Chuck & Mac
Aubrey "Chuck" Wallace and Roosevelt Matthews came from Cairo, IL originally but cut their records in St Louis when they teamed up after Matthews left Billy Ball and the Upsetters. I would think their Ruby 45s were the earliest.
You’re The One is a classic deep soul duet highly regarded in all right thinking musical circles – but is so scarce it’s a pleasure to bring it to the attention of a wider audience. The interplay of the voices is superbly done and the dead slow rhythm marked by upfront horns and a bluesy lead guitar are both excellent. The bridge and the run out groove are particularly impressive – lovely falsetto phrases and gospel vocals. A real gem.
Wallace’s solo side for Ruby is a goodish uptempo funky little tune but it can't hold a candle to the duet numbers.
Powerful Love has been included on a couple of CDs so it’s quite well known. But like the Ruby release it is a marvellous example of duo singing – passionate and thrilling. Lovely guitar touches and carefully arranged horns. The bridge again is quite beautifully done and the climax of the song as they repeat the title refrain when the song runs out is really first rate.
Matthews and Wallace returned to recording in the 80s with a very strange release under the name Hard Tymes. I Ask A Question is an extraordinary track – minimal melodically and with sparse instrumentation it’s really just a vehicle for some wonderful wailing by Matthews and an uncredited female vocalist (or could it be Wallace hitting those high notes?). Both sing their hearts out in this lengthy mood piece vaguely reminiscent of Bobby Womack’s duets with Alltrinna Grayson. I find it hypnotic and strangely moving.
UPDATE ~ Thanks to Alan Wheway for the update to the discography.
You're the one who loved me / Let the doorknob hit you ~ RUBY 29799
I need your love (to help me out) / Inst ~ RUBY 5990 (1969) (AUBREY "CHUCK" WALLACE solo)
Powerful love / The bear ~ TWINIGHT 135 (1970)
I ask a question simply / Slow down world ~ RUBY 38975/6 (80s) (as HARD TYMES)
Special thanks to Rob Sevier of Numero Uno records for his kind permission to use the photo of Chuck & Mac and the info in the booklet notes to their excellent CD "Twinight's Lunar Revolution" on which you can find "Powerful Love".
Rob has asked me to cut the MP3 of "Powerful Love" down to a 45 second clip which I have now done. For further details please contact me direct.