Sauce Boss Blog
Thanks to all the venues and folks who came out on this rippin run. From beginning to end, the trip was charmed. And what an ending it was.Two shows at the Ottawa Blues Festival, I'm still vibrating. I sooo love where I'm at these days. We did have some fun. Saw my peeps. I missed y'all. I love to travel, and… it's great to be home.
Friday, August 25 at the American Legion Hall in Tallahassee. I'm bringin Extra Sauce with me (Neal Goree and Brett Crook) so between the Sauce and the gumbo and my little trio, We'll light it up.
September is a month totally devoted to puttin it down. I'm doin a deep dive into the "stuff".
Nalan Cuisine 829 State St. Lemoyne, PA 717-737-7436
On our way back home we found this place. This is, hands down, the tastiest Indian food I've ever had. They play videos of badass indigenous funky jazz. If you're near Harrisburg, this menu is required reading.
The food in Ottawa is fantastic. Being the capital of Canada, the fare from around the world is plentiful. The best meal we had though, was the one we fixed in our hotel room after shopping for seafood and cheese in the ByWard Market. Here it is, lit by the setting sun.
The Director of the Ottawa Bluesfest, Mark Monahan.
The presentation of a letter of gratitude from the mayor of Ottawa. When I began playing at homeless shelters, I was thinking of returning some of the love that I get from the places where I play. A random act of kindness thing. 20 years later I'm still at it. I did have to take a break last year because of a shoulder injury I suffered loading the van. When I was feeding the survivors of Hurricane Ian in Ft Myers. I ripped my rotator cuff, and for a while It was all I could do to make it to my gigs. Well, I'm back at it. This little run proved that I'm ready for you. And I hope you're ready for me.
I love Ottawa. The city, the festival, the food, the love from the people who have come to my shows for decades. So while I was there, I figured I better return the favor. I played and cooked at The Mission, one of the coolest homeless shelters where I have cooked. It was the first shelter to have a hospice center. They are truly there to help, not to just process human beings. So the next day, we did the festival and we took up a little collection in the Planet Gumbo pot, and on our way out of town, we stopped by the Mission with a bag of loonies ($548.70). I realize that what I do is literally a drop in the bucket, but for sure, I know what drop goes into what bucket. If you haven't checked out planetgumbo.org ICYMI…
Yup. This old man is havin some fun. The Sirius Stage was Serious
For those outside the tent. Luv me some SVT!
The Theater gig. At the end of the show, those people just stood there, clappin their hands. THANK YOU, OTTAWA! Photo by Barry McIntyre
Walking around after the show, we encountered this churchyard critter in his habitat. Right in the middle of downtown Ottawa. Another reason to love this town. There, OK. I've done it. I posted a picture of a bunny rabbit on my blog. I feel better now. What's up Doc?!? EH!
Back for the 7th time!
The photo is from 2001 where they put us on a special stage in the round, right in the middle of the main stage crowd. I’m stoked to see my friends in Canada this summer. It’s a biggie. The Ottawa Blues Fest welcomes 250,000 music fans over a period of ten days in July and I have two shows there on July 14. I will also make a stop at the local homeless shelter on the 13th. This and more in June and July. Here’s the Schedule. For details and ticket links sauceboss.com/tour
6/16/2023 Leesburg, VA – Macdowell’s Beach
6/18/2023 Franklin PA – Franklin Blues and BBQ Festival
6/21/2023 Sharon PA – The Keg
6/23/2023 Pittsburgh PA – Steamworks Creative
6/25/2023 Lorain OH – Beaver House
6/28/2023 Buffalo NY – Sportsmens Tavern
6/30/2023 Syracuse NY – 443 Social Club and Listening Room
7/8/2023 Durham NH – Private Event
7/9/2023 Tamworth NH – The Barn at Farmstand
7/13/2023 Ottawa Ontario – Ottawa Mission (private show for clients)
7/14/2023 Ottawa Ontario – Ottawa Blues Festival
7/27/2023 St Augustine, FL – Plaza de la Constitucion
Live at the BBC!
Check out our latest on Youtube.
February 11th was our last gig at the Bradfordville Blues Club a few weeks before the iconic club closed its doors. I brought Extra Sauce, (Brett Crook and Neal Goree) and we got pretty wild, evidenced by this video shot by Ian Weir, and edited by Mary Wharton. The audio was recorded by Walter Potter and mixed by Doug Oade.
That’s why… “I Can’t Sit Down.”
Sockeye Papillote with Herbes de Provence
Sounds highfalutin, uptown, top shelf, out of reach, $$$$, and downright French! Au contraire, mon ami. Yes it’s French; no, it’s not unattainable. This 30 minute, easy and fun recipe is hearty and healthy…and different than the normal pescatarian bill of fare. Instead of fat from frying, or piquant from hot peppers it offers flavors from fresh herbs seeping into the fish.
Filet of fish
Carrot cut into ribbons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use the dried Herbes de Provence mix .
I used asparagus, purple carrot ribbons, zucchini, green onions, and yellow tomatoes in layers on a sheet of parchment.
Place the fish on top, spray with olive oil, and shake some salt and pepper.
Add sprigs of the fresh herbs, pressing them into the fish.
Place lemon slices on top.
Seal the parchment paper, crimping the paper all around the salmon.
Cook for 15 minutes, or when the thermometer says it’s done.
I served it with brown rice.
Making plans for our summer tour in June and July: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire and Ottawa! And in May a Barbecue Festival (Charlotte) and Shrimp Festival (St George Island). Plus a gig at our old friends Dave and Elizabeth Claytor’s Inn on Moon River in SC. And I’m chippin away at my own recording project. Having this studio has changed everything musical for me. Here’s my schedule.
I admit it. I’m proud to be a tree hugger. I used to think of trees as my friends. Now I think of em as my family. I’m in St. Augustine this weekend celebrating Earth Day. Being a second generation Floridian has made me appreciate the rivers that bring lush life to this place where we live. I’ve lived close to water, my whole life. When I was young I never dreamed this resource would be threatened, Join me and a bunch of my tree huggin friends for some fine music on Vilano Beach on Sunday April 23
This blurry photo taken by Matt Wilson sums it up. You know how history is written. It can get blurry sometimes. But in 1987, I decided to put my sauce in bottles and sell it, because all my friends would come over to my house and eat it all up. I’d make a couple of gallons of the stuff and it would be gone in a few weeks. They would have to take a taste home with em. So the bottle on the left was made with peppers grown in my garden. I had about an eighth of an acre devoted to Datil peppers. After the harvest, we’d buy the rest of the ingredients to make a batch and put em in a pressure cooker, a couple dozen bottles at a time. Then we’d cut out the labels that we printed and we’d glue em on by hand. Several years later, we got help from Stagecoach Sauces, a company that would make a 60 gallon batch for us. After 30 years, Stagecoach Sauces still produces the sauce for us. Liquid Summer Hot Sauce is still made with all natural ingredients without preservatives in 60 gallon batches. We had quite an adventure getting a hot sauce business together, preparing the soil; I bought a tractor trailer load of spent mushroom compost and dumped in the yard. It was a sight to behold, steaming in the early morning. I was so proud. Then growing and picking the peppers, chopping the ingredients, and pouring the sauce into bottles with a funnel. Now a days, I pick up the phone, and say, “Make sauce. Thanks, Bye”
Cahill’s Market and Chicken Kitchen 1055 May River Road, Bluffton, SC 843-757-2921 cahillsmarket.com
Sometimes, all I want is some vegetables. Cahill’s specializes in fried chicken, but the rest of the fare is tasty, totally southern cookin. Chuck burgers, pork chops, meatloaf, shrimp, and catfish rounds out the menu. The market has fresh veggies, eggs, and canned goods from the farm, and they also sell plants from the greenhouse. I bought a nice marjoram plant for my herb garden. All of it looks great, but sometimes, all I want is vegetables.
Gettin to be camping season.
Can’t wait to be gourmeting in the rough again. Here’s my rig, Gumbo cooker and a small paella pan makes a very fast and efficient kitchen.
Perfect for searing fresh from the Bay of Fundy Scallops on top of a caesar salad with local smoked salmon and some of those cold water oysters.
Bon Appetit, Y’all!
This photo was taken at “Canada’s Foremost Music Festival,” the Ottawa Blues Festival. A few minutes after it was taken, the sky opened up and drenched us all, but it was all good. We had a blast, and my buddy Steam captured me in my habitat. I will be returning to the Ottawa Blues Festival on July 14th for two shows. It’s my seventh time of playing this festival, and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and “cooking” in many ways. So to all my Canuck friends, See ya there, Eh! One Day Presale tickets are available on Thursday February 23. For those who can’t make the date, we will be way down south of there in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire on this run. Say tuned as more dates are being added.
Booking at sauceboss.com/contact.
Some cool gigs coming up. We are booking our summer right now. I’m sooo looking forward to visiting my old Northeast haunts. Also I just booked one of the largest blues festivals in North America! Details soon come.
For booking: sauceboss.com
February 11th, this Saturday night, we will play the BBC for the last time. Another one of the great blues jukes is ending a chapter. (Possibly the whole book) At the beginning of April, The Bradfordville Blues club will close its doors. It’s with a heavy heart that I write these words. The BBC has been a huge wellspring of blues music for Florida; a place where some of the best in the business have hung their hats for an evening, delivering an experience of the most authentic down home blues that you will find anywhere. Evidenced by the portraits of blues players on the tabletops, its a virtual who’s who of the blues. The list is too long to even begin saying who has played the BBC. But it’s safe to say the best bluesicians had the best time ever, and that is when the magic happens. For 21 years Gary and Kim Anton have brought us that magic and good times, but now it’s time for them to kick back have more time for themselves. So here’s a tearful “Thank You!” to you both, and to all who helped make it happen. Come help us celebrate the Bradfordville Blues Club this Saturday. Act now for tickets. This one will sell out.
key west! Here I come.
I’m stoked to get back to the southernmost party in the USA. Hemingway’s Rum Company is hosting a Sauce Boss show on Sunday, February 26. Just two blocks from Sloppy Joe’s, it’s gonna be a rum fueled throwdown.
Swampside Studio News
Cookin in the Studio
While working on some of my new stuff, I have also wrapped the recording, mixing, and mastering of an album for Dick Kraft. I met Dick in the late 60s when he was a teacher in the Florida State University Art Department. At that time he was also heavily involved in the folk scene, accompanying a fledgling Rita Coolidge. Relocated to St. Augustine, Dick got into blowing artisan glass at his St George Street studio and playing at The Tradewinds, the Milltop, and other folk music venues. He became my neighbor when he moved back to Tallahassee, and now continues his music and painting. Like his painting, this album has an abstract, crystal clear, but gentle darkness that resonates in the twenty first century. An unpidgenholeable, indescribable, genre bending listen. Close as I can come to describe it is, “Jazzacana.”
I am enjoying my first harvest of plantains now having gotten a cold hearty dwarf plantain pup last year. That’s a twelve foot dwarf, and it is tasty.
Plantains with Collards, Black Beans and Rice, slathered with Liquid Summer Hot Sauce
ORDER LIQUID SUMMER HERE
Benton’s Sugar Shack
2010 Route 175, Thornton, NH 03285 603-726-3867
While we are talkin about food, here’s the latest installment of “Foraging on the Highway”. The Bentons can tell it like it is, so here’s their story.
“The Benton Family has been making maple syrup for six generations. You might say it’s in our blood! When the sugar house was moved here from Millbrook Road, it began as a place to sell our syrup. With more traffic and visitors on the main road, we decided to turn the family farm into a ski touring center, and added a place where folks could sit and eat a small meal before skiing. We served hotdogs, hamburgers, chili, homemade soups, Ma’s famous baked beans, and the basic Pancake Platter.To keep up with the growing demand of loyal customers who were coming less to ski and more to eat, we added our dining room addition in 1999, and the rest is history!”
The Sugar Shack is known for the heartiest of breakfasts, and for their own hand made maple syrup. This family is a testament of hard working American ingenuity at it’s best. Thursday through Sunday, this family slings a slew of bacon and eggs, pancakes slathered with syrup and biscuits smothered in gravy, with a line out the door and round the corner. Once a year they shut the place down for a weekend and put on a HUGE wingding called the White Mountain Boogie and Blues Festival. I have played this festival twice and I can honestly say, “It’s one of the best times you’ll ever have with your pants on.”
Life Goes On
The curb at the Sheetz convenience store in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Here’s a French Fry.
PS. I made you look
I feel Like I’m in a wakin, bakin, ain’t no fakin, makin some shakin, and stakin all my takins till my brains are breakin kind of mood. I’ve been busy writing and arranging tunes and we have begun putting together a new album. I can’t wait to share this new music with all y’all. I will be joined on this record by the Tallahassee funk cartel, Extra Sauce, so get ready for this melange of funky, funky, blues.
Three of us are alumni of the seminal Florida blues label, Kingsnake Records. Philip Gonzalez (bass) and Brett Crook (drums) were the rhythm section of Big Shirley, one of Kingsnakes’ most successful bands, touring nonstop for years. I recorded five albums with Kingsnake Records, The fourth member of the group is Neal Goree. Neal was Tallahassee’s young prodigy guitar player, who first heard Bill Wharton when he was still in the womb. He has matured into the monster that he is today. So you take my music, backed with a “seasoned” rhythm section, topped off with a stellar guitar phenom, and you have The Sauce Boss With Extra Sauce.
So here they are. People have been hounding me for a while for Sauce Boss shirts, and we finally got around to gettin em printed. NOTE. The new shirts will have this art, but the shirts will be dark chocolate brown in color. The same color as the roux that I use to make the gumbo. Preorder one today, and you’ll have it around the end of November.
Splooge yer Turkey for something quirky. Make yer stockins rockin.
There’s a chill in the air. That always makes me hongry. Inject that butterball with the power and the glory of Liquid Summer Hot Sauce – The hot sauce for the new millennium. The road to culinary nirvana.
