Audio Mixer: Brian Kehew.
Liner Note Author: Kevin Coombe.
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 and running his dry-cleaning shop. 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 solid performers, with good harmonies and dynamic interaction, but Quarterman's contributions shine brightest. These singles were clearly cut on a limited budget, but the studio sound is impressive, and his arrangements sound full-bodied and imaginative. True Enough is good fun for collectors of vintage soul rarities, and Omnivore has clearly assembled the album with care. ~ Mark Deming