Molly Hatchet

"...then the Allman Brothers came along and made the sound heavier and started churning out these 15-minute songs. Next, Lynyrd Skynyrd came along and refined that sound: made it more powerful and crunchier. Then you had Marshall Tucker and Grinderswitch and they added a country flavour to it and then came Molly Hatchet and we were the first to put a metal edge to it. That was the evolution of the things that were taking place then."
- Dave Hlubek, Kerrang! No 86, February 1985

Named after a famous 17th century axe murderess, Hatchet Molly, who would behead her lovers with the hand tool Lizzy Borden made famous. Molly Hatchet was formed in 1971 by Dave Hlubek and Steve Holland. Danny Joe Brown joined in 1974, Duane Roland, Banner Thomas, Bruce Crump in 1975. When they finally got their recording contract with Epic they got some help and advice from Ronnie Van Zant, who was originally suppose to produce the album, but was unable to due to the tragic plane crash in '77. Because of this the band's debut was not released until late 1978. Fortunately for the band, this late delivery did little to deter their popularity. By the time their second record was released, the band had became enormously popular and stayed that way for many years despite the departure of vocalist/frontman Danny Joe Brown. Brown left the band in 1980 due to health problems stemming from diabetes. Others have stated that the band worked hard on the road, and drank just as hard, which was the reason that Brown had to go. Brown returned to the band in '83 for a successful tour and the release of "No Guts No Glory". The band has gone through numerous lineup changes since the mid 80's and as of the mid 1990's was touring without any original members, although many members had been with the band for many years including Bobby Ingram and John Galvin. (Both had played on Danny Joe Brown's 1981 solo disc.) Eventually founding member Dave Hlubeck returned to Molly Hatchet. I have been a Hatchet fan since I was in Jr. High School in 1979. (Man I'm old!) In any case, Molly Hatchet are southern rock mixed with a bit of 70's heavy metal and Ted Nugent/Foghat style boogie. The thing I like best about Hatchet is that they jam! OK, perhaps they don't exactly fit in with the rest of my CD collection, but who cares! I like 'em and that's all that matters!

Guitarist Dave Hlubeck went on to form the Southern Rock All Stars in 2000 with ex-Blackfoot drummer Jakson Spires. Spires past away in 2005. Hlubeck returned to Hatchet that same year.

In early 2005 a new band called Gator Country was formed that consisted of five original-era members of the legendary southern rockers Molly Hatchet. Included were drummer Bruce Crump, guitarist Duane Roland, guitarist Steve Holland, vocalist Jimmy Farrar, and bassist Riff West.

The southern rock family was dealt a huge blow on March 10, 2005 with the passing of original Molly Hatchet singer Danny Joe Brown. He had only just been released from hospital, after treatment for pneumonia and other ailments, but died upon his return home. He was 53 years old.

Duane Roland (Born: December 3, 1952 - Jeffersonville, Indiana) one of the original guitarists in Jacksonville-based Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, passed away on June 19, 2006 of heart failure in his St. Augustine home. He was 53.

Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet
(Epic) 1978

1. "Bounty Hunter" (2:58)
2. "Gator Country" (6:17)
3. "Big Apple" (3:01)
4. "Creeper" (3:18)
5. "Price You Pay" (3:04)
6. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:06)
7. "I'll Be Running" (3:00)
8. "Cheatin' Woman" (4:36)
9. "Trust Your Old Friend" (3:55)

Duane Roland
Duane Curtis Roland
1952 - 2006

Duane Roland guitar pick
Duane Roland guitar pick

Molly Hatchet 1978

Molly Hatchet's first album is an inspired southern rock classic. It doesn't have the crunch of the albums that followed this one, but the songwriting is so darn good, it doesn't matter. What I liked best about Southern rock was that it jammed and Hatchet's debut did just that. Of course Hatchet has always been under the shadows of Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, but I think they stand on their own. "Dreams I'll Never See" is a superior cover of the Allman Bros. song. Hatchet's version smokes the original! The front cover, as would become a constant for the next few records, was painted by Frank Frazetta.

Flirtin' with Disaster
Molly Hatchet - Flirtin' w/ Disaster
(Epic) 1979

1. "Whiskey Man" (3:38)
2. "It's All Over Now" (3:40)
3. "One Man's Pleasure" (3:24)
4. "Jukin' City" (3:46)
5. "Boogie No More" (6:08)
6. "Flirtin' With Disaster" (4:58)
7. "Good Rockin'" (3:17)
8. "Gunsmoke" (3:11)
9. "Long Time" (3:19)
10. "Let The Good Times Roll" (2:56)
BONUS TRACKS
11. "Silver & Sorrow" (3:55)
12. "Flirtin' With Disaster" [live] (6:15)
13. "One Man's Pleasure" [live] (3:17)
14. "Cross Road Blues" [live] (4:14)

Molly Hatchet
Autographed vinyl "Flirtin' With Disaster" plus 7" promo single for "Dreams I'll Never See"

Taking the best aspects of Southern bands like Skynyrd and Blackfoot and mixing it with Tom Wermer heavy production, Molly Hatchet's second album "Flirtin' With Disaster" is a classic. Tom Wermer was most known for his work with Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick. In the last 70's many thought Southern rock had died along with the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd in that fateful plane crash, but "Flirtin' With Disaster" helped to resurrect the sound. It also helped to bridge the gap between the budding heavy metal scene that was just beginning to explode in Europe with the 'classic rock' scene that was nearly destroyed by punk and the soon to be 80's 'new wave' scene. The title track is a rock radio staple to this day and one of the band's heaviest and most well known tracks. As a matter of fact, this track helped the album to sell platinum within five weeks of it's release. The album has since sold over three million copies. Besides the 'hit' title track, it is the extended guitar driven jams like "Boogie No More" and the heavy Southern boogie of "Jukin' City" and "Whiskey Man" that became Hatchet's trademark. "It's All Over Now" is a smokin' Bobby Womack cover that I had always assumed was a Hatchet original. It was also a big hit or the Rolling Stones in the mid-70s. At least half of the songs off this album made it onto their "Greatest Hits" album, proving it to be one of their finest albums ever, if not their very best. The Frank Frazetta album cover is awesome, as was the first self titled album. In my opinion, however, the smaller CD size loses a little bit over the larger record format though.

