Green Rocky Road: Karen Dalton
Green Rocky Road is as close as we’ll ever get to hearing the record Karen Dalton would have made in 1963. Discovered on the same reel-to-reel tapes that yielded the live performances comprising the Cotton Eyed Joe release, were nine home recordings of Dalton left alone, with no one watching, no audience to please. Accompanied solely by her own sturdy banjo picking and 12 string strumming, her deep blue, smoky-throated singing evokes the voices and faces of past lives lived – the broken-backed pioneer, the coalminer black with shadow, the stained fingers of the slave, the prostitute…the dead and forgotten. Karen was perhaps the last true folk singer and that’s the bases of the potent appeal of her enigmatic art and of her commercial failure during her too-brief lifetime.