never heard her before? Why not leave a reply?

In My Own Time tracklist, songwriters & times:

1. Something On Your Mind (Dino Valenti) – 3:23
2. When a Man Loves a Woman (Calvin Lewis, Andrew Wright) – 2:59
3. In My Own Dream (Paul Butterfield) – 4:18
4. Katie Cruel (Traditional; arranged by Karen Dalton) – 2:22
5. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Eddie Holland) – 3:43
6. In A Station (Richard Manuel) – 3:52
7. Take Me (George Jones, Leon Payne) – 4:40
8. Same Old Man (Traditional; arranged by Steve Weber) – 2:45
9. One Night Of Love (Joe Tate) – 3:19
10. Are You Leaving for the Country (Richard Tucker) – 3:14

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All my Classic Albums posts are in that link or they’re all linked below too!

So the idea here is simply for me to write a post about each of my favourite albums that I consider total stone cold classics!

Please do leave a reply below and tell me what you think about this album and/or artist or whatever you’d like to say about it?

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