Orlando-Born Slide Guitar Wizard, Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton, Set to Bring an Inspiring Concert of Blues & Gumbo to the Triad
High Point, N.C. – As chronicled in Jimmy Buffett’s 1999 hit “I Will Play for Gumbo,” Bill “Sauce Boss” Wharton delivers a hearty helping of blues-root music with a generous side of gumbo for a raucous good time at every live performance. Triad listeners can experience it for themselves when the legendary entertainer hits the stage at the High Point Theatre on Friday, September 14, at 8 pm.
Swamp funk music, a simmering pot of gumbo and generous additions of hot sauce will combine on stage for a memorable multi-sensory experience, Friday, Sept. 14
Starting when just 14 years of age, Bill Wharton has played slide guitar, written songs and sung his praises for R&B, blues, and swamp music for over half a century. In the mid-70s, when a friend left a 1933 National Steel Guitar in his front yard, he became fully immersed in the blues, “taking to the shed” where he penned “Let the Big Dog Eat.” He notes this was the time that he felt as though he had found his own identity and sound.
“Let the Big Dog Eat” was featured in Jonathan Demme’s 1986 film “Something Wild,” later covered by Alex Taylor (James Taylor’s brother), and recently by Albert Castiglia, whose 2016 album entitled “Big Dog” was #1 on Roots Music Report for 12 weeks. “Let the Big Dog Eat” and “Great Big Fanny” were included on the Jimmy Buffett compilation album “Margaritaville Café Late Night Menu” and NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition” have both covered the Sauce Boss, as has CNN, EXTRA, and The Food Network. The Sauce Boss is the only personality that’s been featured in “Living Blues”, “GQ”, and “Gourmet Magazine”.
Wharton brings his own hot sauce – Liquid Summer Hot Sauce – to every gig, and a big pot of gumbo is created during the progression of the show. Audience members are asked to come up and stir as each ingredient is added and, afterwards, everyone gets a bowl. Since making his first batch of gumbo during a 1990 New Year’s Eve concert, he has also taken his blues and gumbo to the disaster zones of the Mississippi delta and to homeless shelters and soup kitchens across America. Through his charitable group, Plant Gumbo, he’s fed war veterans, hurricane survivors, and the working poor. The Sauce Boss offers up nurturing, comforting and healing in the form of music, food, and above all, his love of the brotherhood of man. He is asking concert goers to help in the cause by bringing non-perishable food items in support of the Greater High Point Food Alliance.
“Our season would not be complete without a visit down to Cajun country,” says High Point Theatre Director David Briggs. “Notorious for his spicy fusion of blues, southern rock and simmering gumbo, the Sauce Boss will provide not only music to sooth the soul, but food to satisfy the stomach!” Tickets are $10-$15, available online at HighPointTheatre.com or by calling (336) 887-3001.
About High Point Theatre
Owned and operated by the City of High Point, the High Point Theatre is conveniently located within the International Home Furnishings Center at the corner of Commerce Avenue and Hamilton Street in High Point. The Theatre features an elegant 965-seat auditorium with continental style seating, three exhibition galleries for meetings, displays, and receptions, and free parking