Gene & Eddie, “True Enough: Gene & Eddie with Sir Joe At Ru-Jac” (Omnivore)

During the ’60s—the golden age of soul music—there was a plethora of male duos that lit up the R&B charts. Sam & Dave (who worked just as hard as James Brown), James & Bobby Purify, the Sims Twins, the Wallace Brothers, Maurice & Mac, Mel & Tim and the Righteous Brothers come to mind first. However, one deserving duo that failed to wax any “hits,” but who still managed to record a small but fine clutch of material, were Washington D.C.’s Gene & Eddie. Some of their material was very much influenced by the Stax sound (albeit a poor man’s Stax), particularly the danceable “I Tell You” and “She’s True Enough,” which sound like Sam & Dave demos/outtakes. Another track obviously dictated by outside influences was the strong cover of Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Little Girl.” Quality material that didn’t really have traceable influences (i.e. Stax, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans) includes “You Don’t Fool Me,” “Let Me Go Easy” and the striking “Check You Later.” Inexplicably, the duo’s lone East Coast hit, “It’s So Hard,” was quite ordinary and dated doo-wop. Gene & Eddie’s best sides were produced and written by the talented Washingtonian “Sir” Joe Quarterman. A handful of his solo tracks are interspersed here, some which lean towards pop. However, the urgent “Every Day (I’ll Be Needing You)” is a son-of-a-gun and might be the best track in the mix. Granted, there are a few yawners here, but in the end, the good outweighs the bad. Like the previous/outstanding Winfield Parker Ru-Jac compilation, this one is packaged with vintage photos and informative notes. It is also available on blue monophonic vinyl. Not a desert island disc, but it does contain some quality funk.