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At the Palladium: A taste of Hoagy, a splash of Sauce




Whether you're into blues or jazz or you're simply craving gumbo, the Palladium is the place to be this week.

On Thursday, you've got New Orleans voodoo daddy Dr. John, who performs at 8 p.m. Opening the show is Bill Wharton, a.k.a. The Sauce Boss, who mixes slide guitar with the blues and a whole lotta hot sauce.

When the Sauce Boss, above, plays these days, he’s joined on stage by a bubbling gumbo pot, adding ingredients as the show progresses. For an encore, he dishes out the Cajun stew to the audience. Wharton figures he served over 160,000 people since adding gumbo to the musical menu. Jimmy Buffett was so impressed that he wrote a song about Wharton: I Will Play for Gumbo.

"We have a very extemporaneous set list," Wharton tells tbt*'s Steve Persall. "I never know what I’m going to do when I hit the stage. There’s a few tunes, you know, the finale and the beginning, and whatever has been on my mind the last few weeks or whatever. But the gumbo? The recipe kind of takes cares of itself somehow. We have a number of little segues with just bass and drums when I’m doing the demonstration, mixing it up. It’s like a DNA meld between Julia Child and B.B. King." (Click here for Steve's full interview.)

The concert is at 8 p.m. Thursday; tickets are $45.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, add a little classical jazz to your diet with Randy Carmichael. He's the son of famed composer Hoagy Carmichael, the man behind what is probably the most recorded song ever, Star Dust, not to mention other favorites such as Georgia On My Mind and Heart and Soul (the immortal tune every child pianist learns after Chopsticks).

Randy Carmichael, 68, a Tierra Verde resident since 2003, and the Tom Mullinix Band will perform both the standards and less familiar songs in “Carmichael Sings Carmichael,’’ a concert of the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20-$30.

The Palladium is located at 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590;

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain, tbt*.

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