From the January/February 2022 issue of Acoustic Guitar | By Blair Jackson. One of the most compelling and enigmatic figures to emerge during the Greenwich Village folk era, Karen Dalton (1937–1993), as Bob Dylan famously noted in his book Chronicles, “sang like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed.” That’s no exaggeration, though I’d say her fine guitar playing was as informed by folk sources—she primarily played a Gibson 12-string, as well as six-string and banjo. She was, first and foremost, an interpreter of blues and folk tunes (old and new), but her recorded output was slight: just two albums—the moody, stripped-down, folk-blues masterpiece It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You the Best in 1969 and the more musically ambitious (and to my ears, over-produced) In My Own Time in 1971. Neither was commercially successful. When she died in 1993 of AIDS-related complications at the age of 55, following years of drug abuse and unsuccessful stints in rehab, she had all but been forgotten.