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East meets West - A truly unique blending of vocal styles!

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I'd like to turn the spotlight on the Dutch blues band Barrelhouse's collaboration with Mongolian musicians Altai Hangai, in their extraordinary performance of the classic Skip James number Hard Times Killing Floor.

 

[!! wait for the entry of Mongolian throat singing (at 1:46 ), to witness this unique vocal technique]

This performance is certainly unlike anything I've seen or heard elsewhere. For some reason the unlikely combination of Mississippi blues and Mongolian throat singing works beautifully.

In the past, Altai Hangai has collaborated with Western musicians in the context of other genres - including jazz and classical.

The original recording of Hard Times Killing Floor by Skip James was made during the 1930s depression. It can be heard in the feature film Soul of a Man in which an actor plays Skip James performing the number (the soundtrack is the original 1931 recording):

When Skip James was rediscovered during the early 1960s, he recalled singing Hard Times in the street back in the 30s and being offered money to stop playing, as he was making people more miserable!

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