Richard Peete and Robert Yapkowitz’s Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, the new documentary on folk singer Karen Dalton opens on Friday, October 1 at Film Forum in New York, followed by Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Tulsa on October 8.
Blues and folk singer Karen Dalton (1937-1993) was a prominent figure in 1960s New York. Idolized by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, Karen discarded the traditional trappings of success and led an unconventional life until her early death. Since most images of Karen have been lost or destroyed, the film uses Karen’s dulcet melodies, interviews with loved ones and newly unearthed archival materials to build a rich portrait of this singular woman and her hauntingly beautiful voice.
Her music captivated the likes of Bob Dylan (who said she had a voice like Billie Holiday’s and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed), Nick Cave, Tim Hardin, and others. Interweaving excerpts from her poetry and journals with moving interviews (Dalton’s daughter, lovers, and artistic collaborators) and rare archival performance clips, the filmmakers convey how Dalton’s fidelity to her music was as abiding as her aversion to commercialism or promotion. Her brief career produced just two albums and when she died at age 55 (from AIDS-related illness), she’d long been out of the music business and repeatedly in and out of rehab.
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time is executive produced by Wim Wenders, with music by Julia Holter (Never Rarely Sometimes Always). Dalton’s poems and journals are read by American singer-songwriter Angel Olsen, and the film features interviews with Nick Cave, Michael Lang, Vanessa Carlton, Peter Walker, et al.
Watch the official trailer for Karen Dalton: In My Own Time