Exclusive Daily Download: "Lies," Carl Hancock Rux

An exclusive free download of music from novelist Carl Hancock Rux

Published June 9, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

Carl Hancock Rux is probably better known as a poet and novelist than as a musician, and indeed his latest album, "Good Bread Alley," sounds in some ways like the work of a non-musician, with its patently tacky keyboard sounds and clunkily constructed harmonies. But it's also some extraordinarily compelling music, unlike anything else I've heard. He sings with a flow that, while it often recalls John Lee Hooker (especially on the stunning title track), is clearly more directly derived from slam poetry, but magically devoid of its lameness. It was difficult for me to pick a track, so many of them are so strong, but "Lies" has a special hypnotic power to it, as a chorus of Rux's rich baritone weaves in and out of a stubbornly repeated, somewhat off-balance riff that at first sounds as if it will just be an introductory phrase to something more centered.

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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