Critics and concertgoers love his live performances and call him a living blues legend. Record collectors of soul and funk 45s consider many of his early recordings on wax as a “must have”, some even as “holy grails”. No matter what Roy Roberts means to you, an album which collects his sought after 45rpm single tracks was long overdue.
Roy Roberts became hooked on music while growing up in a small town in Tennessee, listening to blues and R&B on radio stations WLAC out of Nashville. When he turned 18, he moved to Greensboro, North Carolina to live with an uncle. Roy sharpened his skills while playing in makeshift bands until he landed a job with local hero Guitar Kimbers’ Untouchables. Before long, Roy was backing up major artists who came through town. One of those artists, Solomon Burke, took young Roy under his wing after letting him sit in as a bass player during a local gig. He was soon handling the guitar chores behind the future soul legend on tour. Roberts subsequently picked up touring gigs with such luminaries as Eddie Floyd, “Little” Stevie Wonder, and Otis Redding, while fronting his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience, on the regional club scene and South-eastern beach town circuit.
Roy began to cut records in the mid-sixties, staying mostly behind the scenes as a session man. The tragic death of Otis Redding inspired him to step up to the microphone with a song dedicated to the late crooner. The record was released on Nina Simone’s NinaAndy label and backed by an ace studio band. Roy followed this successful effort with a string of 45’s that carried him well into the seventies. During the disco years, Roy turned his talents to country music. After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Roberts got the blues fever once again in the early 1990s. Besides recording his own material Roy continues to record and produce records for his label, and tours the U.S. and Europe regularly.
Lester “Groovebug” Sterling – January 2017