Album: Karen Dalton, Green Rocky Road (Megaphone)

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The Independent Culture

Karen Dalton hated the tag "folk music’s answer to Billie Holiday". What she would have made of being labelled "the best singer you’ve never heard of" by a broadsheet last year will remain anyone’s guess, since Dalton died in 1993.

What makes her legacy so intriguing is the way Dalton has acted as a bridge for American folk music through the decades: turning the 1960s Greenwich Village crowd on to Appalachian mountain music and then, posthumously, inspiring new wyrd folkers from Devendra Banhart to Joanna Newsom. Theserough and ready home recordings are harrowingly real.