The Sauce Boss is in town and tonight he cooked up some pretty cool blues and some hot gumbo before a live audience in Gulf Breeze. It was a first for me, a gumbo diarist. It was one of those you can’t-believe-it-until-you-see-it happenings. But there he was, Bill Wharton, the Sauce Boss, playing the Florida slide guitar while cooking gumbo on stage — just as advertised. Donning black & white spectator shoes, black gingham pants and a chef jacket and hat, he sang gumbo lyrics and original songs as he poured ingredients into a army-sized pot of roux.
First bell pepper and onions, then some more music, then chicken stock, more music, chicken, shrimp, okra and — get this — zuchini instead of celery.
And then the moment of AHs, as he added a bottle of his special Sauce Boss Sauce with a flourish. For the next hour, the Sauce Boss kept busy stirring, working the crowd, promoting CDs, sharing recipes, and playing great foot-tapping music. There’s no band break until the end, when every one in the crowd lines up for the gumbo served by the boys in the band. Bill Wharton comes back into the audience and starts meeting folks.
This show was a benefit for the homeless. The Sauce Boss cooks gumbo for the homeless in shelters when the he and the band travel across the country performing. I had no idea the largest U.S. homeless shelter is in Washington, DC with 1300 people. Sauce Boss cooked for them.
Sauce Boss will be at Paradise Bar on Pensacola Beach Saturday night –it should be a great venue for a terrific blues band — and there’s free gumbo (here’s my serving from tonight) made by the Boss himself! Check it out!