Nathan McLaughlin – Karen Studies
On the surface, Karen Dalton may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration for the reel-to-reel experimentalist and recent Upstate New York transplant Nathan McLaughlin. Dalton was an undeniably great interpreter of folk songs whose gritty, whiskey-singed voice could add new layers of emotional depth to virtually any song she took on. McLaughlin, as a solo artist, has predominantly explored expansive, slow-building sound pieces using his beloved Teac 3440 tape machine with subtle manipulations and guitar and synth accompaniment. In places, it’s as though McLaughlin appears to be recreating the worn contours of Dalton’s voice itself. In the end, when the banjo notes ring out, McLaughlin has created one of his most original and deeply moving works to date.