Wednesday, May 30, 2018
5:15 pm - 9:30 pm
Join us in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with blues band, Morry Sochat & The Special 20s, and special guest, Lauren Mitchell, part of Navy Pier’s free music and dance series, Live on the Lake!
Morry Sochat & The Special 20s
7pm – 8pm & 8:30pm – 9:30pm
5:15pm – 6:15pm
Morry Sochat and The Special 20’s are bringing a fresh sound to the Chicago Blues scene. They mix classic Chicago Blues with Swing and Rock N’ Roll from the 1950’s. The band is influenced by the best in blues history. Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Louis Jordan, Junior Wells, and all of the Chicago greats.
Morry Sochat (pronounced Socket) moved to Chicago from Texas in 1990. He started playing harmonica in 2000, taking lessons from renowned teacher, Joe Filisko at the Old Town School of Folk Music. He played with The Shakes and Tongue & Groove before starting The Special 20s in 2005. Their first, self-titled release, recorded in 2006, was received with great reviews, taking the 20s from playing one or two nights a month to constant bookings all over the city. Morry has been playing around the city learning from the greats in Chicago, playing with Dave Specter, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Billy Flynn and Barrelhouse Chuck.
In 2007, Sochat took the next step and went out on his own. He hired some of the best musicians in Chicago to round out The Special 20s. In 2008, they returned to the studio to record a new CD. The recording Swingin’ Shufflin’ Smokin’ was produced by Nick Moss and featured Ted Beranis, Kenny Smith, Dave Ross, Nick Krebs, Shoji Naito, and Jim St. Marie. The CD was also met with rave reviews. This opened up doors for the band across the US.
In 2010 Morry took the band back to the studio to release Eatin’ Dirt. The CD was produced by Jimmy Sutton, and features 10 original songs. The band has grown in both skill level and size, adding a horn section on a lot of the songs. Eating’ Dirt was a sound expansion for the band. It was the first CD that brought in the horn section. The recording featured the line up of Marty Binder, Doug Corcoran, Shoji Naito, Chris Neal, Jim St. Marie and Ted Beranis. It has special guests Billy Flynn, Dave Hererro, and Brother John on the CD. The sound is vintage with a modern feel.
The new album, Dig In was released on November 24th, 2015. It was recorded with the same band as Eatin’ Dirt with the addition of Billy Flynn. Tim Bluhm, from the Mother Hips, produced the CD. It was a crazy recording session. We got 19 inches of snow on the first day. The album came out great!!!
The band is cooking on all cylinders so get out and see them live.
The year 2016 was one of large-scale and unexpected change for Tampa Bay area blues and soul vocalist Lauren Mitchell. During a tumultuous time in both her personal and professional life, she was given the opportunity to rise from the challenges she was facing and make the album of her career with producer Tony Braunagel. Mitchell took the leap of faith because she is a true student of the blues, a music that’s all about finding a way to transform difficult experiences into something cathartic. The timing was perfect. She had an album to record.
That album, “Desire,” is her most fully realized musical statement to date. Through a bold mix of her own original material, songs she hand-picked from the repertoires of her friends, and select covers of tunes first performed by Etta James, Bettye Lavette, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Betty Davis, Mitchell tells a blues story that’s been a lifetime in the making. It’s a stylistically varied set of 13 songs expertly recorded by drummer and Grammy-winning producer Tony Braunagel, whose work with Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Robert Cray have made him one of today’s most in-demand blues industry professionals.
Recorded during a ten-day trip to Los Angeles, Braunagel brought out the best in Mitchell, highlighting every nuance in her powerful vocals and helping her craft an emotionally resonant album that’s destined to go down as one of the year’s highlights. Besides Braunagel, the band features guitarists Johnny Lee Schell and Josh Sklair, keyboardist Jim Pugh, bassist Reggie McBride, sax player Joe Sublett, trumpet player Darrell Leonard, and percussionist Lenny Castro. “The blues is a song of victory,” Mitchell says. “It’s a way to say, ‘I’m over it,’ and now I’m turning it into this beautiful thing that can help someone else heal. That’s what this record is for me.”
This free, all ages concert is presented as part of Live on the Lake!, Navy Pier’s free summer music series in the Miller Lite Beer Garden.