Gene & Eddie

True Enough: Gene & Eddie with Sir Joe at Ru-Jac

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Gene & Eddie were a journeyman R&B act from Silver Springs, Maryland who enjoyed some regional success in the mid-'60s to early '70s as a churchier and more polished alternative to Sam & Dave. For a time, they were partnered with a white R&B showband called the Nightcaps, and as one of the few integrated soul acts of the day, they landed a handful of upscale gigs that eluded their peers, including an appearance at a party at the White House. (Washington, D.C. was one of their biggest markets at the time.) Post-Nightcaps, Gene & Eddie teamed with Joe Quarterman, a songwriter, arranger, and producer who ran the independent Ru-Jac Records label when he wasn't busy performing under the name Sir Joe. Gene & Eddie cut six singles for Ru-Jac, but only one, "It's So Hard" b/w "Sweet Little Girl," gained any sort of traction, and then only as a regional hit. However, the obscurists on the British Northern soul scene would in time discover Gene & Eddie, and they helped make a few of their previously forgotten sides collector's items. The American archival label Omnivore Recordings has finally given Gene & Eddie's material the reissue treatment, and True Enough: Gene & Eddie with Sir Joe at Ru-Jac collects the material they cut for Ru-Jac between 1967 and 1971, along with a few extras. In addition to their 12 Ru-Jac sides, True Enough includes a 1965 single Gene & Eddie cut with the Nightcaps, as well as a few of Quarterman's tracks as Sir Joe. Quarterman actually turns out to be the secret star of this collection. Gene & Eddie were more than adequate as performers, but their vocals tended to be rather subdued compared to their peers of the day, and while their interaction and harmonies were professional, they rarely sound inspired on this collection. Quarterman, on the other hand, served them well in the studio; while these singles were clearly cut on a limited budget, the studio sound is impressive, and his arrangements sound full-bodied and imaginative. Sir Joe was also a lively vocalist, and his sides outshine the Gene & Eddie material here. True Enough has its moments; it's good fun for collectors of vintage soul rarities, and Omnivore has clearly assembled the album with loving care. But a full Sir Joe collection with a few Gene & Eddie sides thrown in may have been the better way to go.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:34 Amazon
2 03:02 Amazon
3 02:29 Amazon
4 02:29 Amazon
5 02:10 Amazon
6 02:27 Amazon
7 02:30 Amazon
8 02:18 Amazon
9 02:46 Amazon
10 02:37 Amazon
11 02:40 Amazon
12 03:07 Amazon
13 02:56 Amazon
14 02:42 Amazon
15 02:42 Amazon
16 02:40 Amazon
17 02:39 Amazon
18 02:06 Amazon
19 02:16 Amazon
20 02:17 Amazon
21 02:57 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick