Molly Hatchet

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Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet at Hellfest.jpg
Molly Hatchet at Hellfest 2012
Background information
OriginJacksonville, Florida, U.S.
GenresSouthern rock, hard rock, boogie rock, Southern metal, jam rock
Years active1971–present
LabelsEpic, Capitol, SPV/Steamhammer
Websitemollyhatchet.com
MembersJohn Galvin
Bobby Ingram
Tim Lindsey
Shawn Beamer
Past membersDave Hlubek
Danny Joe Brown
Jimmy Farrar
Duane Roland
Steve Holland
Bryan Bassett
Banner Thomas
Riff West
Bruce Crump
B.B. Borden
Mac Crawford
Phil McCormack

Molly Hatchet is an American Southern hard rock band formed by guitarist Dave Hlubek in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1971. The band is best known for their 1979 hit song "Flirtin' with Disaster."

History[edit]

1970s[edit]

Molly Hatchet shared influences and inspiration with what is perhaps the most well-known act in the Southern rock genre, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Bassist Banner Thomas and guitarist Steve Holland joined the band in 1974. Bruce Crump would become the drummer in early 1975, and guitarist Duane Roland and singer Danny Joe Brown joined in 1976.

Hlubek, along with Banner Thomas, also wrote/co-wrote and co-produced many of the band's songs. Hlubek has stated that the demise of Lynyrd Skynyrd opened the door for Molly Hatchet.[1] Members of 38 Special referred the band to manager Pat Armstrong,[1] who, with partner Alan Walden, had briefly been co-manager of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1970.

Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant was slated to produce Molly Hatchet's first album, having helped in writing arrangements and directing rehearsals prior to his death.[citation needed] Molly Hatchet cut their first demos in Lynyrd Skynyrd's 8-track recording studio using their equipment.[1] Other demos were cut in Jacksonville's Warehouse Studios. Warner Bros. Records expressed interest in the resulting recordings from these sessions.[citation needed] However, the band ended up being turned down by Warner, who instead picked Van Halen over Molly Hatchet. After this setback, Hatchet toured the Florida roadhouse and bar circuit. About six months later, Epic Records signed the band to a recording contract in 1977 and brought Tom Werman in as producer.[2]

Werman, known for working with straight hard rock acts such as Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent,[3] combined boogie, blues and hard rock making Molly Hatchet's sound different from more country-influenced acts, such as The Outlaws.

The band released their first album, Molly Hatchet in September 1978..[2] Its song "Dreams I'll Never See" (a cover of The Allman Brothers Band 1969 track "Dreams") got AOR airplay.

Molly Hatchet was followed by Flirtin' with Disaster in September 1979,[2] with its title song another AOR hit, as was its first track, "Whiskey Man," from the album. Molly Hatchet proceeded to tour behind the records, building a larger fan base. Lead singer Danny Joe Brown left the band in May 1980 due to diabetes and other reasons, only to return two years later.[4]

1980s[edit]

Molly Hatchet dressed as Western gunslingers for a promo shoot in 1982

After Danny Joe Brown left Molly Hatchet, he formed The Danny Joe Brown Band. Brown was replaced in 1980 in Molly Hatchet by vocalist Jimmy Farrar,[2] a native of LaGrange, Georgia, where he was formerly lead singer for the local Southern rock band Raw Energy. The earlier albums seemed to some commentators to exhibit a distinct southern cultural influence; that sound changed with the addition of Farrar.[2] Danny Joe Brown's stage persona, gruff voice and cowboy horse-whistling was replaced by Jimmy Farrar's new vocal style, mixed with a new, harder-rocking sound. With the success of the next album, Beatin' the Odds, released September 1980, the band ventured even further from the Southern Rock sound of their first albums.[2]

By 1981, Molly Hatchet had evolved to a straight-ahead rock style and a slicker production, as exhibited on Take No Prisoners (November 1981).[5] The band remained a successful act on the touring circuit.

