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!
Recipe 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.
Yup! The Beatles said it, and I did too. “You CAN be free. You can be like me.” I am sooo fortunate to be able to do what I do. It took a while, but I stuck to my guns. Actually I stuck to my guitars, and now I have artistic carte blanc. That being said, I’m sayin it loud and proud. And the word is LOVE! We are gearing up for studio time and a couple of runs this summer. Here’s the schedule.
Word [of South] Coming Out of My Mouth!
I’m stoked to be part of the Word [of South] Festival in Tallahassee, Florida. The festival brings literature and music together in a mash up of creativity unlike any other. Writers of books and music stewing together in beautiful Cascades Park in a mind expanding Weekend. I will join my daughter, Mary, for a conversation (with music) about our collaboration on her Rock Doc, “Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President”. I supplied the music for the original score. The movie has gotten raves including Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Editing, and…wait for it…Best Original Score from the Los Angeles Film Awards. Please join us for a home girl makes good moment, Saturday, April 9. We’ll be in the AC Hotel ballroom at 2:30 pm.
This Friday! April 1, this fool will be in Paradise Sauce Boss returns to the Paradise Bar and Grill in Pensacola Beach. 5:30 PM 850-916-5087 21 Via De Luna Dr, Gulf Breeze
Out in the woods… See that extension cord plugged into the van? It’s coming from two heavy duty marine batteries connected to a 3000 watt inverter. I can run my whole rig; sound, lights, and everything. Totally on batteries.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Planet Gumbo was there. We came, we set up right by the highway, we cooked, we played, and we fed the survivors on the beach. Now we don’t need to carry bulky generators, so we are able go anywhere, far and wide. Contact: planetgumbo.org
La Hacienda Family Restaurant Bar and Market lahaciendasebring.com 825 North Ridgewood Drive Sebring, Florida 33870 863-382-2555 Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you miss it completely. When we drove up to La Hacienda, I was not sure about the place. It was just before lunchtime and there were just a few cars in the parking lot. Red flags waved in my head. This time I would have missed it completely, except my baby really wanted huevos rancheros for breakfast, so we decided to try it.
Boy was I wrong. The website positions itself with “Traditional Mexican Food”, and they ain’t lyin! But they missed something in their positioning statement. The word “AUTHENTIC!” Walking into La Hacienda is walking into the family house. The front door is a “portal” to another world. A culinary wormhole that allows travelers a voyage to a Mexican universe, far, far away from Sebring, Florida. It’s the real deal.
“We ordered our huevos and I took a look around the market. The shelves were filled with all Mexican brands of exotic food. I picked up some mole sauce and some Guajillo peppers. This little restaurant/bar/market has it all. When I find a place so authentic and delicious, I make a point of congratulating the owner that preserves the culture of the cuisine. I said, “You really provide a service to this community.” And he replied, “Yes, we are more than just a place to eat.” In a place like Sebring where there are many agricultural workers from Mexico, this is an oasis. As the clock struck 12 noon, a gorgeous Latinx couple walked in to order. Then 20 construction workers filed in the door. A few more couples came in and the place was ROCKIN! It was beautiful. Good thing we got there before noon.
After all the quarantine. After all the hermitizing, sittin around, watching movies, reading, organizing your button collection, rethinkin, re-upin, re-doin and realizing; it’s time to MOVE! I am sooo ready to be back at it, I can taste the gumbo. Oh, to smell diesel fuel again. I am so lucky to have been so productive over the last couple years, but I have terribly missed all my friends out there. It’s time to move. So, we are all crawling out from under each of our little rocks to survey the damage and celebrate with the survivors. It’s a new world, with new challenges and new rewards. It’s time to move. So let us all get up offa that thing and GO! Here’s where I’m going.
The Sauce Boss joins Steve Huntington on Sirius XM Radio on Demand Tune in to catch Bill and Steveshoot the breeze and share lots of music that’s related to the exploits of the Guru of Gumbo. “The Steve Huntington Show” is on SiriusXM On Demand. To get it, you have to have a subscription and also download the SiriusXM App on your phone or device. On the App, you just hit search & type in “Steve Huntington” and you’ll see the four current shows come up. My show is available for three more weeks, and you can listen to it anytime, as many times as you like. Steve’s interview runs about an hour and a quarter with music from Bill Wharton, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Jimmy Reed, and Jimmy Buffett.
