Good Rocking Sam / Roy Roberts
February 18, 2017 · Saturday * 8pm * $10
Good Rocking Sam
2016 TBS Blues Challenge winners in the band category, GRS is a blues/r & b/roots outfit out of Durham, NC, home of the Piedmont Blues. GRS is big into the blues, but doesn’t really call itself a blues band, we just take it all in and try to put something original back out…blues, Memphis soul, Motown, New Orleans, some old funk mixed up and served out to the world-wide internet. Here we are trolling the web, seeing if the long tail has room for a humble, yet sincere Triangle roots band.
GRS is Dave Sword (drums and vocals), Dave Mozier (keyboard, harp, vocals), Chuck Taylor (bass and vocals), and Mike Conway (guitar). We’ve all slugged it out in the clubs in tons of local bands, and have been crossing paths for years. GRS grew out of jams/songwriting sessions at Dave’s place in lovely Efland, NC, and these sessions continue every week. Once we get about a dozen tunes together, we haul out the gear, and bounce between home studios to put it all down.
American blues musician, record producer, and singer-songwriter Roy Roberts grew up in a small town in Livingston, Tennessee, listening to blues and R&B on radio stations. At the age of 14 he worked on a nearby farm to earn the money for his first guitar, a mail order Sears Silvertone. – Wikipedia
Roy 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. Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do” was the clincher and at the age of 14, Roy worked on a nearby farm to earn the money for his first guitar, a mail order Sears Silvertone.
When he turned 18, he moved to Greensboro, North Carolina to live with an uncle. There he had another inspiration to become a professional musician, when he and a carload of friends happened upon a nightclub where Jerry Butler was performing and making quite an impression on the ladies. 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, Dee Clark, and Otis Redding, while fronting his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience, on the regional club scene and Southeastern 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, touring with the great O.B. McClinton and releasing a number of country records. After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Roy built a recording studio in Virginia in 1989, where he produced records by regional gospel artists and cut a gospel record of his own.
One day in the early nineties, he heard a young Robert Cray singing the blues on the radio. “That cat’s got my style,” he declared, and got the blues fever once again. Besides recording his own material on Rock House, Roberts has produced albums for the label by Priscilla Price, Lou Pride, Chick Willis, Skeeter Brandon, Floyd Miles, Eddie Floyd, and many more. Roy continues to record and produce records for his label, and tours the U.S. and Europe regularly. After receiving numerous awards, Roy has earned his place among the finest artists playing blues today.