Sat May 25, 2013
marc on the blues

Some Musicians Take the Slang Term "Cookin'" to Extremes

Food and music go together like any of those combinations in the song “Love and Marriage,” but few people mix the two like Bill Wharton, aka the “Sauce Boss.”

He isn't called the "Sauce Boss" for nothing.

Bill Wharton plays the Blues, but mixes large doses of Roots-Rock, Swamp Pop, Calypso, Zydeco, R&B, and Rockabilly into his singing, songwriting and rootsy guitar playing. While mostly known for playing around his home territory of Florida, lately he has caught on elsewhere including France, where he has received great support. Plus he has become a popular feature at festivals and performing arts centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

His “Sauce Boss” nickname stems from his creation and selling of his own homemade Liquid Summer Hot Sauce. Wherever he plays, his shows are pretty much impossible to forget because he cooks gumbo on stage during the show! Cooking food and cooking up great music have both always been great loves of Wharton and he decided he didn’t need to choose one over the other.

What could have been perceived as gimmickry has been very well received by the “Sauce Boss’” legions of fans. The two sides of Bill are so genuine that few people see his shows as phony.

Many methods can be used to gage an artist’s success, but the “Sauce Boss” has a credit that most would envy. Parrotheads around the land are flocking to “Sauce Boss” shows because Jimmy Buffett was inspired by and sings about Bill Wharton in his song “I Will Sing for Gumbo.” OK, Hawaiian shirts on and margaritas raised...

Performances by Wharton are rollicking good picnics and happy time parties. He shares them with homeless shelters and disaster victims through shows and free gumbo provided by his non-profit Planet Gumbo.

Radio ordinarily would deny us the chance to properly experience a “Sauce Boss” show, but this week when I play him on The Nine O’clock Blues, why not set the atmosphere by cooking up your favorite gumbo recipe?

Marc Applegate talks to Carolyn Wonderland, meet her in her own words this week on The Nine O’clock Blues

Also on this week’s show we’ll hear Carolyn Wonderland from Austin, Texas, who will be one of the headliners for this year’s Greeley Blues Jam on June 8th.

Wonderland is a multi-faceted artist whose talents include playing guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, trumpet and piano, plus she’s a powerful singer. Her style is mostly Blues, but she likes to include overtones of Country, Swing, Zydeco, Surf, Gospel, Soul, and Cumbia. Cumbia is a mixture of Columbian Native, African slave and Spanish colonial influences that has caught on throughout Latin America.

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