The Special 20’s are a Chicago-based band specializing in Chicago Blues, West Coast Swing and ’50’s Rock n’ Roll. They are a 5-piece standard Chicago Blues band with harmonica, guitar, piano, drums and bass. The 20’s have played all over the Chicago music scene from street festivals and bars all over the city, to the Chicago Cultural Center. They put on a great live show that always gets the crowd dancing. They have a huge repertoire and can play an all-night 4-hour show without a hitch.
Morry Sochat (Harmonica and Vocals) has been working around the Chicago blues scene for years and has played with The Shakes and Tongue and Groove. He has played with Barrelhouse Chuck, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Billy Branch. He put the 20s together, combining the best players from his blues experiences. Jim St. Marie on guitar, has years of experience from playing both country and rock n’ roll music in his early years to currently playing lead guitar with The Shakes. Steve Bass, on drums, has played with numerous bands including the Carl Davis Band, The Shakes and many others. Ted Beranis, on bass, has played with Nick Moss and Carl Davis among others. Anthony Tabion, on keyboard, is a multi-instrumentalist; playing harmonica, keyboards and guitar.
These guys have studied the early Blues and the great players. Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Big Walter, Junior Wells, Otis Span, Howlin’ Wolf, George Smith. They have also taken a lot from the current greats like Kim Wilson, Little Charlie and the Nightcats and Anson Funderburg. If you want to have a good time partying, this is the band for you!!
“Chicago’s Special 20’s offer a super-tight take on traditional post-war styles on their self-titled, self-released disc. Morry Sochat is an enthusiastic, low-jive vocalist and a toneful if not virtuosic harp player; Jim St. Marie’s guitar work is precise, with jumping rhythms and pinpoint solos. Anthony Tabion’s sparkling keyboards and the in-the pocket team of Stephen Bass (drums) and Ted Beranis (bass) round out the sound. Sochat compositions like the smoky “Ready When You Are,” swinging shuffles “Honey Dew” and “That’s the Truth,” and the “Hit the Road, Jack” – inspired “Looking Out for Number One” mesh with the hard-hitting takes on “Glad I Don’t Worry No More” and Jimmy Rogers’ “Rock This House.” Cool, cool blues.”
– Blues Review Magazine, June/July ’07