Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
Vinyl LP pressing. After re-releasing vaunted Folk singer Karen Dalton's sophomore LP In My Own Time in 2006, Light In The Attic Records are proud to announce a much needed official vinyl reissue of her 1969 Capitol debut.... more »
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Vinyl LP pressing. After re-releasing vaunted Folk singer Karen Dalton's sophomore LP In My Own Time in 2006, Light In The Attic Records are proud to announce a much needed official vinyl reissue of her 1969 Capitol debut. It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best is a heart wrenching and bluesy introduction to the intoxicating world of Dalton and her deep well of musical secrets. Take a load off and pull up a chair. 2009.
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This woman...she is WOMAN
Maeda Telecaster | USA | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"karen dalton is one of my favorite woman singers. her soulful voice is reminiscent of billie holiday, and her words are true. everyone can understand her perspective, and she will make you cry or smile or both. she is one of those musicians who didn't want the attention--she made this music because she had to. she knew dylan, but she stayed behind the fame she could have easily taken. if you want a new album to make you really happy that music exists, here it is...."
What a great voice . . .
Elliot Knapp | Seattle, Washington United States | 12/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As legend has it, it took quite a bit of convincing to get Karen Dalton into the studio to record this album, and it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Consequently, the arrangements are loose and the accompaniment is not varied much--Dalton's 12-string (don't hear any banjo, despite what the liner notes say), a guitar or two playing lead, spare percussion, and some bass are mostly the extent of the backing instruments. Fortunately, the focus is on Karen's voice, which is a real pearl. No one else really sounded like her before or since, and although this album isn't very polished, it's invaluable as one of the only two studio recordings of Karen ever made.
Although Karen played a whole lot of folk, most of these songs are blues, and some of the writing is great. Two Fred Neil cuts are highlights--"Little Bit of Rain" and "Blues on the Ceiling." "Ribbon Bow" is a great brooding traditional tune. The title track and "Right Wrong or Ready" are also highlights. Really what ties the set together is Karen's voice--if you haven't heard it, it's pretty tough to describe it. It's so complex, involving a strained breath at the beginning of words, a kind of southern-accent nasal pronunciation of sounds, and a really guttural, emotive undertone. Some people are annoyed by her voice, but I recommend giving it a chance--it's a shame to write off such a complex gem of originality for sounding a bit uncommon. With her unique vocal tools, Dalton wrings the emotion, pain and life out of these songs. Even though she didn't write them, with such impressive readings, it doesn't really matter.
Of the two albums Karen Dalton recorded, this is far and away the lesser jewel. Its faults are rooted in the off-the-cuff way it was recorded: most of the backing instrument parts don't add very much to the songs, and since it was essentially a jam session, the playing is almost frustratingly tentative--the guitars sound like they're just playing to fill the space and end up just noodling. For me, this makes the overall feel of the album downbeat and more mellow than it may have sounded with better arrangements and preparation, or if it was just Dalton and her guitar. As it is, the songs kind of float by and all sound very similar.
I recommend this album, but I recommend you buy Dalton's second, recently reissued album In My Own Time. Its production is polar opposite--much slicker (but not overly so), much more interesting and impressive accompaniment, and everything sounds better-prepared. Additionally, the song choice is much more varied--blues and folk are accompanied by R&B, rock, jazzier numbers and more pop/rock sounding numbers. I think it may be easier to fall in love with Karen's voice starting with her second album, and once you've gotten into it is the time to check this one out. It's a fine document and showcase for her voice and it supplements the better thought-out In My Own Time. I hope you enjoy both albums!"
Erwin Snelders | Antwerp, Belgium | 03/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I heard the first track, I thought it was going to be the biggest mistake that I made since I bought my first records. By the second track I was hooked. It really has to grow on you, but it won't dissappoint those with patience and an open mind. References ? Billie Holiday comes to mind as well as Janis Joplin as Tim Buckley (in that they don't sing songs, the songs sing them). Karen doesn't sing the blues, she is the blues.A devotee from now on."