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Dunedin fest features smokin’ blues, fine wine
Bill ‘The Sauce Boss’ Wharton headlines Dunedin Wines the Blues Festival
Article published on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
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Photo by RUTH WHARTON
Bill “The Sauce Boss” Wharton, known for playing the blues while cooking gumbo, headlines Dunedin Wines the Blues Festival Nov. 10.
DUNEDIN – The Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association and the city of Dunedin will host the 21st annual Dunedin Wines the Blues Festival Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, in downtown Dunedin on Main Street between Louden Avenue and Broadway.

This signature event for Dunedin is an upscale festival combining top-notch blues music from all over the country with wine from all over the world. Wine tastings will be offered from more than 2 dozen vineyards spanning many varieties. Music will be performed on the main stage at Pioneer Park.

This two-day event will kick off with the 2nd Friday Dunedin Wine/Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 9, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. There will be live entertainment at Pioneer Park sponsored by The Suncoast Blues Society and featuring a smoking hot blues jam on the Pioneer Park Stage (invited musicians only). There also will be a wine and beer tent in Pioneer Park, at the corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue.

Then, Saturday, the main festival – a giant street party on Main Street – will run from 5 to 11 p.m.

This year’s event will include performances by Selwyn Birchwood, 5 p.m.; Betty Fox and the Dirty Bastards, 7 p.m.; and Bill “The Sauce Boss” Wharton, 9 p.m.

Admission is free. Beer, wine, food and souvenirs will be available for purchase. Attendees also will find tents filled with art, craft displays, vendors and special wine promotions.

Blues on tap

Bill “The Sauce Boss” Wharton is considered the inventor of gastronomic boogie-woogie.

The Sauce Boss sings the blues, he cooks the gumbo, he plays the slide and he makes his own hot sauce. After a lifetime of music, travel and food, over a million miles on the road, over 180,000 bowls of gumbo served for free, tons of hot sauce, and thousands of gigs, the Sauce Boss has evolved into a soul shouting picnic of rock and roll brotherhood.

Wharton’s new CD, “Live at the Green Parrot,” is definitive Sauce Boss. It’s edgy slide guitar and rockin’ blues grooves served with a large helping of fun in the Sauce Boss tradition. His songs come straight out of the life of a true character, adventurer, raconteur and poet.

Since her surprise appearance at the 2011 Tropical Heatwave, Betty Fox has performed at just about every important venue throughout Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Now she and the band are preparing to release their debut CD, “Too Far Gone.” The CD will feature original cuts like “Dirty Soul,” a thorough homage to Howlin’ Wolf; and “Goodbye,” a salsa-tinged track that fuses everything from Dinah Washington to Taj Mahal.

On stage, Fox’s vocals have evolved to octaves that inspire. Again and again, she has proved her melodious mettle when by casting aside the microphone and singing directly to the audience, easily felt and heard over the full power of her band mates.

Selwyn Birchwood has made a significant impact on blues fans throughout Florida, playing clubs and festivals and continuously wowing audiences with high-energy performances.

Birchwood’s music is rooted deeply in the traditions of the blues greats. He and his band have opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker Jr., and Joe Louis Walker. Birchwood got his start with Texas blues legend Sonny Rhodes, touring North America at the age of 19. His band is comprised of very experienced musicians who are no strangers to the road.

Festival wine list

The annual Dunedin Wines The Blues Festival brings thousands of people from all over the Tampa Bay area to enjoy performances by some of the best blues musicians in the country – but don’t forget about the wine.

Attendees have an opportunity to taste some great wine provided through area distributors. According to the event website, this year the festival plans to offer the following quality wines:

Wines sold for five tickets:

• Zonin Pinot Grigio (Italy)

• Lucky Star Pinot Noir (California)

• Vina Maipo Carmenere (Argentina)

• Bodega Norton Sauv Blanc (Chile)

• Fetzer Merlot (California)

Wines sold for seven tickets:

• Relax Riesling (Germany)

• Hess Chardonnay (California)

• Santa Ema Cabernet (Chile)

• Bodega Norton Malbec (Argentina)

Wines sold for nine tickets:

• Hess Cabernet (Napa Valley)

• Avalon Merlot Napa (Napa Valley)

• Pine Ridge Chenin/Viognier (California)

To buy wine or beer at the event, attendees must show photo identification. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Dunedin For Youth Fund. For more information, visit www.dunedinwinestheblues.info.

House of Beer

Steve Arvey performs at the Dunedin House of Beer, starting at 9 p.m. on both days of the festival, Nov. 9-10. He is back for the third year in a row for an intimate free, live show in the lounge of the HOB. The Dunedin House of Beer is located at 927 Broadway St. For show information, call 727-726-6318.
Article published on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
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