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Artist:Paul Pena
Desc:Blind bluesman goes to Tuva, melds blues and throat singing. We are truly One World.
Category:Music Videos, World - Ethnic - International
Tags:Mongolia, Tuva, Paul Pena, Kongar-ol Ondar, Genghis Blues
Submitted:Syd Midnight
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Buy Song:iTunes - Amazon

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Comment count is 7
Syd Midnight - 2008-09-17
"Genghis Blues" isn't the song, it's the name of the movie that was eventually made about this. Blind bluesman goes to Tuva, learns to throat sing, is roundly beloved by the country. This was the promo video he and Kongar-ol Ondar made to try and get gigs.

I'm not into "world beat" music and all, but it's really magical when 2 musical styles that are as far removed as you could ever imagine still just *click* together. Reminds you that we're all human, and know how to rock, no matter how different we are.

There's plenty more on Youtube under Paul Pena and "Genghis Blues", some better performances too, but this is an early vid and shows how the 2 styles just mesh so beautifully.

My favorite moments from these are when Pena is rocking the blues so hard that the Tuvan guy starts playing air guitar. Pena became a national hero in Tuva. It's simultaneously the blues and heart warming.
Syd Midnight - 2008-09-17
Sorry bout the poor audio synch.. didn't notice till too late.

zatojones - 2008-09-17
Actually the story is crazier than that. Pena was a chronically depressive blind man who lives alone in San Francisco (I think). One day while playing with his radio he overheard some Tuvan throat singers. He was so intrigued that he read everything he could about it, taught himself how to do it, and then started learning the Tuvan language. By himself. However there are no Tuvan to English dictionaries (let alone grammars) so he had to use a Tuvan to Russian dictionary and then a Russian to English dictionary to learn words and then figure the rest out as he went. Remember, he's blind so he did this all in Braille. Then by chance the Mick Jagger of Tuvan thought singing turns up in town to give a concert. Pena meets him after the show and busts out his throat singing moves. The guy is so impressed that this unknown American dude was so good at his technique that he starts a relationship that eventually leads to Pena traveling to Tuva to give concerts. It's a good movie.

zatojones - 2008-09-17
aw shit I just read that he died in 2005. :-(

Syd Midnight - 2008-09-17

Syd Midnight - 2008-09-17
Also Zato, that is way more awesome than I had even imagined.

Goethe and ernie - 2009-09-23
No words, just stars. This needs to be locked to the front page.
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