Long time bass player Banner Thomas left in November 1981 and was replaced by Riff West.[2] And in 1982, drummer B. B. Borden (also known as B. B. Queen as a member of the funk rock band Mother's Finest) replaced Crump, who had moved to Los Angeles

Farrar then left the group to make way for Brown's return.[5] He would later rejoin other members of Molly Hatchet in Southern Rock Allstars and Gator Country. Brown rejoined the band in May 1982 after the departure of Farrar.

In March 1983, the line-up of Brown, Hlubek, Holland, Roland, West and Borden released a new album titled No Guts...No Glory.[2]

But guitarist Holland, tired of the road, decided to leave for good in 1984 and was replaced by former Danny Joe Brown Band keyboardist John Galvin.

This period saw the band return to the more overt southern style it had displayed on its debut record in 1978. Critics hailed No Guts...No Glory as the band's return to form and did rejuvenate interest from the band's fan base, who had started to drift away after the Take No Prisoners album of 1981.[citation needed]

In November 1984 the album The Deed Is Done was released, a straightforward pop/rock offering,[6] with Bruce Crump returning on drums.

December 1985 saw the unveiling of the band's double live album Double Trouble Live,[2] after which the band was dropped by Epic and the group's members began to ponder changing singers again to pursue more of an 80s pop rock sound. They ended up retaining Brown and their Southern Rock sound despite it being increasingly out of fashion in the mid-80s.

Guitarist/founder Hlubek, who later admitted to suffering from drug troubles, left Molly Hatchet in January 1987.[1] He was replaced by Bobby Ingram, who was guitarist in The Danny Joe Brown Band.[2]

1990s[edit]

On July 8, 1990 Molly Hatchet announced at a show in Toledo, Ohio that the concert would be their final one, that after that night the band would be disbanding.[citation needed]

The greatest hits collection Greatest Hits, featuring two newly recorded songs, was released in the fall of 1990, with sales reaching gold status.[7]

In late 1990, a revised band led by Brown and Ingram featured new players Rik Blanz (guitar), Rob Scavetto (keyboards), Eddie Rio (bass) and David Feagle (drums). But the Hatchet's lineup in the 1990s was a bit of a revolving door. Rio was replaced in 1991 by Rob Sweat and then Kevin Rian. Feagle was succeeded the same year by drummer Kenny Holton. Blanz left in mid-1991, Phil McCormack stood in for Brown briefly in early 1992 and by 1993 the lineup was: Brown, Ingram, Erik Lundgren guitar, Mac Crawford (drums) and a returning Banner Thomas (bass), with Mike Kach (keyboards), who was replaced in 1994 by Andy Orth. Bryan Bassett (ex-Wild Cherry) took over as second guitarist in 1994 and Buzzy Meekins (formerly of the Outlaws) was bassist from 1994 to 1995.

During the first half of the 1990s, Molly Hatchet played selected shows and tours but did not record again until 1995 when they began working on a new studio album with German producer Kalle Trapp.

In April 1995, after continuing health problems, Brown had to once again leave the band and Phil McCormack (Brown's 1992 stand-in) was brought back.

During the rest of the 1990s, the band's line-up did not feature any of the members who had performed in Molly Hatchet prior to 1984. Bobby Ingram leased, then obtained in 2000, the trademark ownership to work with the name.[8] At this point, the band consisted of vocalist Phil McCormack, guitarists Bobby Ingram and Bryan Bassett, returning keyboardist John Galvin, bassist Andy McKinney and drummer Mac Crawford. In 1998 this line-up recorded the album Silent Reign of Heroes (June 1998).

In 1997 the band traveled coast to coast that year with Charlie Daniels and the Volunteer Jam.

