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Sauce Boss - Live At The Green Parrot

Burning Disk

Floridian Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton has been spreading his gospel of slide guitar and gumbo for many years now. For those not in the know, he prepares a big pot of gumbo during his show and serves it at the end. He uses his “gumbo gospel” to provide money for the various homeless shelters he visits as he tours the country. This feeling of giving also translates to the upbeat nature of his live shows. His music comes from the blues well, but it is more of his own invention. His noisy, skittering slide guitar sound owes a lot to Lil’ Ed. His voice is something akin to a less “horse” sounding Johnny Winter. With the aid of another guitarist, bass and drums they manage to make quite a stir…no gumbo pun intended. If this live recording is any indication, his shows sound like one rowdy time.

He testifies that all the trials and tribulations he has had throughout his life don’t matter because his guitar has “Killer Tone”. This leadoff song introduces his gritty and slashing slide work. The opening riff of “Smuggler’s Cove” sounds very similar to “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”. Having served over 180,000 bowls of gumbo during his career, it only seems fitting that he offers his “Gumbo Recipe” to the faithful. Later he gives the gumbo update-“Chicken In The Gumbo”. “Lonesome Rider” and “What Was I Thinking” are hard-charging slide vehicles.

Spirits are called up in the slow and simmering “Out In the Night”. The second half of the song is a churning whirlpool of guitar noises creating the appropriate spooky effect. His signature song, “Let The Big Dog Eat” is one of two extended tracks. It was featured in Jonathan Demme’s movie “Something Wild”. “The Goog” portrays Google as a scary monster out to getcha. A heartfelt eulogy is given to an old friend in “Paco’s Garden”. Praises are sung to food glorious food as Sauce Boss testifies in “Cathead Biscuit Gospel”, a lead in to serving the gumbo.

A blues inflected, slide-driven old-fashioned good time is had by all. This music isn’t brain surgery, but it is infectious and good for the soul and what ails ya. The band never misses a beat. If you need music for your next gumbo party, have I got the ticket for you.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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