Manny Blu has always done things his own way.
Years before unveiling his country-punk sound with songs like "'95," the larger-than-life vocalist grew up in Montreal, finding different ways to challenge the status quo. He trained for a career as an MMA fighter. He embraced country music. And when a move to Nashville placed him at the geographic epicenter of the genre, he shook things up once again, creating a musical hybrid that blended the storytelling of country, the hard-charging guitars of rock & roll, the anthemic melodies of pop, and the raw rebellion of punk.
"When I was younger, my mom said I found clever ways not to break the rules, but to bend them in the way I wanted," Manny remembers. "That's just my approach to the world. I've always been told I'm too rock for country music, and too country for rock. So I decided to make my own sound."
In a city steeped in tradition, Manny Blu has proudly broken from the pack, building a bridge between Nashville's musical past and future. He moved to town in September 2018 and released Leave It Like It Is one year later, promoting the debut album with a year's worth of shows on both sides of the USA/Canadian border. Night after night, song after song, he delivered his songs with a mix of country stomp and rock & roll swagger. Along the way, he began bringing a new edge to his music. The guitars grew louder. The hooks grew sharper. And the songs themselves — songs about love, loss, breakups, and everything in between — became even more anthemic.
Back home in Nashville, he worked with producer Aaron Eshuis on a new record that showcased the lessons he'd learned on the road. The result was 2020's New Ink. Unable to hit the highway in support of the EP's release, Manny and his band of country-rock road warriors remained in Nashville, recording a string of COVID-safe performances at Helping Our Music Evolve in East Nashville. Those recordings form the bedrock of Manny Blu's ongoing "Live & Turned Up" video series. Filled with attitude, amplification, and plenty of country-punk punch, "Live & Turned Up" captures Blu at the top of his game, performing a mix of original songs, fan favorites, and unexpected covers while the camera rolls.
"We wanted to bring the road to our fans, and we picked songs that could show off the band's abilities in different ways," says Manny. "'Live & Turned Up' isn't just a showcase for my songs. It's also a chance for me to play songs by the other artists who've inspired me, encapsulate it all together, and do my own thing."
It's been years since Manny Blu stepped into the ring as an MMA trainee. These days, he's fighting for something different, delivering knockout blows with a sound that's distinctly his own. Hard-hitting and aggressively unique, Manny Blu's country-punk anthems are the soundtrack to a career that's forever on the rise.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"IT'S A FROTHING ROCKER WITH LOADS OF ENERGY AND SIZZLE. HE'S ASKING FOR HER LOVE TO "HIT ME LIKE A TRAIN." THE RYTHM SECTION AND ELECTRIC GUITAR KICK SERIOUS BUTT BEHIND HIS YOUTHFULL WAIL"
"ALDEAN MEETS EDDIE VAN HALEN ON THIS BALLS-TO-THE-WALL SLICE OF JOY"
Country Music Rocks
"IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO HEAR A MIX OF COUNTRY TWANG WITH SOME ROCK & ROLL, THEN MANNY BLU IS THE ARTIST YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT"
BRINGING TO LIFE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE MONTREAL-NATIVE, NEW INK SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO WHAT BLU HIMSELF CALLS THE “TRUE HEART” OF THE BAND’S LIVE SHOWS — “THERE’S MORE ROCK, MORE SOUL, AND MORE VOLUME THIS TIME AROUND. IT’S BIGGER AND LOUDER, BUT IT’S STILL ME. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT’S STILL FUN.”