Bill Wharton, AKA Sauce Boss, has brought his swamp-funk, slide guitar, and a pot of gumbo all across the US and to Canada, Europe, and Asia. He slathers his show with his hot sauce, and splooges a big old mess of it into the gumbo. He invites the audience to participate in stirring the pot, and at the end of the show, everyone eats. He has served hundreds of thousands of bowls for free at his legendary live shows. Bill Wharton mixes media like cornbread in his performance. Hot sauce, blues, chicken, funk, onions and okra, peppers and gospel, soul and seafood and slide guitar, all go into the gumbo pot that we call community. All of this is the reason they call him The Sauce Boss. Bon Appetit!
Jimmy Buffett sings about him in “I Will Play for Gumbo”. Wharton’s anthem, “Let the Big Dog Eat” was included on Buffett’s “Late Night Menu at the Margaritaville Cafe” album. Albert Castiglia released his cover of the tune, and it hit #1 on blues charts. Let the Big Dog Eat has also appeared in the movies “Something Wild”(Jonathon Demme), and the Rock Doc, “Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President.” This tune and sixteen other works in the documentary earned Wharton “‘Best Original Score” from the Los Angeles Film Awards.
Tune in to Radio Live, Thursday October 6 at 6:00 pm (Central time). It’s an acoustic show, and I’m looking forward to playing my Fine Resophonic Steel Guitar and my 000 Cutaway on one of my favorite gigs. Kipyn Martin, and The Rough & Tumble will also be on the bill.
Next week I’m taking it all down to Ft. Myers. Everything. Here’s Planet Gumbo Volunteers, BW, Su Ecenia, Ruth Wharton, Sally Morton, Tanya Hollady, and Jeanie Barrett in Mexico Beach after Hurricane Michael. After Katrina Planet Gumbo was in New Orleans and in Buras, Louisiana , where I saw a refrigerator in the top of a tree, twenty feet off the ground. On October 11, I’ll be cookin for the aftermath once more. The gratitude that I have, to be able to do this work is boundless. Your donations to Planet Gumbo make it possible. Thanks to all.
What a blast traveling the last few months up north, but it’s nice to be back in Florida once more. It’ll give me a chance to do some recording, get my fall garden started, and hang with my Fla. peeps. Here’s the low down on where I will be.
SNOG People! You know who you are. I will be bringin it to St Augustine on Sept. 1 at the Plaza de la Constitucion. 7 pm downbeat.
Liquid Summer is here! You KNOW you want some!
1 cup tomato juice
1 Tbsp Liquid Summer Hot Sauce
1 tsp horseradish
Dash of celery salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
Couple shots of vodka
Mix ingredients together and pour into a glass of ice.
This summer I’ll be up north. Why don’t y’all come with me? Follow my Quixotic journey to feed the masses (body and soul) with uplifting blues, great gumbo, and the “Best hot sauce on the planet!”
Starting July 4th, I will be posting daily on TikTok. saucebossx is my TikTok handle. In keeping with the whole TikTok melee, I will be posting music, food, wildness, wardrobe malfunctions, alternative realities, and oddities that I find along the way. Follow me! Reserve a front row seat at the debacle known as the Sauce Boss Traveling Gumbo Show.
Charleston, Pittsburgh, Sharon PA, Buffalo, Johnson City NY, Marion OH, Detroit, Lexington, Wilmington NC, Stafford VA, Fredricksburg VA, Kennebunk ME. Sometime in August, I will make a surprise appearance at a very special event in New England. I’m looking forward to gettin back to this gig. Beyond the valley of the baddest of the bad. I am soooo happy to be out and about once more. Alert the troops! See ya down the road. Here’s the skinny.
But before I head north…this Friday, June 24th, I’ll be bringing Extra Sauce to the Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, Florida. We will be slathering inside for this one. That’s the only way I can describe this band. Brett Crook and Butch Gonzalez have played together, off and on for decades, and Neal Goree just lays it on top. Slathered! We will be cookin in various ways, mixin media like cornbread. Bring yer funkiest dancin shoes and yer appetite too. TICKETS.
Planet Gumbo is back on the road!
Since discovering Planet Gumbo, I have played well over 100 shows at homeless shelters and soup kitchens all over the USA. (And a few in Canada). It’s my volunteer work that I do, to share my gifts with those without. I do not receive a salary for this, but I consider it some of my most important work. In this photo, we are standing in front of a pile of blankets. That day, in 2003, I served gumbo to 200 people. During the pandemic it was impossible for me to do Planet Gumbo gigs. But now, I am super psyched to play shelters this summer in Charleston, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Lexington KY, NYC, Wilmington NC, and Fredericksburg VA, along with my regular paying gigs on this tour. The 501c3 Non-profit Planet Gumbo is entirely supported by individual donations. If you would like to contribute click here.