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Carl Hancock Rux: Good Bread Alley (Thirsty Ear Records).

Best known as a playwright and author (the Obie Award-winning Talk and the post-apocalyptic novel Asphalt), Carl Hancock Rux has released an impressive catalog of music since the mid-1990s, most notably the woefully underpromoted albums Rux Revue (Sony/550, 1998) and Apothecary Rx (Giant Step, 2004). Rux moves to avant-garde independent label Thirsty Ear for the equally impressive Good Bread Alley.

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Supported by a powerful group of collaborators (including Brooklyn Funk Essentials vocalist Stephanie McKay and electronic production legend David Holmes), Rux once again travels a hypnotic, lyrical diaspora filled with dense poetics, gospel yelps, preacherly exhortations and seductive, rumbling baritone. As with Revue and Apothecary, the music is grounded by multiple sonic contexualizations by a primary instrument, and Rux ably dances with Brechtian acoustic piano arrangements through classically tinged pop ("Behind the Curtain" and a lamenting rework of McKay's "Thadius Star"), stride blues sermonizing ("Living Room"), and moody, syrup-slow country soul (a heart-rending performance of the Bill Withers antiwar soldier's story "I Can't Write Left-Handed").

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Author:Kalamka, Juba
Publication:Colorlines Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Words:170
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