Karen Dalton - Green Rocky Road

I would guess that many people reading this have never heard of Karen Dalton, I know I hadn’t until the CD dropped through my door, but she influenced the likes of Bob Dylan and Tim Hardin. She only released two LPs in her lifetime but the nice folks at Megaphone Music are helping to keep her legacy alive by releasing nine songs that were recorded at her Boulder Home on the album ‘Green Rocky Road’.

From the people she influenced and became friends with I wasn’t surprised to hear that her music was a blend of folk and blues. Every song either features Karen playing a twelve string guitar or on her oversized banjo, showing that she was not just a talented singer but also a talented musician too.

‘Green Rocky Road’ will seem like an hidden treasure to her fans and admirers, but to me it acts as an introduction to the talented woman and although it is not the sort of music I would normally listen to it is pretty enchanting. The recording is very sparse, there are no fancy gimmicks to be heard, Karen’s voice and her gentle guitar work and clever banjo playing are all here in their naked glory, bare for your ears to hear. For a recording that is over 40 years old the quality is amazing considering it was recorded on such simple equipment.

It seems crazy to me that she only recorded to LPs as her character and talent are laid out on ‘Green Rocky Road’, she has far more talent than plenty of the people that make up the charts today so her lack of record material seems very bizarre.

‘Green Rocky Road’ is a quiet and tranquil album that takes you back to a bygone era, but you don’t have to be an old fart to enjoy this record. Like I said, I wouldn’t usually choose to listen to this, but I’m glad it dropped through my letterbox and even if you listen to it purely to broaden your musical horizon it is well worth it.