Despite the success of this album, and the fact that it was only their second album, Hatchet had been touring for seven years before, which apparently was taking a toll on the health of vocalist Danny Joe Brown. After the tour for this album, Danny Joe Brown departed and recorded a solo album (Danny Joe Brown Band) with future Hatchet guitarist Bobby Ingram.

2002 saw the re-release of this disc in a remastered, expanded CD version. Of course I had to have that. Along with new liner notes and photos, includes an unreleased studio track and three excellent live tracks. "Silver And Sorrow", was apparently recorded at the same time and at the same studio as the rest of "Flirtin' With Disaster" but was left off the album for unknown reasons.

Beatin' the Odds
Molly Hatchet - Beatin' The Odds
(Epic) 1980

1. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:17)
2. "Double Talkin'" (3:15)
3. "The Rambler" (4:50)
4. "Sailor" (3:50)
5. "Dead & Gone" (4:22)
6. "Few and Far Between" (3:39)
7. "Penthouse Pauper" (3:18)
8. "Get Her Back" (3:03)
9. "Poison Pen" (3:04)

Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet - Beatin' the Odds LP
Molly Hatchet
Dave Hlubek

Molly Hatchet's third album featured new singer Jimmy Farrar. He was a more than competent southern rock singer, but his voice changed the Hatchet sound quite a bit. Farrar's voice didn't have the same deep, masculine sound that Danny Joe Brown's voice had. Farrar had a slight whiskey soaked grit that worked well for the band. However, as good a singer as Jimmy was, it didn’t seem to matter. The band’s popularity began to decline here despite the popularity of the title track.

Molly Hatchet combined that good ‘ol stadium rock sound, blues, southern influences and heavy metal to create a style all their own. With “Beatin’ the odds, the band created one heavy southern rock and roll record. Their intensity was only matched by fellow Southern rockers Blackfoot. The overall production was top notch, having been produced by famed rock producer Tom Werman. Much like “Flirtin’ With Disaster”, the guitar sound was far more vicious and biting than it had been on their debut, helping the band gain popularity with the growing hordes of heavy metal fans in the early 80’s.

The title track is a classic from this album and is generally considered one of the band’s all time best songs. However, “Beatin’ the Odds” isn’t just a single and bunch of filler. “Double Talker” is a low down and dirty heavy rocker composed by Dave Hlubeck . “The Rambler” is a melodic number and a prime Hatchet song. This song really gave Farrar a chance to strut his stuff. His vocal performance here is incredible and should have proved to the world that he was the man for the job. “Penthouse Pauper”is a gritty take on a Creedence Clearwater Revival composition. “Dead & Gone”, a song about drug abuse, featured some female background vocals, giving the song a Skynyrd vibe. Duane Roland’s “Get Her Back” is a short, funky rocker complete with slide guitar solo.  

“Beatin’ the Odds” was a solid, hard rocker. It’s a shame that people couldn’t accept Farrar as a worthy successor to Danny Joe Brown. The album is far better than people give it credit for. As with the band’s first two record, the cover was painted by fantasy artist Frank Frazetta. This would be the last album that Frazetta would do for the band.

Live Molly Hatchet - Live (Epic) 1980

Record One (Live)
Side One
1. "Beatin' the Odds"
2. "Few And Far Between"
3. "Penthouse Pauper"
Side Two
4. "Dead And Gone"
5. "Double Talker"
6. "Sailor"
Record Two (Beatin the Odds)
Side One
1. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:17)
2. "Double Talkin'" (3:15)
3. "The Rambler" (4:50)
4. "Sailor" (3:50)
Side Two
5. "Dead & Gone" (4:22)
6. "Few and Far Between" (3:39)
7. "Penthouse Pauper" (3:18)
8. "Get Her Back" (3:03)
9. "Poison Pen" (3:04)
Molly Hatchet
Dave Hlubek

"Live" is a 2 LP album that was released to help promote the "Beatin the Odds" LP and is a highly sought after Molly Hatchet collectible. The live material is stellar, as Molly Hatchet were a touring machine at the time and were at the top of their game.

Danny Joe Brown Danny Joe Brown & the Danny Joe Brown Band (Epic) 1981
Click the (Danny Joe Brown Band) cover for additional information.

Take No Prisoners
Molly Hatchet - Take No Prisoners
(Epic) 1981

1. "Bloody Reunion" (4:00)
2. "Respect Me in the Morning" (3:22)
3. "Long Tall Sally" (2:54)
4. "Loss of Control" (3:32)
5. "All Mine" (4:01)
6. "Lady Luck" (3:29)
7. "Power Play" (3:44)
8. "Don't Mess Around" (3:00)
9. "Don't Leave Me Lonely" (3:58)
10. "Dead Giveaway" (3:25)

Dave Hlubeck
Dave Hlubek
Molly
Molly Hatchet 8x10 promo photo. (click to enlarge)

“Take No Prisoners” was the second and last disc for vocalist Jimmy Farrar. It would also be the last disc for one of the founding members, bassist Banner Thomas. Molly Hatchet were still on track here, creating a fine Southern rock platter with the temperature turned up a bit from their last record. "Bloody Reunion" is a great song to start off the set, and if I remember correctly, was also the song they started their live set with on the tour. ( I was lucky enough to catch Molly Hatchet twice on this tour. They put on two spectacular shows at Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ.) "Respect Me in the Morning" and "Lady Luck" are both Hatchet classics as well. “Lady Luck” in particular has always been a favorite of mine. The song has a hook that could catch a whale and includes an infectious guitar riff. The song also featured a piano and a horn section. While Hatchet had used a piano in the past on songs like “It’s All Over Now”, the horn section was something new to Hatchet’s sound. "Long Tall Sally" is a Little Richard cover.

