Karen Dalton Tribute


Tompkins Square has announced a May 26 release for the Karen Dalton tribute Remembering Mountains, featuring previously ‘lost’ lyrics set to new music by an array of contemporary singers.

Dalton (1937-1993) only recorded two studio albums during her lifetime, neither of which contain any songs she wrote. Guitarist Peter Walker, who oversees Karen’s Estate, has made available the previously lost lyrics which are now given voice by some contemporary women of song, including Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and Sharon Van Etten.

Karen J. Dalton (born Karen J. Cariker in Oklahoma, July 19, 1937 – March 19, 1993) was an American folk blues singer and banjo player associated with the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk music scene. Dalton’s first album, It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You the Best (Capitol) was released in 1969) and re-released on CD in 1996. A second album, In My Own Time (1971), was recorded at Bearsville Studios and originally released by Woodstock Festival promoter Michael Lang’s label, Just Sunshine Records. The album was produced and arranged by Harvey Brooks, who also played bass on it. 

Dalton was sometimes known as ‘the folk singer’s answer to Billie Holiday’ and it is thought that Dalton is the subject of the song ‘Katie’s Been Gone’ (composed by Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson) on the album The Basement Tapes by The Band and Bob Dylan. In his book Chronicles, Dylan wrote of Dalton that “My favorite singer…was Karen Dalton. Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed… I sang with her a couple of times.”

Dalton struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years and died in 1993 in upstate New York after being cared for by guitarist Peter Walker. (Dalton had been married to guitarist Richard Tucker).


1) Remembering Mountains – Sharon Van Etten
2) All That Shines Is Not Truth – Patty Griffin
3) This Is Our Love – Diane Cluck
4) My Love, My Love – Julia Holter
5) Met An Old Friend – Lucinda Williams
6) So Long Ago And Far Away – Marissa Nadler
7) Blue Notion – Laurel Halo
8) For The Love I’m In – Larkin Grimm
9) Don’t Make It Easy – Isobel Campbell
10) At Last The Night Has Ended – Tara Jane O’neil
11) Met An Old Friend – Josephine Foster


Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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