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Sauce Boss / Press

“Sauce Boss! This was a show within a show. Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton was a tremendous hit with his slide guitar and a giant pot of gumbo. Yes, he made gumbo on stage and even had fans come up and help give it a stir. It was a delightful experience that fed the masses." (Review of Sauce Boss at Suwanee Roots Festival 2016)”

“I really like Wharton’s one-man-band approach on 100% Pure. This disc just grooves from beginning to end, and is a lot of fun to listen to. The Sauce Boss knows how to throw a party and the only thing missing is the gumbo after Track 12 comes to a close (not to worry….you can make your own version of the Sauce Boss’s gumbo, thanks to the recipe on his website). Enjoy!”

“Good, it seems, at most everything he sets his mind to, the "Sauce Boss" is a superb musician on multiple instruments, an incredible wordsmith and has made his own blend of hot sauce besides. Musician, chef, teller of tales and the producer of some exceptional hot sauce, the Sauce Boss is an unusual individual to say the very least. We have all heard tell of those who are the jack of all trades and master at none. In this case, he man appears to excel at everything he does.”

“Tallahassee singer/songwriter and slide guitarist Bill Wharton is known as the “Sauce Boss.” Mainly because he brings his own Liquid Summer datil pepper hot sauce to his one-man band gigs, and cooks a big pot of gumbo for the crowd while he performs. Better yet, after the last encore, everyone gets to enjoy a bowl on the house.”

“For 100% Pure, Wharton did all of the heavy lifting, performing all of the instrumental parts as well as handling the vocals, songwriting and production chores. The twelve tracks are a fun blend of roots and swampy Florida blues-rock, and he kicks off the set with “Zipper Bird” and right off we learn that the Sauce Boss has the tastiest guitar tone in town. He combines this fuzzy six-string with an array of percussion instruments to obtain a surprisingly full tone, and you will hear that his one-man band concept is not a gimmick – he is the real deal.”

“As you listen to this album, you realize that it's just one really cool blues song after another. If this guy makes gumbo as well as he plays slide guitar, then one of his shows must be as good as you'll ever see. After all, blues and gumbo is a tough combination to beat. If you like lowdown-boogie blues, you are going to love Sauce Boss.”

“Bill Wharton is a groove monster . . . the Orlando-born slide guitar wizard has likely put a stomp in your shoe and a twist in your hips. And just because he's touring solo, don't expect any let up.”

“‘The Sauce Boss’ plays the blues but brings the love to Second Harvest benefit. ...Wharton has been entertaining audiences since the early 1970s, when he discovered a vintage 1933 National Steel guitar leaning up against his daughter’s bicycle outside of his house.”

“(Review of "Live at the Green Parrot") This cd is a 4 wheel drive party. Killer Tone opens the recording with a song that sounds like a cross between the Beatles and ZZ Top (heavy on ZZ). It's a gritty, grindy sliding good time. Smugglers Cove, loosely based on Rollin' and Tumblin', is another great track and Sauce Boss keeps his resonator and slide hot. Gumbo Recipe is a narrative song that has a jazzy base and Elvin Bishop style delivery. It's a blast. This album just reeks of party!”

“Try this trick: Stir, play guitar, taste, adjust heat, guitar again, stir again, sing. Wharton's got gumbo down to a science. Or is it a religion? Wharton doesn't really make gumbo; he plays it into existence summoning the spirit of Lightning Hopkins to share pot space with his own Liquid Summer hot sauce. As an artist, he's borrowed from the recipes of the Chicago blues as well as Julia Child. He takes a guitar, a pot and a burner onto stages of blues festivals and juke joints all over the world.”

Brett Anderson - City Paper (Washington DC)

“Sauce Boss is an eccentric figure with the guitar goods to play it straight. So why haven’t you heard from him before? One of his songs was used in the 1986 film Something Wild, but he seems to have spent the last three decades flying below the radar, perfecting the legendary gumbo he cooks and serves to his audiences at every show while simultaneously developing some mean skills as a blues slide player.”

Vintage Guitar Magazine

“Bill Wharton, a.k.a "The Sauce Boss", is a favorite attraction at blues festivals, state fairs, and clubs all over the country for two reasons: He's a wonderful player and singer, and he cooks up a mind-blowing gumbo right on stage, passing out the tasty results at set's end . . . Wharton's slide guitar is always innovative, and his high baritone matches the tunes perfectly. . . However, it could be the eatin' side of things that will permanently hook you into the Sauce Boss's universe . . ."”

Blues Revue

“What does it take to earn a mention in a Jimmy Buffett song? The Gulf Coast Dalai Lama doesn't include just anyone in his lyrics.”

"Talk about a hot show: Bill Wharton brings it-music and gumbo-to a boil and never lets 'em leave hungry . . . the poet laureate of sauce, the sauce boss himself, a gentleman by the name of Bill Wharton, a modern hero of the blues and a visionary . . . he's a gumbo preacher with a slide guitar . . . He and his band don't just perform the blues they cook them, literally . . . "

Bob Shacochis - Gentlemen's Quarterly

“Wharton, who is in town to perform today and Sunday at the Florida State Fair in Tampa, had stopped by Pinellas Hope on Friday to cook gumbo and entertain the homeless. It's a labor of love he's been performing for the past five years. He's become so well known for his championship of the homeless that Jimmy Buffett wrote a song about him called I Will Play for Gumbo. "It's a big soup kitchen wherever I am, and I bring the kitchen," Wharton said. "I like sharing (and) I'm doing my own thing - totally." ”

“WE'VE MET THE GUMBO AND IT IS US "It's actually more than a metaphor. A metaphor is used to describe a thing. Gumbo is this thing. ... This is the embodiment of what we are in America," says lifelong Floridian Bill Wharton, who has spent the last 20 years playing swampy blues on slide guitar while cooking a big pot of gumbo onstage.”

“Bill Wharton has heaped this new platter, which he sells with snake-oil charm, with a foot stomping, full-length blues album and a cookbook, and a travelogue of Bill's favorite road food and a gumbo video, not to mention a history of his Liquid Summer Hot Sauces and an instant Internet link to the Sauce Boss' own Web site for concert listings, a new recipe every month, sound clips and MP3 giveaways. ". . .So he serves up his Gospel of the Gumbo to show people that when they come together for good food and good music all the differences between them dissolve.”

Weekly Planet (Tampa FL)