News: Jarekus Singleton’s Alligator debut release
Posted on: Monday, Mar 31, 2014
JAREKUS SINGLETON’S ALLIGATOR RECORDS DEBUT,
REFUSE TO LOSE, SET FOR MAY 6 RELEASE
“A great new blues talent…young, original, soulful and intense. Superb, blistering guitar”
–Blues & Rhythm Magazine
“Jarekus Singleton is making some serious blues noise…blending modern-day blues and emotionally intense soul with melodic, hot-toned lead guitar, funk-seasoned rhythms and hip-hop flavored lyrics”
Alligator Records has set a May 6 street date for REFUSE TO LOSE, the label debut from Clinton, Mississippi’s award-winning guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Jarekus Singleton. At just 29 years old, Singleton is a musical trailblazer with a bold vision for the future of the blues. Springing from the same Mississippi soil as Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Singleton’s cutting-edge sound — equally rooted in rap, rock and blues traditions — is all his own. He melds hip-hop wordplay, rock energy and R&B grooves with contemporary and traditional blues, turning audiences of all ages into devoted fans. With his untamed guitar licks and strong, soulful voice effortlessly moving from ferocious and funky to slow and steamy to smoking hot, Singleton is a fresh, electrifying bluesman bursting at the seams with talent.
REFUSE TO LOSE features a scintillating guitar attack and lyrically startling original songs, all sung with a natural storyteller’s voice. Produced by Singleton along with Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer, the album is an impossible-to-ignore first step onto the world stage. With songs telling real life, streetwise stories brimming with surprising images, pop culture references, infectious rhythms and unexpected musical twists,REFUSE TO LOSE unleashes a new wave of blues for a new generation of fans.
Born into a family of church musicians and vocalists on July 11, 1984, Jarekus Singleton was immersed in gospel music as a child. Taught by his uncle, Jarekus began playing bass guitar at age nine in his grandfather’s church band. He later switched to lead guitar and began to sharpen his instrumental and vocal skills, falling in love with the music of all three Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie) as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan, rappers Twista and Jay-Z, and even country artist Brad Paisley. In his late teens, Jarekus pursued a career in basketball, becoming a top-seeded national player in college until an injury took him back to his music full time. For a short period he performed as a rap artist, writing his own lyrics. Before long, though, he began combining his rap wordsmithing with the music of his Mississippi heritage, creating a thoroughly modern, masterfully updated take on the blues.
In 2009 he formed The Jarekus Singleton Blues Band, quickly building a reputation as a tremendously gifted musician and performer. Jarekus self-released his first CD, Heartfelt, in 2011, and fans and media quickly took notice of the album’s fierce singing and playing and the brand new original songs. Singleton was named a “star on the rise” by Blues & Rhythm magazine in the UK. Guitar Center named him the 2011 King of the Blues in Mississippi. He received the Jackson Music Award for 2012 Blues Artist of the Year and for 2013 Local Artist of the Year. The Jackson Free Press named him the 2013 Best Local Blues Artist.
Jarekus Singleton has been tearing up clubs and festivals across the South, and performed twice at the world-renowned Chicago Blues Festival. He has been featured at South Carolina’s Lowcountry Blues Festival and Festival of Discovery as well as many other festivals in the South and clubs throughout Mississippi. With the addition of high-visibility performances including Springing The Blues Festival, The North Atlantic Blues Festival, The PA Blues Festival, The Cincinnati Blues Festival, and The Cognac (France) Blues Passions Festival, Singleton is on the cusp of international stardom.
“Blues is honest music,” says Singleton, who, with REFUSE TO LOSE, is determined to put his own stamp on the genre. “I love the blues tradition, and have always been inspired by the masters. But I want to create something for today’s audience that is as original and new as those blues masters were when they first started making records. I want to create blues for the 21st century.”
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