Download of the Week: Various

Sharon Van Etten, Patty Griffin, Diane Cluck, Julia Holter, Lucinda Williams, Marissa Nadler, Laurel Halo, Larkin Grimm, Isobel Campbell, Tara Jane O'Neil, and Josephine Foster sing songs penned by Karen Dalton. Sold.

Dalton never sang any of these songs on record, she released just two during her troubled life, but Tompkins Square has rounded up a wonderful cast of characters to give voice to her words. You won't find any zippity do da in Dalton's lyrical day but you will find deeply moving soul searching layers and a group of singers that can tell her stories well.

Of course I have my favorites but I like every track on Remembering Mountains their difference and diversity adding to the intrigue. Sharon Van Etten can sing no wrong in my book, Julia Holter is equally compelling, Lucinda Williams is instantly recognizable as is Marissa Nadler while Laurel Halo takes "Blue Notion" other places. Larkin Grimm's voice has also got me hooked since I first heard 2005's Harpoon and Josephine Foster is an absolute acapella dream all Spanish tinged and bird-like.

"My favorite singer...was Karen Dalton. Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed" ~ Bob Dylan
Of course I also highly recommend Dalton's official albums It's So Hard to Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best (1969) and In My Own Time (1971) as well as the posthumously released Cotton Eyed Joe (2007 recorded live in 1962) and Green Rocky Road (2008). Dalton, a "Cherokee folk blues singer" could sing and play the blues on 12-string guitar and long neck banjo with the best of 'em.

You can get Remembering Mountains in CD-quality FLAC format from Boomkat, stream the entire thing CD-quality on Tidal and listen to my favorite track right here:

Priaptor's picture

Great music. Thanks for the recommendation. One of your better ones.