Rising in the budding funk blues subgenre, Jarekus Singleton‘s first album on Alligator Records, Refuse to Lose, sounds like a winner. Taking the lead from Black Joe Lewis, Singleton’s album is rising quickly on the charts, with an appeal to both blues aficionados and funk/soul fans. AR is hoping to unleash ‘a new wave of blues for a new generation of fans,’ and all the potential is there.
Singleton’s songs have street wise, hip-hop influenced lyrics, definitively pronounced in the title track. He has a nice and smooth, but intense, touch on the guitar, tracing his influences to blues greats B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He honors them all well.
While Lewis plays with an accent on the funk side, Singleton puts his emphasis on the blues. He’s very original and creative, but that hasn’t been enough for Lewis. The rapid rise of Refuse on the blues charts might indicate people are ready for this genre.