Former Hatchet singer Danny Joe Brown, despite a long battle with diabetes and the effects of a stroke, was able to take the stage one last time at the Jammin' for DJB benefit concert in July 1999 in Orlando, Florida. With the help of his friends and former members Bruce Crump, Banner Thomas, Steve Holland and Dave Hlubek, he ended the show with "Flirtin' with Disaster".[8]

Molly Hatchet Justice 2010

2000s[edit]

In June 2000, Bobby Ingram became the sole owner of the trade and service mark "Molly Hatchet", acquired from Pat Armstrong, the band's early manager.[citation needed] Also in 2000, Kingdom of XII was recorded and released in Europe, and the band then toured Europe to promote the album. It was released in the United States in June 2001. After appearing on Kingdom, guitarist Bassett left the group to rejoin Foghat, then Shawn Beamer (from Southern Rock Rebellion) replacing Sean Shannon in the fall of 2001. Bassist Jerry Scott (formerly with Brian Howe's band) joined in early 2002 after McKinney departed.

Locked and Loaded (a live recording from 2000) was released in March 2003 and 25th Anniversary: Best of Re-Recorded followed in January 2004.

John Galvin, though he continued to appear on the band's albums, was again not touring with the band in the 2000s (except for a short European tour in December 2001). Tim Donovan (1997-2002), Scott Woods (2002), Jeff Ravenscraft (2003-2004), Gary Corbett (2004) and Richie Del Favero (2004-2005) played live keyboards up until 2005, after which the group dispensed with having a touring keyboardist for a while.

In 2003, Tim Lindsey the former Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rossington Band and Artimus Pyle Band bassist, coming full circle back to his roots, replaced Jerry Scott, and Jake Rutter was briefly brought in on guitar after Maxwell left.

Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge (May 2005) featured the return of Hlubek.

Danny Joe Brown died on March 10, 2005 at his home in Davie, Florida. He was 53. The cause was kidney failure. On June 19, 2006, guitarist Duane Roland died at his home in St. Augustine, Florida at the age of 53. His death was listed as being of "natural causes" according to a June 25, 2006 obituary in The Boston Globe.[9]

The band's Southern Rock Masters (April 2008) was an album of classic rock covers and was released again in a slightly re-altered form as Regrinding the Axes (June 2012).

In 2008, keyboardist John Galvin returned to the live stage again after Hlubek recurring health issues prevented him from appearing at all of the band's gigs.

Their studio album, Justice (June 2010), was recorded in Germany in 2010 on SPV Records, GmbH.[citation needed]

In 2011, drummer Shawn Beamer had a heart attack and a temporary drummer Scott Craig was brought in.[10] In 2013, Beamer returned to the band.

Bass guitarist Riff West died on November 19, 2014, at age 54, after injuries suffered in a car accident.[11] Drummer Bruce Crump died on March 16, 2015, at age 57, from complications after a twelve-year battle with throat cancer.[12] Bass guitarist Banner Thomas (born Banner Harvey Thomas on September 6, 1954 in Savannah, Georgia), age 62, died from complications of pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis on April 10, 2017.[13][14] Dave Hlubek died of a heart attack on September 2, 2017, at the age of 66.[15] Jimmy Farrar, who was frontman from 1980 to 1982, died of heart failure on October 29, 2018, at 67. Singer Phil McCormack died on April 26, 2019 at 58.[16]

Name and iconic cover art[edit]

Molly Hatchet took its name from a prostitute who allegedly mutilated and decapitated her clients. One iconic aspect of Molly Hatchet's image is that many of the band's album covers feature art inspired by heroic fantasy, several of which were painted by artists such as Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, and Paul R. Gregory.[6][5]

Members[edit]

Current members

  • Bobby Ingram – lead, rhythm, acoustic and slide guitars, backing vocals (1986–present)
  • John Galvin – keyboards, synthesizers, piano, programming, backing vocals (1984–1990, 1995–present)
  • Shawn Beamer – drums, percussion (2001–present)
  • Tim Lindsey – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)
  • Jimmy Elkins – lead vocals (2019–present)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certification
US CAN RIAA CRIA
1978 Molly Hatchet 64 Platinum
1979 Flirtin' with Disaster 19 54 2xPlatinum Gold
1980 Beatin' the Odds 25 90 Platinum
1981 Take No Prisoners 36
1983 No Guts...No Glory 59
1984 The Deed Is Done 120
1989 Lightning Strikes Twice
1996 Devil's Canyon
1998 Silent Reign of Heroes
2000 Kingdom of XII
2005 Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge
2008 Southern Rock Masters
2010 Justice
2012 Regrinding the Axes
"—" denotes the album failed to chart, not released, or not certified

