Morry Sochat & the Special 20’s
This is a great, dirty sounding, swinging Chicago blues CD. Produced by Jimmy Sutton, the Special 20s have Dave Herrero, Billy Flynn, and Brother John Kattke joining them for their third CD. Producer Jimmy Sutton’s guitar also appears on the disc. If you took the CD and dropped it on the floor of a Harold’s Chicken Shack in Chicago I doubt it could get any greasier. Hot stuff!
Sochat’s harp and vocals are pure Chicago South and West Side and could be from 40 or more years ago. The deep and resonant sound layered over a bit of distortion and nasally quality to both harp and voice make this sound authentic and cool. Ten new tracks and two covers make up this album. Band guitar players Shoji Naito and Jim St. Marie are true to the more minimalistic early Chicago style, where homage to spacing notes out is as important as the notes themselves. Marty Binder is always solid on drums and Ted Beranis on the bass is just as solid. Doug Corcoran and Chris Neal make up the horn section on trumpet and sax; Crocoran also does the keys. A wonderful sound throughout!
From the opening title track to the mostly instrumental “Fried Chicken & Waffles” that closes the CD, the listener is taken on a swinging ride through the hot sounds of Chicago blues. The tunes hearken back to old time blues yet have an air of newness to them. Slow blues like “Yo-Yo” are equally appealing as the countdown to the moon rocket rides like “She’s a Betty”.
Flynn’s guitar is a noticeable presence on “Someone to Love” but it is perhaps Dave Herrero who offers the best on “Empty Pockets” where the guitar rings like a slow bell and wails oh-so-sweetly on this great track. All in all, this is a solid CD and I recommend it to those who like the sound of good and greasy Chicago blues.
Reviewed by Steve Jones