First Spin: Karen Dalton’s Unearthed ‘Katie Cruel’
A newly resurrected recording of the folk singer performing the folk standard in a Colorado cabin way back in 1966
One night in 1966, a guy named Carl Baron hiked up to an address-less cabin in Summerville, Colorado, a remote ghost town where reclusive folk singer and banjo player Karen Dalton had holed up with her estranged husband Richard Tucker. He brought a tape recorder along just in case. Dalton, whose pebbled, one-of-a-kind voice was rarely caught on tape, had recently made the move from New York. And according to legend (and/or press materials!), Dalton and Tucker spent their evenings singing and playing music together, just as they did the night Baron captured audio of Dalton singing “Katie Cruel”, a haunting American folk standard that’s set to be included on Delmore Recordings’ Karen Dalton – 1966, recently resurrected recordings of the songstress and Tucker rehearsing for an upcoming show.