So, just to reiterate the concept for this segment and why we started it. New bands and musicians are sprouting up all the time in various parts of the world, playing all sorts of styles of music. It is nearly impossible to keep up with a majority of bands in one genre let alone several; trust me, I am all over the place musically and my Spotify account is a chaotic vortex of playlists spanning from jazz and blues to rap and world music. Long winded explanation cut short, Blues Torchbearers was started to make sure hot new blues artists are on everybody’s radar and to help you discover new music.
With that being said, if you have been following Joe Bonamassa and the Keeping The Blues Alive for a while, you have most likely heard of this week’s torchbearer, Jarekus Singleton. Singleton was born in the south in a town called Clinton, Mississippi. Like many southerners, he grew up in a church and began playing gospel music after his uncle taught him how to play the bass. Jarekus realized that he wasn’t getting the sound he was searching for on the bass and switched to electric guitar after listening to SRV, B.B. King, and all the other blues legends.
However, similar to fellow blues-rocker Eric Gales, Singleton didn’t pigeonhole himself into blues music alone; he also loved hip hop and R&B and loved the music of Jay-Z and Twista. He actually performed briefly as a rapper, coming up with songs about his life in Mississippi and his faith. He also gravitated toward country as well. This openness too music allowed him to add him various elements to his sound which as set him apart from other blues musicians.
By 2009 he formed the Jarekus Singleton Band, touring all over the southern states and garnering the attention of fans, labels, and producers and was even crowned Guitar Center’s King of the Blues in 2011. In 2014, the famous Chicago-based record label Alligator Records picked up Jarekus and helped him released the 2014 album Refuse to Lose. His most recent release, The Bridge Pt.1 shows a funkier side to Singleton and is a solid album!