Florida Music Hall of Fame Inductee March 2017
Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton
Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton brings his high energy, gumbo stirring, swamp funk to the gig. For those who don’t know about the Sauce Boss, he brings his own hot sauce to the gig, and he cooks gumbo while smoking his slide guitar. At the end of the Show, everyone gets a bowl. Now he’s added some new flavors to the “stew”. Sauce Boss not only plays slide, sings his tamales off, makes gumbo, and feeds everybody… he will also be playing a drum kit with his feet. “You take that 53 Telecaster, pump it through that 48 Fender amp, add a bass rig, mix in some drums, all simmered down over some funky swamp blues, and smothered with gumbo, and you got a recipe for the largest one-man band on the planet.”
Press Release from the Florida Music Awards Hall of Fame:
Chronicled in Jimmy Buffett’s 1999 hit “I Will Play for Gumbo” Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton brings his Florida swamp—funk slide guitar blues, spicy gumbo, and his own hot sauce to every multi-sensory performance. His shows include a culinary demonstration with audience stirring and sampling of delightful offerings. He is without question a powerhouse of electrifying energy that has been pleasing audiences with his show for over half a century.
On a 1989 New Year’s Eve gig, Sauce Boss splashed a bottle of his Liquid Summer of Hot Sauce into a huge pot of simmering gumbo, feeding the entire audience—the rest is history! Hundreds of thousands of bowls later, he’s still feeding the masses for free.
The Story Goes: One unsuspecting morning in the early ‘70s, The Sauce Boss walked out of his house (perhaps a little sauced) and found a 1933 vintage National Steel guitar in his front yard that lead him down the Blues path. Deep in the shed, he penned “Let the Big Dog Eat”. An anthem that was atop the Roots Blues Charts for 12 weeks in 2016 with an Albert Castiglia rendition. The composition is also in Jonathan Demme’s movie “Something Wild”, and on Jimmy Buffett’s “Late Night Menu at the Margaritaville Cafe” album.
Always tasteful, exciting and compassionate with lots of surefire recipes for a good time—the Sauce Boss is reaching out to all generations these days at his live performances where the potpourri flows over the top and the joy he brings through his colorful flavors of entertainment never cease to amaze.