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Karen Dalton, ‘Green Rocky Road’ (Delmore)

Shannon Zimmerman // June 15, 2008

Try and conjure a time when sincerity was the new irony. Powered by assuredly picked banjo, homespun overdubs, and a reedy, authoritative warble that Neil Young cribbed, this collection of startling demos is a vivid snapshot of the folk-music scene at its early-’60s culture-defining moment. Unlike her more popular contemporaries (such as fan Bob Dylan), Dalton specialized in haunting, quixotic renderings of traditionals with titles like “Skillet Good and Greasy” and “Whoopee Ti Yi Yo,” both of which are beautifully represented here.

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