Genghis Blues soundtrack

Genghis Blues soundtrack

More than just a record, this is also the story of the journey of Paul Pena, a fine blind American bluesman who learned Tuvan throat singing well enough to win a contest in Tuva. His solo tracks, especially his take on Robert Johnson‘s “Terraplane Blues,” are the real blues deal, but this record truly takes off when Pena and Ondar duet. The blues and the eerie, often-guttural sounds of throat singing make a natural match, one that simply bewitches with the clear overtones and melodies, while the guitar and Tuvan banjo offer simple, but very plaintive, accompaniment. About the only misstep is the inclusion of the Cape Verdean “Tras d’Orizao,” which sticks out like a sore thumb from everything else. Get that out of your system, and the rest is pure magic. –Chris Nickson