Honoring the Past, Present, and Future of Blues with Nola Blue’s 10-Year Compilation

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Nola Blue, the esteemed label founded by Sallie Bengtson in Lancaster, PA, has recently unveiled a remarkable compilation album titled Breakin’ News – Ten Years of Blues. This album is a curated collection of some of the most profound blues music from the past decade, showcasing the talents of artists who have, in the words of the late Frank Bey, “paid their dues.” The compilation features a mix of artists, some of whom have passed away and some who continue to enrich the blues scene with their music and live performances.

The album kicks off with Benny Turner’s “Breakin’ News,” an up-tempo, rock-infused track that sets the tone for the compilation. Its lively beat contrasts with the depth of the lyrics, transforming the song into a powerful anthem. The addition of backup singers on the refrain “it’s all over” adds a layer of joy to the listening experience.

Following this energetic opener is a rendition of Elmore James’ classic “It Hurts Me Too,” performed by Benny Turner and the late Cash McCall. The track’s harmonica intro and slightly faster tempo than the original inject a fresh vibrancy into this heart-wrenching song.

The third track pays homage to the late Philly soul legend, Frank Bey, with a piece that blends biography, tragedy, and redemption, all set against a backdrop of smoldering sounds. Bey’s voice, rich with experience, brings authenticity to the lyrics, “you call it real hard work and suffering, hey man, it’s just another day to me.”

Other standout tracks include Cash McCall’s playful “One Who’s Got a Lot,” Clarence Spady’s hopeful “If Only We Could,” and Trudy Lynn’s sultry “Golden Girl Blues.” The Love Light Orchestra’s “After All” and John Németh’s “The Last Time” showcase the emotional depth and revivalist spirit of blues music. Lil Jimmy Reed and Ben Levin deliver a sultry performance that stands out for its vocal growls and masterful guitar work.

Benny Turner returns to close the album with “Who Sang It First,” a track that pays tribute to the pioneers of blues music. The song’s beautiful harmonies and powerful message serve as a fitting conclusion to this compilation, highlighting the genre’s rich history and the contributions of those who have shaped it.

This album is not just a collection of songs; it’s a journey through the heart of blues music, celebrating the legacy of Nola Blue Records and its artists. Whether played in a social setting or enjoyed in solitude, Breakin’ News – Ten Years of Blues is a testament to the enduring power and appeal of the blues.

Deep in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, you’ll find this guy, rocking out at his favorite campground. When not hosting a game of trivia at the famous “Cow Palace,” you’ll find him riding the nature trails in his custom golf cart, listening to music as diverse as Aerosmith, Cream and Pink Floyd, to Jane’s Addiction and Lenny Kravitz. It’s true, he probably shouldn’t be driving so fast with Parkinson’s Disease, but don’t tell him that. He’s been moving and shaking (get it??) to his own beat ever since he snuck out at age 15 to see George Thorogood & The Destroyers. So...if you find yourself lost in the woods some cold night, and hear the mournful sounds of “Folsom Prison Blues” echoing through the trees, make your way to the source. You’ll find a roaring campfire beside a gazebo. Pull up a camp stool and sit next to the guy with the cane. You’ll soon realize that’s not Johnny Cash he’s playing. That would be “Small Town Titans”, and he’d love to tell you about them! Stay awhile. Let’s talk music...

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