This line-up of Hatchet also recorded a live version of "Mississippi Queen" with Ted Nugent on Volunteer Jam: Classic Live Performances Vol. 1.

No Guts, No Glory
Molly Hatchet - No Guts, No Glory
(Sony) 1983

1. "What Does It Matter?" (3:32)
2. "Ain't Even Close" (4:35)
3. "Sweet Dixie" (3:55)
4. "Fall of the Peacemakers" (8:04)
5. "What's It Gonna Take?" (3:59)
6. "Kinda Like Love" (4:10 )
7. "Under the Gun" (3:53)
8. "On the Prowl" (4:05)
11. "Both Sides" [instrumental] (5:09)

Danny Joe Brown returns for Hatchet's fifth studio album. (Danny Joe Brown released one solo record during the time he was gone called the Danny Joe Brown Band on Epic Records.) Bassist Banner Thomas and drummer Bruce Crump left during the recording of this album and were replaced by Riff West and B.B. Bordan respectivelty. The rejuvinated band churned out their melodic epic masterpiece called "Fall of the Peacemakers," which is the best song on the disc, and one of my all time favorite Molly Hatchet songs. Frankly, it's one of my all time favorite songs of any band. This song is Hlubeck's defining moment; his "Freebird" or "Stairway to Heaven" so to speak. The rest of the CD is actually quite good as well. "What's It Gonna Take", and "Ain't Even Close" are both hard rockin' Hatchet classics. "Sweet Dixie" has a distinctive Skynyrd vibe to it. Of course Hatchet always lived under the shadow of Skynyrd anyhow, but personally I always thought that Hatchet were heavier and harder rocking. However, there is no denying the Skynyrd influence, especially in light of songs like "Sweet Dixie" and "Fall of the Peacemakers." I've always liked Hlubeck's melodic instrumental "Both Sides" as well.

Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet 8x10 promo photo. Autographed by Dave Hlubeck. (click to enlarge)

Molly Hatchet
Riff West

I saw Hatchet on this tour twice at Six Flags in NJ.

Here's a bit of useless, interesting information I took off Charlie Hagrett's homepage:

-Summer 1983, Kansas City, Kansas: Blackfoot are touring with Molly Hatchet when, with no warning, Hatchet's singer Danny Joe Brown, and guitarists Steve Holland and Duane Roland, fly home one night after a show, right in the middle of the tour. Only lead guitarist Dave Hlubek, drummer B.B. Borden and bassist Riff West show up in Kansas City the next day. That night, after a real quick "rehearsal" in the backstage dressing room, Rick Medlocke and Charlie Hagrett sit in with Molly Hatchet for their set. Medlocke took Danny Joe Brown's place as frontman, and Hagrett played rhythm guitar behind Hlubek's lead, with rhythm section B.B. and Riff. It wasn't pretty, but we pulled it off. The rest of Hatchet rejoined the tour the next day.

The Deed is Done
Molly Hatchet - The Deed is Done
(Epic) 1984

1.    "Satisfied Man" (4:57)
2.    "Backstabber" (4:12)
3.    "She Does She Does" (6:06)
4.    "Intro Piece" (1:15)
5.    "Stone in Your Heart" (4:14)
6.    "Man on the Run" (4:09(
7.    "Good Smoke and Whiskey" (3:33)
8.    "Heartbreak Radio" (3:27)
9.    "I Ain't Got You" (2:30)
10. "Straight Shooter" (3:46)
11. "Song for the Children" (2:31)

Stone in Your Heart
"Stone In Your Heart" 7" promo single
Molly Hatchet promo
"The Deed is Done" 1989 promo photo.

Jacksonville's Southern hard rockers release an album full of 80's pop rock crap. This is one of those albums that proves how little record executives know about the fans. As I have read several times, Hatchet were somewhat forced into writing this pop junk by the bigwigs at Sony/Epic, using several co-writers that are not a part of the band. Some of the material on this disc was written for the band with little or no involvement by them except for the actual recording of the songs. It is a fact that by 1984 Southern rock had almost diminished greatly in popularity. Bands like .38 Special were having success moving into the AOR/pop rock category. I suppose this was the logic for moving Molly Hatchet into a similar direction.

The other problem with this album is the glossy recording. The addition of keyboards and horns to the mix makes things worse than they could have been, especially on songs like "Satisfied Man," which given a rawer, heavier production and less 80's studio sheen could have been a decent song. The inclusion of triggers or a drum machine adds to the production problems. "I Ain't Got You" is a Yardbirds cover that has also been covered by Aerosmith.  This song could have smoked, given the rockin' rendition that Aerosmith did, but unfortunately just falls flat. There are a few decent songs on this disc, such as "Heartbreak Radio" and "Stone in Your Heart" but there is an awful lot of crap to wade through to get to it. The killer album cover art disguises one of the worst Hatchet albums to ever be released. Not long after the tour for this disc the original members started dropping like flies, disappointed with the band's new direction and/or their decline in popularity.

