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Sauce Boss

Florida Blues

(Burning Disk; US: 10 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

Stirring

A good word for this, stirring! Sauce Boss (Bill Wharton) plays and cooks with guitar and stove and voice. Is this a selection from various earlier sets? Non-obscure support, including three titles with Lucky Peterson, including “Let the Big Dog Eat” (in the style of a hound-dog ingesting). Hear John Babich’s splendid piano in the tight band on “I’m Cookin’ .” The second of two power-harmonica contributions from Pat Ramsay distinguishes “Alligator”, while on “Going Back to Florida” Sauce Boss delivers gruff relish vocal over cordon bleu slide guitar.  “Ten Foot Pole” has some associates gloriously croak-echoing the complaint. Bigwhoppering fun! Whoever stole his implement couldn’t remove his gusto. Hear the ham-curing laugh, and Babich’s deliberately ham-flavored piano. “Your Maytag Done Broke Down” features prominent slide on what sounds like an amplified National steel model. A serious blues guitarist! Would he fry Walter Trout? “Cypress Grove” fails vocally, but not instrumentally, “Great Big Fanny” rocks, and “Open Up” is a Nashvillish bellow with Elmore James intro and solo. “Little Miss Heartbreak” has a deliciously dire lyric (“you so sweet you give me diabetes”). Towards the end of the CD, Sauce Boss refuses whisky, but not on “never on an empty stomach” grounds. He shares his own relish! I gather he also feeds the poor.  Bon appetit!

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