Buck 65

This Right Here Is Buck 65

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Obviously ready for prime time, in 2004 Buck 65 allowed his new label, V2, to collect (and remaster) nine of his independent Halifax recordings, and added three new ones of his own, for the 2005 collection This Right Here Is Buck 65. The former Richard Terfry occupies a neglected middle ground between underground rap, indie/electronic, and country-folk; he paints skewed slice-of-life portraits closer to Alan Jackson than 50 Cent, backs them up with clean, canny beats and reverbed guitars, and then delivers them in a voice that, if not as gravelly as Tom Waits, could at least be described as emanating a fine cloud of chalk dust. Buck isn't a talented rapper, but he has a gift for expressive storytelling and evokes a range of emotions with his limited, mumbling vocals. This Right Here Is Buck 65 ransacks the best of his previous albums (1998's Vertex, 2000's Square, 2001's Man Overboard, 2003's Talkin' Honky Blues), including memorable features like the incestuous tale "Cries a Girl," an exploration of his father's legacy in himself on "Roses and Bluejays," and a track titled "Centaur" that finds him in the character of a mythical beast who seems to have most of the same problems as a man. The new tracks include the highlight "Bandits" and an apt Woody Guthrie cover, "Talking Fishing Blues."

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