Double Trouble Live Molly Hatchet - Double Trouble Live! (Epic) 1985

1. "Whiskey Man" (3:48)
2. "Bounty Hunter" (3:00)
3. "Gator Country" (7:16)
4. "Flirtin' with Disaster" (5:30)
5. "Stone in Your Heart" (4:13)
6. "Satisfied Man" (4:43)
7. "Bloody Reunion" (4:04)
8. "Boogie No More" (7:36)
9. "Free Bird" (11:19)
10. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:03)
11. "Edge of Sundown" (4:24)
12. "Fall of the Peacemakers" (7:12)
13. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:41)

Recorded in 1984 for the "Deed is Done" tour, the band was in a bit of turmoil due to the musical direction being forced upon them by their record company. Classic tracks such as "Flirtin' With Disaster" and "Beatin' the Odds" are simply fantastic and sound even better in this live format. The band definitely captured some of that live energy that they spent the past decade refining. The cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" sticks pretty close to the original and is a nice tribute to their Southern Rock brother. Danny Joe Brown dedicates the song to Ronnie Van Zant and the other Skynyrd guys that lost their lives in that tragic plane crash. "Edge of Sundown" is a track of Danny Joe Brown's solo album and fits the Molly Hatchet sound perfectly. If "Fall of the Peacemakers" was Hlubek's defining moment, then "Edge of Sundown" is Danny Joe Brown's coup. "Stone in Your Heart" and "Satisfied Man" are two songs from "The Deed is Done" and stick out like a sore thumb in this set list. It's not that these more pop oriented songs are bad, but they are definitely different.

Double Trouble Live was originally released as a two record set which is the reason for the name DOUBLE Trouble. Unfortunately the CD version is a single disc and is missing two songs off the original vinyl version ("Walk On The Side Of The Angels" and "Walk With You".).

Molly Hatchet
Dave Hlubeck
Molly Hatchet
(L-R) Bruce Crump, Dave Hlubek, Duane Roland, Riff West,
Danny Joe Brown and John Galvin.

Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet - Lightning Strikes Twice
(SPV) 1989

  1. "Take Miss Lucy Home" (3:12)
  2. "There Goes the Neighborhood" (3:40)
  3. "No Room On The Crew" (3:26)
  4. "Find Somebody New" (3:12)
  5. "The Big Payback" (4:32)
  6. "I Can't Be Watching You" (6:00)
  7. "Goodbye to Love" (5:28)
  8. "Hide Your Heart" (4:38)
  9. "What's the Story, Old Glory" (3:20)
  10. "Heart of My Soul" (5:33)

I had lost interest in Hatchet a bit with "The Deed is Done". I felt the band was abandoning their roots and trying to hard to become the next .38 Special and go for that mainstream pop rock sound. Because of that I never did order this CD until several years after it was released. I finally special ordered this import after reading a review of "Devil's Canyon" that said it was "their greatest album since 'Lightning Strikes Twice.'" Well, since I was very impressed with "Devil's Canyon" I decided to go for broke and order this German import. My initial thoughts? Honestly, I thought to myself, "this disc sucks" and on the shelf it went. It just didn't have the same vibe as those early Hatchet classics or even the new material on "Devil's Canyon."

Over the years I have pulled this one out on occassion and have grown to like several of the songs and appreciate this disc a bit more. The approach here is more traditional, blues based, Southern rock. Gone are the heavy guitars and the tripple guitar attack. "Lightning Strike Twice" was the first Hatchet album to feature guitarist Bobby Ingram, and the first album without founding member and songwriter Dave Hlubek. Duane Roland is the only "original" guitarist left in the band and instead of adding another guitarist to keep their trademark three guitar assault, Hatchet opted to add keyboardist John Galvin. Galvin was Danny Joe Brown's friend and had played on Brown's 1981 solo disc, as did guitarist Bobby Ingram. On top of the keyboards, the band also adds female background vocals and some horns here and there, not that this is unusual for Hatchet. The band had experimented with horns on past albums as well. A couple of my favorite cuts are the Southern rocker "Find Somebody New", the experimental "Heart of My Soul", and the bluesy "I Can't Be Watching You", which features some great piano work. However, the real standout cut is the the ballad "Goodbye to Love". (The band would re-record this song some years later on the "25th Anniversary" CD.) The biggest flaw on this album is "Hide Your Heart" which is a pop rock song written by Paul Stanley (Kiss). This song showed up on Kiss' "Hot in the Shade" and Ace Frehley's "Trouble Walkin'" CD that same year. This song just doesn't work well for Hatchet, although the dual guitar lead in the middle is pretty cool. Not even the powerhouse vocals of Danny Joe Brown could save this song. Otherwise, this CD isn't the atrocity that it's made out to be.

If found this German import for only $10.99 (Circuit City) instead of the over $20 range most imports sell for.

Molly Hatchet
"Lightning Strikes Twice" 1989 promo photo. Click to enlarge.

Molly Hatchet 1989
Bobby Ingram, Danny Joe Brown & Duane Roland


Greatest Hits Molly Hatchet - Greatest Hits [Expanded] (Epic) 1990/2001

1. "Whiskey Man" (3:39)
2. "Bounty Hunter" (2:59)
3. "Gator Country" (6:18)
4. "Flirtin' With Disaster" (4:59)
5. "Bloody Reunion" [live] (4:08)
6. "Boogie No More" (6:07)
7. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:27)
8. "Beatin' The Odds" [live] (3:40)
9. "Edge Of Sundown" [live] (4:24)
10. "Fall Of The Peacemakers" (8:07)
11. "It's All Over Now" (3:42)
12. "The Creeper" (3:18)
13. "Satisfied Man" (4:59)
14. "Ragtop Deluxe" (3:19)
15. "Shake The House Down" (4:14)
Molly Hatchet
"Lightning Strikes Twice" 1989 promo photo. Click to enlarge.
Molly Hatchet
Danny Joe Brown 1990

