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Nola Blue Records celebrates 10 years!

A soulful selection of musical milestones from the start of it all to the heart of it all.

Nola Blue Records imprint began with the 2014 release of 'Journey' by Benny Turner. In the ensuing years, the catalog has grown to 25 titles, including Turner's homage to his brother, the late Freddie King, 'My Brother's Blues,' as well as albums from blues legacy artists Cash McCall (RIP) and Frank Bey (RIP). 'All My Dues Are Paid,' the label's second release by Bey, received a posthumous GRAMMY nomination for traditional blues album of the year (2020). Artists and projects that have received Blues Music Awards and nominations include Benny Turner, Frank Bey, John Németh, Clarence Spady, Trudy Lynn, and The Love Light Orchestra. Nola Blue Records was named "Record Label of the Year" by The Josie Awards in September 2020.


BREAKIN' NEWS - Benny Turner

THE START OF IT ALL: Breakin’ News, the first track of Nola Blue Records' first album, heralds the news of the label’s ten year anniversary. 

A finalist in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition, “Breakin’ News” is Benny’s highest streamed song.


From Journey (2014)

Nominee: Best Blues Album - 2014 OffBeat Best of the Beat Awards


Released on Benny’s 75th birthday, Journey contains all original music, including family treasures passed down to him as a boy (“My Mother’s Blues” honoring Ella Mae (King) Turner and “My Uncle’s Blues (Fannie Mae)” honoring his uncle Leon King).


“The variety and strength of material, the strong work by the band and Benny Turner’s heartfelt and persuasive vocals make Journey a gem of a recording.” ~Ron Weinstock, In A Blue Mood


IT HURTS ME TOO - Benny Turner/Cash McCall

There was no more fitting song than “It Hurts Me Too” to express how we all felt about Cash McCall’s illness at the time of this recording.


From Going Back Home (2019)

Nominee: Traditional Blues Album - 2019 Blues Blast Music Awards


Two Chicago blues legends, Benny Turner and Cash McCall, reunited in the studio to revisit their roots and the songs they once played nightly in South and West Side nightspots. 


“Septuagenarians Turner and McCall do an impressive job of rekindling the camaraderie they had decades ago when on the Chicago Blues scene.” ~Downbeat



“I was born way down in Georgia. 1940’s, black and poor. It took every bit of strength I had to try to crack that Jim Crow door…” begins the biographical title track of Frank Bey’s final album, and the title of the feature documentary film about his life:


From All My Dues Are Paid (2020)

Nominee: Soul Blues Album - 2020 Blues Blast Music Awards

Nominee: Soul Blues Album - 2021 - 42nd Blues Music Awards

Nominee: Song of the Year - 2021 - 42nd Blues Music Awards

Nominee - Traditional Blues Album - 2021 - 63rd GRAMMY Awards


Recorded and produced by Kid Andersen at Greaseland. Posthumously receiving a GRAMMY nomination for the album, it was a bittersweet capstone to the life and struggles of The Southern Gentleman of The Blues.

“With producers Kid Andersen and Rick Estrin, and accompanists including esteemed bassist Jerry Jemmott all on his wavelength, Bey still possesses the keen purpose that’s always driven his soul-blues.” ~Downbeat



This "buried treasure" from sessions held in 2014 and 2015 features a powerhouse combination of musicians, in addition to the late Cash McCall. Welton Gite on bass (Marvin Gaye, Steppenwolf), Tennyson Stephens on piano (Phil Upchurch, Natalie Cole) and James Gadson (one of R&B's most recorded drummers) join composer and guitarist Jim Koeppel to create this Chicago blues treasure, written specifically for McCall by his dear friend.


“Its release, in celebration of what would have been McCall’s 79th birthday on January 28, comes as four more valued minutes to spend with Cash.” ~Dennis Rozanski, BLUES RAG, The Baltimore Blues Society


IF ONLY WE COULD - Clarence Spady

Following his acclaimed 2019 album, Surrender, the dynamo cowriting duo of Clarence Spady and William “Wes” Weller returned with another thought-provoking, infectious tune.


Receiving silver medal honors from the Global Music Awards and spending a year on Spotify’s Best Blues Songs Editorial Playlist, it is Spady’s most-streamed song.



The self-penned title track of Ms. Lynn’s album honoring her 75th birthday is a lighthearted look at the joys of “maturity”… “Once upon a time, it was ‘drop it like it’s hot,’ now when I move, it’s ‘snap, crackle and pop!”


