Review: Jarekus Singleton – Refuse To Lose

Posted on: Friday, Jul 25, 2014


Review: Jarekus Singleton – Refuse To Lose

(Alligator Records ALCD 4960)

Singer/guitarist Jarekus Singleton is a rising young talent from Mississippi. “Refuse To Lose” contains twelve original tracks, all written by Singleton – four of them in collaboration with Harrison Sumner. The album is jointly produced by Jarekus Singleton and the heartbeat of Alligator Records, Bruce Iglauer.

The title track, a smouldering blues rocker, kicks things off in fine style and is followed by “Purposely”, which ups the pace, underpinned by a relentless back beat. “Gonna Let Go” boasts an even heavier beat and delivers a funky edge, complete with a catchy bass line. “Crime Scene” is an expertly assembled bluesy ballad, which leads into “Keep Pushin'”, which rocks it up again, enhanced by a particularly nifty guitar solo.

The medium-paced “Suspicion” shuffles along in advance of the slow burner, “”Hell”, before “Hero” provides a second touch of funk. Another medium-pacer, “High Minded”, gives way to the slightly more upbeat, “Sorry” before the album is brought to a close with the gentle shuffle, “Blame Game”, which includes a tasty harmonica accompaniment and solo, and a terrific climax in the shape of the fast-moving rocker, “Come Wit Me”.

This is a most enjoyable album, which features Jarekus Singleton’s soulful vocals and impressively inventive guitar playing, superbly supported by James Salone on organ, Ben Sterling on bass and John ‘Junior’ Blackmon on drums. Equally as impressive as the performance of Singleton and his fellow musicians is the quality of the songwriting, which significantly contributes to the considerable quality of the album.



Pete Evans

July 25th, 2014 at 19:41
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This is one of the best CDs I’ve heard in a long time. Jarekus started as a rapper and so his lyrics often contain rap influenced lines and timing. I met Bruce Iglauer in Chicago last October and he was really excited about this young man and believes he is freshening up the blues scene. I think he will fill the void left by the loss of Michael Burks who mentored him. I hope he can make it to the UK..if so, I will be the 1st in the queue to book him