New axeman, and long time friend of the band, Bobby Ingram replaces Hlubek, who was one of the founders of the band as well as one of their main songwriters. Bobby Ingram is a longtime friend of Danny Joe Brown and was the guitarist and co-writer of much of his solo album. In anycase, this greatest hits package features two brand new cuts with the new guitarist that are actually quite good and sit well with all the Hatchet standards. I sort of wish they would have included the studio version of the Jimmy Farrar-era songs. The live versions of "Bloody Reunion and "Beatin' the Odds" don't seem to fit as well in a 'best of' package as the studio tracks would. The live version of "Edge of Sundown" is the only live inclusion that makes sense since the original studio version was on Danny Joe Brown's studio album. Oh, and why the heck isn't "Lady Luck" on this disc? Was there some secret conspiracy about including anything that Jimmy sang on? Regardless, Greatest Hits is a good collection and a nice career retrospective of Molly Hatchet up to this point. No other Southern Rock band had their unique blend of Skynyrd/Blackfoot-style Southern boogie & blues and Ted Nugent/Foghat-style hard rock/heavy metal.

Greatest Hits was re-mastered and re-released in 2001 with three additional tracks that were not on the original 1990 release. On top of re-mastering, the label also rearranged the song order putting the new tracks at the end of the disc and putting the other tracks in somewhat of a chronological order. I'm not sure what the point of rearranging the tracks was. The new tracks include the excellent "The Creeper" from the band's debut. No doubt this song belongs on a package like this. "It's All Over Now" is from the band's most well known album "Flirtin' With Disaster" and is also a welcome addition. "Satisfied Man" was from the era when Hatchet were being forced to use outside songwriters and to go in a pop direction, not unlike fellow Southern rockers .38 Special. This song is actually one of the better cuts from that era, but still sticks out like a sore thumb on this compilation. It would have been cool if they had added the two missing cuts from the CD version of "Double Trouble Live" instead of this track. This expanded edition also includes an 8-page booklet that includes photos and a short bio. The original didn't include much of anything in the booklet.

Devil's Canyon Molly Hatchet - Devil's Canyon (Mayhem) 1996

1. "Down from the Mountain" (4:38)
2. "Rolling Thunder" (4:03)
3. "Devil's Canyon" (6:18)
4. "Heartless Land" (6:24)
5. "Never Say Never" (3:46)
6. "Tatanka" (5:01)
7. "Come Hell or High Water" (3:40)
8. "Look in Your Eyes" (6:08)
9. "Eat Your Heart Out" (3:36)
10. "Journey" (7:20 )
11. "Dreams I'll Never See" [acoustic version] (7:25)

Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet promo. Last promotioal photo with Danny Joe Brown

The sticker on the front said this was the bands first studio recording in over 12 years? What? "Lightning Strikes Twice" was released in 1989, I think. This album was released in 1996. Do the math; it doesn't add up. Maybe what they meant was this was their first GOOD album in 12 years. Now that I could agree with. Strange thing about this album is that there is not even one original member performing on the album, although Banner Thomas has a song writing credit on "Rolling Thunder" and Danny Joe Brown is still listed as a member. U nfortunately, Danny Joe Brown had to be hospitalized during the pre-production of this album so Danny hand picked Phil McCormick to take his place. One thing is for sure, he picked an excellent vocalist with similar qualities to his own voice. "Devil's Canyon" is a return to the Hatchet I love with a heavy production and those long southern rock and boogie jams. Longtime guitarist Bobby Ingram wrote a majority of the material, he did a fine job as this is a great disc. My favorite song is "The Journey" which sounds like it would have fit in fine on "Flirtin' With Disaster," with the exception of the superior production on this album. The acoustic cover of "Dreams I'll Never See" is a nice bonus.

Silent Reign of Heroes
Molly Hatchet - Silent Reign of Heroes
(CMC International) 1998

1. "Mississippi Moon Dog" (3:47)
2. "World of Trouble" (5:33)
3. "Silent Reign of Heroes" (8:35)
4. "Miss Saturday Night" (4:04)
5. "Blue Thunder" (4:04)
6. 'Just Remember (You're the Only One)" (4:32)
7. "Junk Yard Dawg (3:35)"
8. "Dead and Gone (Redneck Song)" (3:13 )
9. "Saddle Tramp" (7:15)
12. "Fall of the Peacemakers" [acoustic version] (6:55)

Promo Photo 1998
Molly Hatchet 1998 promo.

Molly Hatchet
Phil McCormick 2003
photo by Jeff Stone

Bobby Ingram, John Galvin and Phil McCormick keep the Hatchet tradition alive, even though they, nor any of the other band members, were part of the original line-up. No matter really as the music still rocks in the southern rock tradition that is Molly Hatchet. "Mississippi Moon Dog" is one fine, hard-rockin' song and should be a staple in the band's live set for years to come. The title track and "Saddle Tramp" feature some of those extended guitar jams that Hatchet are known for.

Live at the Agora Ballroom 1979
Molly Hatchet - Live at the Agora Ballroom Atlanta, Georgia April 20, 1979
(Phoenix Gems)
2000

1. "Bounty Hunter" (3:28)
2. "Let the Good Times Roll" (4:07)
3. "Gator Country" (6:43)
4. "The Creeper" (3:57)
5. "T for Texas" (9:24)
6. "Big Apple" (3:08
7. "Dreams (I'll Never See)" (7:42)
8. "Trust Your Old Friend" (4:07)
9. "Harp Jam" (12:17)
10. "One Man's Pleasure" (3:22)
11. "Crossroads" (5:01)
12. "Boogie No More" (7:49)

I flipped when I found this little gem. Live Hatchet from 1979, this had to be good, and good it was. The production is a little thin in places, but not exactly low quality bootleg crap either. At times some of the guitar solos are hard to hear and at others Danny Joe Brown's vocals are hard to hear, but overall everything is pretty listenable. There are three unreleased songs on this disc, a Jimmie Rodgers cover ("T for Texas"), a Robert Johnson cover ("Crossroads"), both of which Lynyrd Skynyrd also covered, and an original jam titled "Harp Jam." "Crossroads" is the same song made famous by Eric Clapton. "Harp Jam" is a harmonica, guitar jam in which Danny Joe Brown introduces each of the other five Hatchet members allowing for solos by each. A nice live disc that I bet disappears almost as fast as it was released.

