Various Artists – Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs By Karen Dalton

What does it sound like?:

Karen Dalton emerged from the mountains of Oklahoma and, armed with a long-necked banjo and a twelve string guitar, she captivated New York’s Greenwich Village with her other-worldly voice. She sang songs in a bluesy style to a folk arrangement. Bob Dylan likened her voice to Billie Holiday. During an era of singer-songwriters, she only ever made two albums of covers. Nevertheless, she imposed her character on the songs by delving into their depths to draw out personal meaning. Sadly, she succumbed to alcohol and drugs, lost her way and died a premature death.

Now, it seems she was a songwriter after all. A series of carefully crafted lyrics have emerged, one including notations for chords. They are fragile wisps of lost hope, desire, longing, loneliness and death. They have been given to eleven different female artists to complete for this album. All of them keep it simple, with gentle melodies and sparse backing, to allow the spotlight to remain on the lyrics. Each of them brings a generosity of spirit to the performance that is really very moving. These are true collaborations, albeit with a ghost. There is a consistency of mood across … Continue reading Various Artists – Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs By Karen Dalton