Karen Dalton

February 2, 2012

Well, this Oklahoma lady certainly wasn’t anyone I was familiar with up until finding her albums on Bandcamp. Never reaching success like contemporary artists like Bob Dylan, folk artist Karen Dalton released only two albums in the 60’s and passed away in 1993. Living a tumultous life, she never got a chance to focus on a career and being a strongwilled woman, she didn’t exactly have the record industry stumbling over themselves in order to work with her. Until independent label Delmore Recordings decided to dig through the vaults in order to find more recordings to unearth.

The album 1966 compiles recently found reel-to-reel recordings made by her estranged husband during a late-night rehearsal, and just like Strawberry Heritage it’s naked and raw folk music in its purest form. With sparse instrumentation – mostly just a twelve-string guitar – the focus remains on the songs themselves as well as Karen’s fragile-yet-powerful vocal delivery. Fourteen great tracks, some covers and some being unknown originals – all worth giving a listen. Check it out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://delmorerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/1966
Website: http://delmorerecordings.com/

Shakey Graves

December 20, 2011

For a nice slice of true Americana, try Shakey Graves debut offering Roll the Bones. We’re talking stripped-down alterna-country displaying some really nice songwriting talent (low on info I’m guessing it’s a one-man outfit). Laid back songs, nice (spartan) instrumentation and heartfelt vocal delivery it has that timeless feel that characterises good folk music. Add a bare-bones production for that “homey” feel and you got a low-key lil’ winner!

Ten songs in all – including a live song plus a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s I’m on Fire – perfect for listening on those rainy days when you got nothing better to do than smoke cigarettes and stare out the window. I had a hard time finding a favorite track, and the album has no set price, so make sure you check it out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://shakeygraves.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://shakeygraves.tumblr.com/