Steve Holland
Steve Holland

Kingdom of XII
Molly Hatchet - Kingdom of XII
(CMC International) 2001

1. "Heart Of The U.S.A." (4:01)
2. "Cornbread Mafia" (3:27)
3. "One Last Ride" (7:46)
4. "Why Won't You Take Me Home" (3:21)
5. "Turn My Back On Yesterday" (5:04)
6. "Gypsy Trail" (3:47)
7. "White Lightning" (3:50)
8. "Tumbling Dice" (3:13)
9. "Angel In Dixie" (4:08)
10. "Kickstart To Freedom" (4:36)
11. "Dreams Of Life" (7:12)
12. "Edge Of Sundown" [acoustic version] (7:10)

Molly Hatchet is an all American, southern rock 'n roll band, so why the heck was this thing released almost 5 months earlier in Europe than in the good 'ol U.S. of A.? I went to a CD show in April and was REAL tempted to buy one of these European copies for $25. I managed to restrain myself and wait until the June 5th release. So was it worth the wait? I can honestly say YES! No doubt, Bobby Ingram still can write a heavy boogie rock 'n roll song with plenty of hook. Best of all, he mixes things up quite a bit, giving us some nice slow ballads as well as the more full throttle numbers. Several of these tracks ("One Last Ride," "Dreams Of Life") have those extended jams that make this style for me. Also, in similar pattern to the last two albums, the band finishes off with an acoustic cover of one of their own songs. This particular number was actually co-written by Ingram with Danny Joe Brown, for Brown's solo disc, Danny Joe Brown & the Danny Joe Brown Band. In the week I have had this disc, not a day has gone by that it hasn't been in my CD player. Overall, another outstanding release from Florida's champions of southern rock.

Bobby Ingram
Bobby Ingram

Molly Hatchet
Bobby Ingram & Phil McCormick

Molly Hatchet Molly Hatchet-Extended Versions (BMG) 2002
Recorded live at the Hollywood Palladium, in California, December 5, 1981.

1. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:28)
2. "Flirtin' With Disaster" (5:41)
3. "Gator Country" (6:23)
4. "Bounty Hunter" (2:51)
5. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:01)
6. "Dead Giveaway" (3:24)
7. "Lady Luck" (3:45)
8. "It's All Over Now" (3:40)
9. "One Man's Pleasure" (3:31)
10. "Let the Good Times Roll" (3:45)
Molly Hatchet

I have avoided these Extended Version discs like the plague. For the most part they are just cheap reissues of songs that are already out.(For examples, see the review of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Extended Versions or Thin Lizzy's Extended Versions.) However, when I saw this disc for some reason I picked it up just to scan the track listing. The first thing that stuck me was that Jimmy Farrar was shown on the cover. Then I noticed that "Dead Giveaway" was included. "Hmmm...How curious." I thought to myself, "The only time they ever performed that song live was on the "No Guts No Glory Tour" with Jimmy on vocals." Could it be that this is a live album from that tour with Jimmy actually behind the mic? Sure enough, it is! This is a rare gem, Molly Hatchet recorded live from 1981. I actually saw Hatchet on this tour twice in Jackson, NJ. Unfortunately the packaging is rather cheap and the only information given is that the disc was "Recorded Live". That's it, no more. However, with a bit of investigation I found out that this show was actually recorded December 5th 1981. It was a "Toys for Rock" free concert. To get into the show, people just had to bring a toy to be used as a Christmas present for a underprivileged child. The performance of these ten tracks is excellent and the material stellar. It's cool to finally get some live Hatchet with Jimmy. The sound quality on this disc is quite good as well. However, the songs are totally in the wrong order that they were played and and the between-song banter has been cut. Plus the following songs are missing:"Few & far Between." "Good Rockin'," "All Mine," "Dead & Gone," "Loss Of Control," "Long Tall Sally/Drum Solo" and "Bloody Reunion". However, this is still a fine live album. I only wish it would have been complete.

Molly Hatchet Molly Hatchet - Greatest Hits Live (King Biscuit) 2003

1. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:29)
2. "Let The Good Times Roll" (3:45)
3. "It's All Over Now" (3:40)
4. "Lady Luck" (3:45)
5. "One Man's Pleasure" (3:31)
6. "Dead Give Away" (3:33)
7. "Gator Country" (6:25)
8. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:00)
9. "Flirtin' With Disaster" (5:44)
10. "Bounty Hunter" (2:52)
11. "Bloody Reunion" (4:07)
12. "Boogie No More" (8:33)

I love these King Biscuit discs. They are always raw, live and usually capture bands in their prime. In this case, Molly Hatchet recorded live in Los Angeles, CA on February 12, 1982 in front of a roaring crowd at the Palladium in Los Angeles. This was a vintage time for the band featuring Jimmy Farrar on vocals, shortly before the return of veteran vocalist Danny Joe Brown. Having seen this tour in Jackson, New Jersey I was overjoyed to have this show on disc, especially since it includes two more songs left off the previously released "Extended Versions" disc. "Greatest Hits Live" also restores the in-between song banter and I believe restores the song order aw well. At one point during the show Jimmy Farrar can be heard asking the crowd to back up as the people in the front were being crushed. Ha! Been there! Done that! Making a crowd like that move back is next to impossible. The Tower of Power horn section is brought in for this show to play during "Lady Luck". Sweet! Lots of spiced up classics here including "Bloody Reunion", "Beatin' the Odds", "One Man's Pleasure", etc. I am not exactly sure what the deal is with the discrepancy in dates. Some sources say these tracks were recorded on December 5, 1981, while others say the February 1982 date. I would love to know which one is actually correct.