From Golden Girl (2022)

Nominee: Soul Blues Album - 2022 Blues Blast Music Awards

Nominee: Soul Blues Album - 2022 - 43rd Blues Music Awards

Winner - Blues Album of the Year - 2022 Josie Music Awards

Winner - Soul Blues Album - 2022 Living Blues Critic’s Poll


15 time Blues Music Award nominee and Houston’s reigning queen of the blues, Ms. Trudy Lynn struck musical gold, advancing the blues legacy of the Lone Star State with this masterful release. Producer Terry Wilson (Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps) enlisted noted musicians including Grammy winning Kevin McKendree (keyboards) andBrannen Temple (drums, percussion) to bring fresh arrangements to life for Lynn's soulful sound. 


“Trudy Lynn is as authentic as they come… her strong soul-blues voice at its apex ofpotency when lyrics are sung with the right meld of sensuality, melancholy, flamboyant, street sense. Lynn’s working at that high level here, on what is the most complete album in her discography.” ~Downbeat


AFTER ALL - John Nemeth & The Love Light Orchestra

One of four originals written by John Nemeth for this album, this award-winning song features a melodic whistling interlude. Featuring the smooth, soulful vocals of John Nemeth behind the microphone, the ten-piece Love Light Orchestra presents a tour de force with their debut studio album.


From Leave the Light On (2022)

First Place: Blues Song - 2022 International Songwriting Competition

Nominee: Soul Blues Album - 2022 Blues Blast Music Awards

Nominee: Soul Blues Album - 2023 - 44th Blues Music Awards

Nominee: Album of the Year - 2023 - 44th Blues Music Awards

“The entire album is an enticing nod to nostalgia, with a vintage, ‘50s retro feel. This band really wants to turn on its love light and let it shine on you… Listeners will be more than pleased to bask in the glow.” ~Living Blues


THE LAST TIME - John Nemeth

At a pivotal point in his career, less than two weeks before having highly specialized jaw replacement surgery due to a benign, aggressive tumor, John made a special pilgrimage back to the San Francisco Bay area to record for what might have been the last time.


From May be The Last Time (2022)

Nominee: Traditional Blues Album - 2023 Blues Blast Music Awards

Nominee: Album of the Year - 2023 - 44th Blues Music Awards

Winner: Traditional Blues Album - 2023 - 44th Blues Music Awards


Facing the unknown future of his ability to ever sing or play again, John was joined by Elvin Bishop, Bob Welsh, Willy Jordan, Kid Andersen and Alabama Mike to share the healing power of music during a two-day recording session at Greaseland Studio.  The resulting collection of soulful music is saturated with the love and friendship of long-time musical compadres gathered in support of their brother in blues. The entire music community rallied behind the beloved bluesman in his time of need, and fortunately, it wasn’t John’s last time.


“Nemeth is one of the best soul singers in the business, with a floor-to-ceiling range that raises goosebumps on anyone within earshot.  He puts that to good use here with some bone-chilling runs worthy of soul godfathers like Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Solomon Burke.” ~No Depression


THEY CALL ME LIL' JIMMY - Lil' Jimmy Reed w/Ben Levin

The biographical story of how Baton Rouge native Leon Atkins earned his stage name. “It was back in ‘58 when his band asked me to play. They gave me my name, and I kept it to this day.”


From Back to Baton Rouge (2023)

Nominee: Traditional Blues Album - 2023 Blues Blast Music Awards


Lil' Jimmy Reed's powerful harmonica playing, stinging guitar, and commanding vocals are showcased in a mixture of covers and original songs written by Ben Levin, his father Aron Levin, and Lil' Jimmy.


“The 85-year-old is accompanied by producer Ben levin on piano, with Lil’ Jimmy playing harmonica on a rack and expertly supplying guitar fills and rhythm, a la his idol. On three Reed covers, he does his hero justice, more homage than impersonation…” ~Vintage Guitar


WHO SANG IT FIRST - Benny Turner

THE HEART OF IT ALL: Perhaps nothing better encapsulates the very core of what we, as a blues and roots label, cherish and support at the most fundamental level, the origins and the originators of America’s music.


Always inspired by the original composition by fellow Reading, PA native James George, “Black Is Beautiful,” Benny Turner’s transformational cowrite,“Who Sang It First,” reflects our very heartfelt love, respect and appreciation for all those who paved the way, turning pain and struggle into beautiful musical art for the ages.

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