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Refuse To Lose

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iTunes Review

Guitarist and singer Jarekus (pronounced juh-REE-kus) Singleton comes by his blues bona fides honestly, as a kid who grew up in Mississippi playing music in the church. Now 30 and making his debut for the iconic Alligator Records, Singleton has strengths that lie in his original songs and lyrics. He's prone to story songs and has a flair for phrasing, calling out a jealous elder bluesman in “Hero” and happily celebrating his wisdom in ditching a bad girlfriend on the comical “Sorry.” He also may be the first blues singer to rhyme “Tweet” and “sleep” (“Blame Game”), but he’s not the first to use such sports analogies as “Refuse to Lose” and “Keep Pushin” (which details his basketball career at Southern Miss and pro tryouts before a career-ending injury). The tunes here come out of the aggressive blues-rock school of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy, but organist James Salone is also a highlight of the flexible band as he preaches with his fingers on tracks like the upbeat “Gonna Let Go” and “Crime Scene” (which also features Singleton’s strongest guitar work). Without a doubt, basketball’s loss is blues music’s gain with this impressive new artist.

Customer Reviews

Great album

Heard this album on our local blues station and it is terrific. Gonna make it big

Album Of Year!!!!!

This Young Man has changed the blues game! A Star has been born and if your still reading my comment your missing out!!!!!

Jarekus Singleton-‘Refuse to Lose'

Jarekus Singleton is one of the new breed of up and coming dynamic blues guitarists and singers who refuse to rehash old blues tunes with new lyrics and and tired guitar licks. Instead, this immensely powerful CD release, appears to rely upon his almost autobiographical rise within the blues community and its effects upon both himself and those men and women who have either been by his side along his musical path, or who have fallen to the wayside of his determination to elevate himself to his own aspirational endeavors. This is one collection of cuts that I have had to play again and again and still tremendously enjoy. Jarekus’s opening cut and album title ‘Refuse to Lose’ says it all, the man is determined to overcome past disappointments and obstacles and follow his vision for himself and his own focus. And that is just one reason why this CD is such a desirable one to have in your collection of blues recordings; it is both a personal expression of Jarekus Singleton’s vision and an updated and relevant collection of strongly lyrical blues which reflects upon both himself and the current blues genre. Backed by his own clean and powerful guitar licks and solid rhythm section, Jarekus kills it in the tune ‘High Minded’ bemoaning the loss of a woman who had her own visions of riches and expected Jarekus to be her own personal Denzel. Fortunately, he wised up and refused to be used. ‘Keep Pushin’ remains one of my favorites from this CD, totally autobiographical from his loss of his first car to his promising basketball career derailed by injury. It’s blues from his beginnings at a club listening to others to his current success on the circuit. ‘Blame Game’, a great song, reminds me of early Taj Mahal with a sweet harmonica backing that is clearly Jarekus’s stretching his own blues voicing. Which brings us to the last cut, ‘Come Wit Me’ which turns this hard driving bluesman back to focus, knowing his worth, knowing what he brings to the table, and where he plans to go. It also says much for the rest of us, Jarekus Singleton is a bluesman worth following and ‘Refuse to Lose’ a disc well worth having.


Born: July 11, 1984 in Clinton, Mississippi

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born into a family of church musicians and vocalists on July 11, 1984 in Clinton, Mississippi, blues guitarist, songwriter, and singer Jarekus Singleton was raised on gospel music. Taught the bass by his uncle when he was nine years old, he began playing in his grandfather's church band that same year. He switched to guitar, and soon was soaking up any music he could find, from blues to rock, rap to country, and developed an exciting electric lead guitar style, with a vocal style to match. But Singleton...
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Refuse To Lose, Jarekus Singleton
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