When Fantasy acquired the Stax catalog in the late ’70s and decided to reactivate the label, one of the acts it signed was an obscure soul-funk band called Sho Nuff. Released in 1978, From the Gut to the Butt received very little attention — and it didn’t take the vinyl LP very long to wind up in the cutout bins. This album isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a decent and likable record that didn’t deserve to be ignored. Funk is one of Sho Nuff’s strong points, and a Bar-Kays-like approach prevails on tough, sweaty numbers like “Watch Me Do It,” “Funkasize You,” and “Mix Match Man.” Meanwhile, Sho Nuff’s ballads tend to be very moody and shadowy, especially “Thinking of You” and “I Live Across the Street.” In the 1970s, soul ballads could be quite sweet, but Sho Nuff’s ballads aren’t about sweetness — they’re about grit and are full of blues feeling. Most 1970s R&B fans, unfortunately, didn’t even know that From the Gut to the Butt existed. But under the right circumstances, Sho Nuff might have become better known. This LP went out of print after only a few years, although it’s worth hearing if, by some chance, a copy can be found somewhere. – Alex Hendersonmore »
From the Gut to the Butt
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