Word of [South], a festival of literature and music, is a unique blend of writers and musicians and an exploration of the relationship between the two disciplines. This year Jamey Johnson headlines and other musicians include Ricky Lee Jones, Rita Coolidge, and tons of others…me too. There are scads of best selling authors who will be reading and splaining their work. There is also a crossover where some of the musicians will play and talk about their books as well. I will join my daughter, Mary Wharton, and critic Steve Dollar for a “Making of” moment, in an exposé of our collaboration on her film, “Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President.” There will be music, film, stories and lots of family. Annie is even flying in from LA. And…we will be splaining.
Xtra Sauce will be slathered all over the tunes when I open for Dumpstaphunk Feb.26 at 3 PM in the Railroad Square Art District. Free and open to the public. Gonna be a throw-down.
That’s right! Straight out of Florida, Liquid Summer Hot Sauce will CHANGE your life. It changed my life, and it will change your life too. It will open your eyes to a new cuisine, liven up yer oyster, put some zip in yer trip, and you will feel it all over your body. Order it right here, right NOW!!!
Time to move…
Here’s a panorama of the goings on at Swampside Studio. I have begun work on a new album and I can’t believe how good this room sounds. The high ceiling makes plenty of space for those long waves to stretch out. It’s nice to have all the time I need, to get it right. , it’s time to move.
Capellini Salad With Almond Dressing Here’s a twist on a classic Thai dish. I’ve substituted almond butter for the peanut butter in the sauce and capellini for the rice noodles. Quick and easy. Great leftovers.
Half a package of Capellini 6 cups of julienned cabbage, carrots, , daikon radish, and sweet peppers (I used Caribbean golden sweet peppers) 6 green onions chopped 10 green beans chopped 2 baby bok choi sliced thin 1 bunch of cilantro 2 Tablespoons Liquid Summer Hot Sauce (more please) 1 cup roasted peanuts
For the sauce… 5 thin slices of ginger cut cross grain 4 large cloves of garlic 3/4 cup of almond butter with a little of the oil 3/4 cup orange juice 3 Tablespoons lime juice 1/2 teaspoon salt (I left out the salt)
Cook the capellini. Drain the hot water and cool it off with cold water Blend all the almond sauce ingredients Toss the veggies Add the cold noodles and toss once more Pour the almond sauce over the top and toss one more time Garnish with orange wedges
Here’s a final word of thanks to all y’all who have given me the time of day, applauded my mischief, laughed at my jokes, goaded me on, and given me hope on my Quixotic journey, a mission to communicate love through music and community. You have given this fool a reason to live. Keep Cookin, BW
See y’all at the Meeting of the Minds 2021! I’m playing at the Casa Marina on Thursday, November 4, at 3 pm. This one will be rockin! I’m looking forward to hangin in key west, bumpin into old friends, and doing some free diving, and fishing, and soakin up sun before the winter comes.
Here’s my schedule Nov. 4 Key West – MOTM Casa Marina 3 pm Nov 14 Brooksville, FL – Olive Grove Nov 20 Noontime Palm Coast FL – Florida Agricultural Museum Fall Festival Fiery Chili Challenge Nov 20 7 PM Tallahassee, FL Cascades Park Ampitheatre with extra special active Ingredients, playing before showing of “Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President” movie Dec 6 Daytona Beach FL – Kids Rock the Nation benefit at The Bank and Blues, with Kenny Neal
Super stoked to begin puttin some stuff down. This 16 foot peak gives me plenty of space to stretch out. Swampside Studio is officially up and running. Stay tuned…
Mary Wharton’s rockdoc premiered at #7 nationwide! ICYMI, it will begin streaming on her birthday, November 11, 2021. I actually contributed some drum tracks for the Petty film, so “actually”…I’m proud to be a monstrously tiny part of this film. Here’s a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1sU9Evua9I
Time to stock up for the holidaze. Liquid summer will turn any meal around. The hot sauce for the new millennium, the road to culinary Nirvana, Liquid Summer will CHANGE you life. It changed mine and it will change yours. Get yours right here!
