This can be finally brought to a closure. I received an innocent email from Jack whether I had anything by 'Lee Roberts'. I didn't, but he knew the artist under his former name Arthur Conley. From just curious I got intrigued when I found out that Conley had lived in the Netherlands under the name Lee Roberts and that there indeed was a recording made by him using that name. It was based on a public performance by the great Arthur Conley, immortalized by his one smash hit 'Sweet soul music'.
Conley lived and died in the small village Ruurlo, the last place you'd expect a soul legend to live which was probably precisely why he lived there.
I got the LP with the concert but then couldn't get that digitized, to my own frustration and not in the last place Jack's. The LP is rather rare since it was released by a small label and almost nobody had heard of Lee Roberts (or The Sweaters). Miraculously, this year finally saw the release of that concert on CD, 27 years after the gig itself (a Thank You to those who got me some rips early!).
It's an excellent release, it has more songs than on the LP and comes with a bonus DVD with a documentary and interview. The extensive booklet has his biography and numerous pictures of the concert, together with Conley's relevant discography.
The recordings were made during 3 performances in Amsterdam. It all started with some local musicians being impressed by the voice of the unknown American. He didn't mind working with this enthusiast band of soul-novices and a live performance was only natural. However, word spread fast it was the great Arthur Conley performing so the gigs got more and more crowded. The renewed popularity made Arthur Conley realize it wasn't what he was after, which brought the band to an end after a few more shows. 8 years later the tapes resurfaced and were released with the condition the name Arthur Conley was to be omitted and Lee Roberts used in stead.
Roberts didn't leave the music biz altogether, there must be more recordings of him, if only as a guest artist, and there were more performances, again if only as a guest artist. He even planned to pick up his career again, as Arthur Conley, but his death in 2003 at the age of 57 cut those plans short.
I've ripped the CD, not the DVD. I managed to get fairly decent scans of the LP and CD covers (the LP cover was too big for my scanner) and I've included those so you can compare the tracklists and artwork of the CD and LP.
Walboomers Music, 2007Arthur Conley & The Sweaters - Recorded Live In Amsterdam