Our guest today is Mississippi bluesman Jarekus Singleton, who recently released an album called Refuse to Lose.
Until an ankle injury short-circuited his athletic career, Singleton was a prospect in the NBA Draft out of college. As he recovered, he practiced guitar and later started writing. While he liked a number of genres, including hip-hop, he loved the blues and began playing in that style. We'll hear the full story from Michaela Majoun as Singleton joins World Cafe today.
Keb' Mo' appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Born Kevin Moore in Los Angeles, he first visited Mountain Stage nearly 20 years ago, around the time he first adopted the stage name he now uses. In the time since, he has won three Grammy Awards and become one of the world's most decorated living performers of blues and roots music.
John Hammond appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. One of America's foremost acoustic blues artists, Hammond began his career more than 50 years ago.
Robert Cray performs on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, West Virginia. Unlike many blues guitarists of his generation, Cray found his way to his instrument not through the blues, but through The Beatles. And while his is now widely considered to be one of America's premier blues players, Cray's nimble vocals allow him to skirt the edges of R&B, soul and pop music.
Coming up through the Greenwich Village folk scene, John Hammond collected the work of some of the greatest blues artists of all time. On his latest album, that music is presented as bare-bones and honestly as possible: just him, his guitar, his harmonica and a deeply appreciative audience.
The new year is a time of new beginnings, new resolutions, new projects and new directions. So it's a perfectly appropriate time of year for Leo Welch, at the age of 81, to put out his very first album.