2 Tbsp miso 1/4 cup orange juice 1 Tbsp Liquid Summer Hot Sauce Dash of sweetener (you can use honey or ripe persimmons or a fruit preserve to taste) Mix all ingredients and spoon it over avocado slices
I’m coming to Southwest Florida next week. Although I’ve been laying low, ’cause of Covid, I’m now venturing out for a few dates. I’ve been playin the “Delta Blues” and avoiding it like the plague that it is, but with the cases and deaths receding, and since I’ve been vaccinated and boosted, I feel pretty good about getting back into it. Friday Oct. 15th, I will be at the Blue Rooster in Sarasota, and Saturday Oct. 16th, I’ll be at the Camping With the Blues Festival in Brooksville. I’ve had some time to tweak my stuff, so come get your fill of my new sonic recipes and culinary blues.
Tom Petty’s rockdoc, “Somewhere You Feel Free”will be premiering at movie theatres worldwide for a special one day screening on his birthday, October 20. I actually helped out on the film with some drum tracks, and my daughter, Mary directed the film. (Spoiler…that’s how I got the gig). It headlined at SXSW and received the Audience Award for the screening. Having seen the film myself, I believe she has a good chance for her second Grammy. They used a treasure trove of 16 mm black and white footage, and in addition to being gorgeous, it’s the most candid and poignant rock and roll portrait I’ve ever seen. If you’re a Tom Petty fan, bring yer hanky, you will need it.
Tallahassee folks, mark your calendar. November 20th I will bring some friends and family to a concert and screening of “Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President”, at the Cascades Park. In addition to all y’all, my friends include Neal Goree on guitar, Butch Gonzalez on bass, and Brett Crooks on drums. The movie was awarded four “Best Of”s from the Los Angeles Film Awards; Best Documentary Feature: Mary Wharton. Best Film: Mary Wharton. Best Editing: Mari Keiko Gonzalez. And Best Original Score: Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton! This will be a great reunion. It’s free of charge. Please join us.
WOW! What a complement. “Rabid and walloping”. Thanks Living Blues Magazine!!!!
Bill Wharton, famously known as the Sauce Boss, is more than simply an astute advocate of the blues. He’s also a unique entertainer who not only serves his audiences up a unique musical blend, but also feeds them something more, namely the New Orleans-style gumbo that he stirs onstage while playing his gigs. It’s a novel idea, and fortunately it doesn’t detract from his main preoccupation, which is all about sharing some gut-wrenching blues, as driven by sizzling slide guitar and his astute, emotive vocals. It’s a signature sound that’s served him well throughout a career lasting more than 30 years while resulting in a loyal legion of fans in the process. That said, those who are unaware of the Sauce Boss’ charms would be well advised to pick up Peanuts, a retrospective of sorts that begins with one of his earliest signature songs, the rabid and walloping Let the Big Dog Eat, and progresses through several earlier offerings. Notably too, it also includes Wharton’s recent contributions to the documentary Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President, an award-winning film that garnered Best Original Score honors for Wharton himself at the Los Angeles Film Awards. Given that Carter himself was famously fond of music and the artists responsible for making it, Sauce Boss’ down-home delivery found a fine fit with the former president. However, unlike the Allman Brothers, Willie Nelson, and the other artists who found his favor, Sauce Boss’ trademark style relies solely on vocals, gut bucket guitar, slide, dulcimer, and rubboard, without sacrificing any energy or exhilaration in the process. Evidence of that can be found everywhere here, from the surging solo strum of Zipper Bird and the frenzied wail of Outlaw Blues, to the tangled acoustic ramble that defines Shiners Blues, to the slow sprawl of Smile in Basket and the emotive ballad, Song of the Irish Band. All but four tracks are performed by Wharton alone, further indicating his ability to captivate a crowd all on his own. So too, when he draws on the slow blues of an ominous offering like Chicago Combat Zone, those darker designs impart a decidedly dire impression. While other artists may draw from a similar template, few leave as much of a lingering impression as the Sauce Boss. Wharton is, after all, a determined showman, and it’s a mark of his skill and ability that he excels on those realms so assuredly. This particular serving of Peanuts definitely packs a punch.
–Lee Zimmerman (Living Blues Magazine #273 July/August 2021 p 54-55)
Time to hit it one more time! After a half dozen dates to dust off the tunes, and get the body limbered up, I’m ready to go. SUPER excited to get back to it, and this working vacation that I call Life is fixin to hit a new high. Starting with a stop this week in Ormond Beach, then trek north to Maryland, NYC, New England, Buffalo, Sharon and Pittsburgh. Please spread the word to all your peeps in these places. Here’s more info.