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
US UK
1981 Molly Hatchet Live E/P/A Series
1985 Double Trouble Live 130 94
2000 Live at the Agora Ballroom Atlanta Georgia 1979
2003 Locked and Loaded
Greatest Hits Live
2007 Flirtin' with Disaster Live
2013 Live At Rockpalast 1996
2019 Battleground
"—" denotes album that failed to chart

Compilations[edit]

Year Album Certification
RIAA
1990 Greatest Hits Gold
1995 Cut to the Bone
1996 Revisited
1998 Super Hits
2003 The Essential Molly Hatchet
25th Anniversary: Best of Re-Recorded
2011 Greatest Hits II
"—" denotes album that's not certified

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions[17] Album
US US Main
1980 "Flirtin' With Disaster" 42 Flirtin' with Disaster
1981 "The Rambler" 91 Beatin' the Odds
1982 "Bloody Reunion" 31 Take No Prisoners
"Power Play" 96
"Lady Luck" 46
1984 "Satisfied Man" 81 13 The Deed Is Done
1985 "Stone in Your Heart" 26

Bootlegs[edit]

  • Astral Game (1980)
  • Gods and Knights (1984)
  • Double Live (1985)

Radio shows[edit]

  • Molly Hatchet Innerview (1978)
  • Molly Hatchet -Climax Blues Band BBC (1979) (Reading Festival)
  • Molly Hatchet - 38 Special KBFH (1980)
  • Molly Hatchet Innerview (1981)
  • Molly Hatchet Best of the Biscuit KBFH (1981)
  • Molly Hatchet KBFH (1982)
  • Molly Hatchet In Concert 1 (1982)
  • Molly Hatchet In Concert 2 (1983)
  • Molly Hatchet Captured Live (1984)
  • Molly Hatchet In Concert 3 (1984)
  • Molly Hatchet - Marshall Tucker In Concert (1996)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Anderson, Philip (1999). "Dave Hlubek – guitarist / founder, Molly Hatchet". Kaos2000 webzine. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 861. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  3. ^ "Tom Werman Credits". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  4. ^ Stephenson, Olivier (March 12, 2005). "[Deathwatch] Danny Joe Brown, musician, 53". Slick.org. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Barton, Geoff (January 28, 2011). "Cult Heroes No. 46: Molly Hatchet". Classic Rock. Archived from the original on August 3, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Molly Hatchet Biography". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  7. ^ "Gold & Platinum searchable database, search for Molly Hatchet". RIAA. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Michael Buffalo (November 1999). "Still Beatin' the Odds". Swampland.com. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  9. ^ "Duane Roland, Molly Hatchet guitarist; at 53". The Boston Globe. June 25, 2006. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  10. ^ "Jukebox:Metal | Molly Hatchet – LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2011". Jukeboxmetal.com. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  11. ^ "Document sans-titre". www.rtjwebzine.fr. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "Molly Hatchet's Bruce Crump Dies". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  13. ^ In Memory of Banner Harvey Thomas September 6, 1954 - April 10, 2017 accessdate December 5, 2017
  14. ^ "Molly Hatchet Bassist Banner Thomas Dies". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  15. ^ "Molly Hatchet Founder, Dave Hlubek, Dies at 66. Molly Hatchet continues on to sign a new studio album recording deal, slated for release in 2018". Best Classic Bands. August 8, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  16. ^ "Molly Hatchet singer Phil McCormack Dead at 59". Ultimate Classic Rock. April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  17. ^ "Molly Hatchet : Chart History". Web.archive.org. Retrieved September 7, 2019.

External links[edit]