Returning to the Levitt AMP Greensboro stage after a 2016 performance with the Gate City Divas, the Memphis, Tennessee born Melva Houston is an internationally acclaimed jazz and blues vocalist based out of Mount Airy, North Carolina. She began her career like so many other legendary southern musicians have: singing gospel music at church as a child. Following the familiar path of singers like Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mavis Staples, she moved into contemporary, secular music as a teenager when she began work as a backup singer for the iconic Memphis soul label, STAX Records. There she recorded with R&B greats like Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett and Sam and Dave. She would later star in a Motown Revue and a tour with the Platters that would take her to Europe for the first time.
Roy Roberts is an internationally known blues, soul, and rock’n roll musician from Greensboro, NC. Captivated when he first heard Jimmy Reed’s 1959 hit “Baby What You Want Me to Do” playing over the airwaves of his local Tennessee R&B station, young Roy knew he had to get a guitar in his hands. Thanks to a job on a local farm he was able to buy his first guitar: a mail order Sears Silvertone. This launched a lifetime career that would lead to performances all over the world, records and 45s released on Nina Simone’s NinaAndy label, plus touring gigs playing guitar with soul legends like Solomon Burke, Eddie Floyd, “Little” Stevie Wonder, Dee Clark, and Otis Redding.
After decades of recording and producing records with his own band, The Roy Roberts Experience and for other artists, Roy Roberts maintains an active touring and record producing schedule. Recent international performances include 2016 appearances at the Cognac Blues Passions Festival in Cognac, France, the Blues to Bop Festival in Lugano, Sweden, and Greensboro’s own Carolina Blues Festival. Like Melva Houston, Roy Roberts is a local treasure whose pedigree, career, and talent place him among the finest names in blues, soul, and rock’n roll history.