I am soooo looking forward to bringing my new music to all y’all up north, but it’s a gonna be a bitter sweet journey for me. When we first started booking this trip, we had planned to make stops in Virginia, Houston, Austin, Sante Fe, Las Vegas, LA, Salt Lake City, Colorado, Arkansas, and Pensacola. Many of these stops were to be at homeless shelters. Then covid gave new meaning to playin the Delta Blues. The mutated variant strain has put a hurtin on our gigs in the hot spots across the South, in California, and the Midwest. I am sorry for the cancellations, but I do not want to take my germs into a shelter, and I do not want to pick anything up either. For that reason we have had to cancel our westward leg of this little run. However, these gigs can be rescheduled, and they will be, as soon as we can find it safe to do so. Watch this space, and keep your face in the place, I’ll be there as soon as I can. Thank you all!
Great hang at the beach with Mary. Here we are celebrating our recent collaborations. First, the award winning, “Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President”. The Los Angeles Film Awards gave the movie Best Film, Best Editing, Best Documentary, and Best Original Score (by yers truly). Working on this project was the honor of a lifetime, thanks to Mary, her Squad of badass documentarians, and President Jimmy Carter. Then on “Somewhere You Feel Free”, the Tom Petty Documentary that Mary directed, I supplied some drum tracks recorded at my new Swampside Studio. After headlining SXSW and receiving their “Audience Award,” this film is destined for greatness. I can not wait for y’all to see it. That old 16 millimeter footage is gorgeous, and the story is the most personal, candid presentation I’ve ever seen.
Monkfish a la Sauceboss Y’all
Poor man’s lobster! Half the price of tuna, and so succulent. Influences from all over the world are in this recipe. I started with a Malaysian curry kind of thing, and added okra (Africa/southern USA), and peppers, (Jalapeno and Guajillo from Mexico), and Chinese string eggplant.
Saute: 1 lg onion 1 inch fresh grated ginger (or more) 6 cloves garlic mashed and minced 1 jalapeno chopped 1 Guajillo chopped
Add: 1 can coconut milk 3 Tbs curry powder Bring to a boil
Add: Eggplant and okra until they are cooked
Add: fish for a few minutes
Voila! One pot, easy peazy!
Well…crawling out from under this rock that harbored me for over a year is an exhilarating feeling. I had a chance to recharge and write, and build, and garden, and chill like never before. I am so lucky to be where I am. Still alive. Still kickin it. Still loving what I do. I actually kept busy, but at my own pace, and like so many others I got a glimpse of what it could be. Having hard work and also the time to kick back and see the fruits of my labor has been so fulfilling. I have to give some thanks to all who helped me during this time without gigs. To the folks who watched the live streams. THANK YOU!!! To those who contributed to the virtual tip jar, THANK YOU!!! To those who bought my hot sauce, records, CDs, and books, THANK YOU!!! To the folks who, out of the blue, just sent me money, THANK YOU!!! To my partner and gumbo wrangler, Ruth Wharton, THANK YOU!!! To all y’all on social media who gave me encouragement when things looked dark, THANK YOU!!! And a special shout out to Joe Bonamassa and Keeping the Blues Alive for the check, THANK YOU!!!
I am stoked about seeing all y’all down that long and winding road.
This coming Saturday, May 8th, I will be playing/cookin for a Free Cajun Fest at the James Weldon Johnson Park in Downtown Jacksonville. Other music includes Let’s Ride Brass Band and Flow Tribe. It’s time to make the GUMBO!!!! Downbeat is at 4:30. 135 W. Monroe St. Jacksonville. VIP pods also available with drink tickets.
Saturday May 22: The Sauce Boss, along with Special Guests: The Frank Jones Band, and a Mega Gumbo Jam will be donating their performances to support their favorite local juke Joint, the Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, which has been closed for a year due to the pandemic. This show will be on the new outdoor stage under the oaks, so plenty of room for everybody! Bring some chairs or a blanket to sit on. Beer, wine and sodas available at the bar, and Ms. Ernestine’s fried fish next to the bonfire. Gate opens at 6:00 pm Showtime is 7 pm. Advance Tickets at www.bradfordvilleblues.com/events-tickets/
Press Release: “Peanuts” is the latest album from the Sauce Boss. It’s a diverse retrospective, with some new tunes added, that made up the original score for the Jimmy Carter film. From his 1989 Kingsnake release featuring Pat Ramsey and Lucky Peterson, through three decades of shouting his blues, to the new release of “Shiner’s Blues”, Bill Wharton has painted a sonic backdrop for the story of a president who to this day is an ardent fan of music. It was arguably musicians who got him elected, playing benefits on the weekends so he could buy ads on Monday morning, and introducing fans to their good friend, a peanut farmer from Georgia. As Chuck Leavell said, “He’s one of us.” While in office Carter used music as soft diplomacy to make this world a better place.
