12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

TITLE TIME
4:55
3:55
3:40
5:40
3:48
4:33
4:52
3:35
5:13
4:15
4:28
4:01

About Jarekus Singleton

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 also had other interests, including basketball, and he became a top-seeded national basketball prospect in college (he was the starting point guard for the University of Southern Mississippi for three years) before suffering an ankle injury in 2009. He became a rap artist for a time, writing his own lyrics, and when he picked up the guitar again, it all came together in a blues-based, rap-informed, and very personal take on contemporary blues. He formed the Jarekus Singleton Blues Band that same year in 2009, and quickly found a local following in Mississippi. He self-released a debut album, Heartfelt, in 2011. Signing to Alligator Records, his second album, and first national release, Refuse to Lose, appeared in 2014. ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    Clinton, Mississippi
  • GENRE
    Blues
  • BORN
    Jul 11, 1984

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