The enigmatic Karen Dalton almost managed to get by without recording at all - her debut album from 1969 only came about because she didn't know the tape was rolling. It's lucky then that she did agree to put the time in to record another record, going to Woodstock in 1970 to record at Albert Grossman's Bearsville Studio. The sessions were produced and arranged by bassist Harvey Brooks, who brought in many top backing musicians including guitarist Amos Garrett, Bill Keith on pedal steel, pianist John Simon and fiddler Bobby Notkoff. The result from these sessions was a truly strange album, with an eccentric mix of folk, blues, country and soul styles set to some loose band arrangements. Her strange, highly uncommercial voice simultaneously blessed it with a unique spirit and doomed it to obscurity.
As Dalton didn't write her own songs, In My Own Time consisted entirely of covers, including numbers by Dino Valenti, Richard Manuel, Paul Butterfield and George Jones. Most surprising of all were her versions of the well-known soul hits "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" which she twisted and transformed in her own idiosyncratic style. It also featured a song by her husband Richard Tucker, "Are You Leaving For The Country".
The album was released on the tiny Just Sunshine label, and went by almost totally unnoticed. Thus Karen Dalton's brief and erratic recording career came to a close. It was her second and final album, and after its release she drifted out of view. She strugged throughout the rest of her life with alcohol and drugs, and reportedly was homeless on the streets of New York when she died in 1993.
It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best (1969) <|
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