The movie has garnered many accolades. President Jimmy Carter said, “The film exceeded my expectations in every way.” CNN Films premiered “Rock and Roll President” on January 3. The Los Angeles Film Awards gave “Best Picture”, and ‘Best Feature Documentary” to Director, Mary Wharton, Best Editing to Mari Keiko Gonzalez, along with “Best Original Score” going to Bill Wharton, the Sauce Boss himself! The album will be released on February 5, 2021. You can preorder it now. Right here.
Apple Raisin Pineapple Walnut Fig Bread So many have asked me for this recipe, I guess I’ll have to give away some of my secrets. Here it is: First let me give you my general quick bread recipe which you can tailor to your occasion as you wish. 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 or more Tbsp flax meal All sifted together To these dry ingredients you may add spices depending on where you want to end up. If you want a savory cornbread, substitute cornmeal for half of the flour and put hot pepper flakes or chopped jalapenos or hatch chiles along with summer savory. With wet ingredients (1 cup of milk), honey, 1 can of corn with the water, and onions. If you want a sweet bread add to the dry ingredients, allspice, or cinnamon. When I make my coffee cake I put a bunch of walnuts and allspice in the batter and the dust the top with cinnamon. I went a little fruit crazy on this recipe. I just like to see what’s up in my fridge. So to the dry ingredients I added 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Then to the cup of milk I added 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup honey, 4 apples peeled and chopped, a handful of raisins, 4 rings of pineapple chopped with some of the juice. 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts chopped, a cup of figs that we dried from last summer’s harvest chopped. I don’t really measure when I make bread. I guesstimate and when I mix the wet and dry if it’s to wet I add flour. If it’s too dry I add a little milk. Put it in an oiled pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes …or so. This recipe works for banana bread or sweet potato bread. Just pick yer fruit and throw it in there.
Merry, happy, and all that jazz. Round the corner, there’s a great time to be had. Don’t blow it by being bad. Be safe. Be healthy. Be considerate of others. Love and hugs to all y’all. Keep cool and pass the turkey, ham or thank you ma’am.
January 3 at 9 pm… my daughter’s rockumentary about Jimmy Carter and a who’s who of musical artists who supported him will air on CNN. If you missed it on pay for view, catch it for free on CNN.
Peanuts… Is my new CD (and Download) featuring my original music from the documentary, Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President. It’s a very diverse retrospective with a few new tunes thrown in. All of the songs on the CD were in the score of the movie. Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer before he was president. Though I could never compare myself to a man of his stature, I really relate to him, being from humble beginnings myself. I still have a modest existence and like a little peanut stand beside the road, I have hawked my hot sauce and put out some pretty cool tunes. Cool enough to get “Best Original Score” from the Los Angeles Film Awards. Peanuts is available for preorder and will include a download when it’s available. Come and get your hot boiled peanuts right here!!!
Check out that buttress in the back. That’s a partially open air, 8′ X 16′ workspace. Insulation goes into the big room this week and the drywall soon after. I have a lot of odds and ends left to do, but I will be able to move in very soon. I’m pinching myself. Can this be real? Call me crazy to do a project like this right in the middle of a pandemic, but I just can’t sit on my hands. I have to keep doing what I can do to help. With music, with gumbo, and with good vibes. You can help also with a purchase of my new album and my hot sauce. I’m not by any means perfect, but I am a good cause. Thank you all and as my Mama used to say, “Bless your heart.”
And for the vinyl lover…
Four LPs: two from the pre CD era of the 1980’s: “Let the Big Dog Eat” (1984) recorded live at Kent’s Lounge, “Recipes” (1989)-my first Kingsnake Records LP, “100% Pure”(2015) and “Blind Boy Billy” a 10″ EP (2019) on Burning Disk Records. Buy them all and get the complete collection (4) for $60, or $20 each. Postage is included to US addresses.