Dave Hlubeck 1987
Dave Hlubeck


Locked & Loaded Molly Hatchet - Locked and Loaded (SPV) 2003

DISC ONE
1. "O' Fortuna/The Seige of Camylarde" (1:49)
2. "Whiskey Man" (3:42)
3. "Heart of the USA" (3:55)
4. "Gator Country" (7:08)
5. "Tatanka" (4:58)
6. "Down from the Mountain" (4:31)
7. "Beatin the Odds" (3:35)
8. "Mississippi Moon Dog" (3:57)
9. "Miss Saturday Night" (4:22)
10. "Edge of Sundown" (6:58)
11. "Dreams I'll Never See" (10:53)

DISC TWO
12. "Bounty Hunter" (3:31)
13. "Dead and Gone (The Redneck Song)" (3:32)
14. "White Lightning" (3:56)
15. "Fall of the Peacemakers" (5:06)
16. "Saddle Tramp" (9:07)
17. "Gypsy Trail" (4:05)
18. "Tumbling Dice" (3:23)
19. "Why Won't You Take Me Home" (3:48)
20. "The Journey" (7:32)
21. "Devil's Canyon" (6:14)
22. "Flirtin' With Disaster" (6:22)

Hatchet Ticket / Pick

Molly Hatchet
Bobby Ingram & Phil McCormick autographs

Bobby Ingrim's Molly Hatchet live in Germany! Germany? Yup, Southern Rock is alive and well in Germany. It's a shame that good American hard rock like this is more popular outside of American, than it is in it's own home. In anycase, "Locked and Loaded" is an spectacular showcase of one of Southern Rock's longest running bands and features a good variety of material from both the early and later years of the band. Of course having been a fan since their first record some decades ago, there are some songs I wish they would have included, like "Lady Luck" and "Bloody Reunion". Overall, however, there is a good variety of songs on this disc. The inclusion of "Edge of Sundown" was a nice addition. "Edge of Sundown" was written when current members John Galvin and Bobby Ingram were in Danny Joe Brown's solo band during Danny's hiatus from Hatchet during their glory days in the 80's. However, a tribute disc this is not, and newbies like "Down from the Mountain", "Beatin the Odds", "Mississippi Moon Dog", "Miss Saturday Night" "Why Won't You Take Me Home" and especially "The Journey" are all up to par with the band's classic 70's and 80's material. I also think the band did a spectacular job of spicing up some of the songs for the stage. For instance, the piano and guitar introduction to "Dreams I'll Never See" is quite breathtaking. I can imagine this would have been even more spectacular had I been in the Bremen, Germany.

I had this CD autographed by guitarist Bobby Ingram, drummer Shawn Beamer, and singer Phil McCormick when my brother won backstage passes for a Molly Hatchet 25th Anniversary show. Very cool.

25th Anniversary
Molly Hatchet - 25th Anniversary: Best of Re-Recorded
(SPV) 2004

1. "Flirtin' With Disaster" (5:08)
2. "Bounty Hunter" (3:05)
3. "Gator Country" (6:20)
4. "Whiskey Man" (3:43)
5. "Fall of the Peacemakers" (7:59)
6. "Satisfied Man" (4:40)
7. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:19)
8. "One Man's Pleasure" (3:33)
9. "Big Apple" (3:06)
10. "The Creeper" (3:28)
11. "Jukin' City" (2:59)
12. "Goodbye to Love" (5:23)
13. "Bloody Reunion" (4:01)
14. "25th Anniversary Song" (:30)
15. "Epitaph/Memories/The Great Beyond" (4:09)
16. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:28)
17. "Boogie No More" (6:43)
Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet 2004

This album contains the 25th Anniversary, 2004 re-recordings of Molly Hatchet's biggest hits and best tracks from each of their albums, from their self-titled debut through "Lightning Strikes Twice". The freshly recorded tracks were all done by the current incarnation of Hatchet, led by guitarist and producer Bobby Ingram. The band offers up slight reinterpretations of the classics, although for the most part the band doesn't stray to far from the originals. What makes this so unique is that there are no original members in this Hatchet lineup, and singer Phil McCormack, hand picked by Ingram and original vocalist Danny Joe Brown sounds so much like Brown. However, with young, fresh blood in the band, these classics have a new bite to them. This is especially true of the songs off the bands 1978 debut, as the guitar tones are just so much meatier. The big, roaring guitars that sound like chainsaws rumbling throug the Florida swamplands and the thundering drums shake the foundations. One of the most noticable changes to the song structures is the addition of "Dixie" to the end of "Gator Country." Also, the new instrumental opening to "Dreams I'll Never See" really adds something to the song. To be honest, as with any compilation from a band with a catalogue as big as Hatchet's, there are some songs I would have liked to have seen included that were not and a couple that I could do without ("Goodbye to Love"). I would have loved to have heard a new, rockin' rendition of "Lady Luck" and perhaps "Whats It Gonna Take". However, as it stands, this CD rocks! I can't see any Hatchet fan, or Southern rock fan, not enjoying this rocker!

Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge
Molly
Hatchet - Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge (SPV) 2005

1. "Son of the South" (4:44)
2. "Moonlight Dancin' on the Bayou" (5:08)
3. "I'm Ready for You" (4:24)
4. "Roadhouse Boogie" (3:58)
5. "Time Keeps Slipping Away" (3:18)
6. "Get in the Game" (5:32)
7. "Flames Are Burning" (6:43)
8. "Hell Has No Fury" (4:32)
9. "Gone in Sixty Seconds" (3:37)
10. "Behind the Bedroom Door" (6:10)
11. "No Stranger to the Darkness" (4:22)
12. "Rainbow Bridge" (6:18)

Released on the heels of the deaths of original vocalist Danny Joe Brown, as well as Bobby Ingram's wife Stephanie and legendary Southern rock drummer Jakson "Thundefoot" Spires, I was expecting a rather somber and sorrowful release. However, "Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge" is surprisingly upbeat and hard rocking. That is not to say that this disc doesn't have some melancholy moments. "Rainbow Bride" is a song about and dedicated to Ingram's wife. From what I can tell, the rainbow bridge is suppose to be the bridge between this world and the next. I would also swear that "Moonlight Dancin' on the Bayou" is a slight nod to fallen heavy metal hero Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) as well, especially in the guitar solo. For the most part, however, Hatchet continue to raise a loud and proud banner for Southern Rock. Songs like "Son of the South" and "Roadhouse Boogie" are exactly what you would expect from the bastard sons of Southern Rock. These twelve songs all rock moderatly hard and are full of those ragin' guitar jams. Of course Phil McCormack's testosterone injected vocals are still ever present and give the band their unique sound, even with the Skynyrd influenced female background singers. One thing worth mentioning is that original Hatchet guitarist Dave Hlubeck is once again listed as a member, although he has no writing credits, nor is his photo pictured anywhere on the booklet. It will be interesting to see if he tours with the band or not; we can only hope.

Molly Hatchet
Far right: founding member Dave Hlubeck (guitars)

Bobby Ingram
Bobby Ingram live in Albuquerque, 2008.
photo by Scott Waters

Live in Hamburg Molly Hatchet – Live in Hamburg (SPV) 2006

DISC ONE (DVD)
1. “Intro” (1:21)
2. “Whiskey Man” (3:45)
3. “Bounty Hunter” (4:02)
4. “Gator Country” (7:30)
5. “Moonlight Dancin` on a Bayou” (5:08)
6. “Fall Of The Peacemakers” (5:16)
7. “Devil´s Canyon” (6:06)
8. “Drum Solo” (3:47)
9. “Beatin´ The Odds” (4:03)
10. “Son Of The South” (4:57)
11. “The Creeper” (4:55)
12. “The Rainbow Bridge” (5:13)
13. “Keyboard Solo” (2:24)
14. “Instrumental Jam” (2:45)
15. “Guitar Solo” (5:54)
16. “Dreams I`ll Never See” (8:02)
17. “The Journey” (9:24)
18. “Gone In 60 Seconds” (3:43)
19. “Jukin´ City” (1:39)
20. “Flirtin´ With Disaster” (6:41)
DVD BONUS MATERIAL
- Behind The Scenes
- Bobby Ingram Interview
- Picture Gallery
- Biography
- Select SPV Discography
DISC TWO (CD)
1. “Intro” (1:21)
2. “Whiskey Man” (3:45)
3. “Bounty Hunter” (4:02)
4. “Gator Country” (7:30)
5. “Moonlight Dancin` on a Bayou” (5:08)
6. “Fall Of The Peacemakers” (5:16)
7. “Devil´s Canyon” (6:06)
8. “Drum Solo” (3:47)
9. “Beatin´ The Odds” (4:03)
10. “Son Of The South” (4:57)
11. “The Creeper” (4:55)
12. “The Rainbow Bridge” (5:13)
13. “Keyboard Solo” (2:24)
14. “Instrumental Jam” (2:45)
15. “Guitar Solo” (5:54)
16. “Dreams I`ll Never See” (8:02)

“Live in Hamburg” came out only a year before, “Flirtin’ with Disaster-Live” and only a few years after the double live CD, “Locked and Loaded”. It seems to be a trend lately for many of the great bands of the 70’s and 80’s to release multiple live albums with only one or two studio releases between those studio releases. In many cases, I find this to be annoying as most fans cannot afford to keep up with it all and in most cases, the track listings aren’t all that different. In the case of Molly Hatchet, I really don’t hold that opinion as I think Molly Hatchet are a great live band. Frankly, I think that this CD is better than the “Flirtin’ with Disaster-Live” due to song selection and due to the better crowd response.

Recorded live in Germany at the Hamburg Harley Days on July 24, 2004, “Live in Hamburg” offers a full DVD of the concert and an abbreviated CD. I’m thankful that the CD was included as I tend to listen to CDs far more than I have time to watch DVD concerts. Unfortunately the CD deletes “The Journey”. I really wish that one of the older songs had been left off in favor of this song as it’s one of the best songs by the current incarnation of Molly Hatchet. The show itself is excellent. The band sounds great. Lead guitarist and Molly Hatchet mainstay Bobby Ingram is all smiles for the entire show. You can really tell the man just loves being on stage and performing. The band has an infectious attitude on stage and captivates the audience. Here the audience is very much into the performance adding to the overall energy captured on the disc. From the drum solo, to the guitar solo, to the in-between song banter, to each and every song performed, this is Southern Rock at it’s finest. The DVD offers various camera angles including a big crane camera over the crowd. The concert  was recorded in Dolby Digital 2.0 and  Dolby Digtal 5.1.

The DVD also includes a lengthy interview with Bobby Ingram, a photo gallery and a video montage of behind the scenes footage from the Hamburg Harley Days festival. The discography included is sort of worthless since it only includes albums released on the SPV label. None of the bands Epic releases are included.

Flirtin' with Disaster Live Molly Hatchet - Flirtin' With Disaster-Live (Deadline) 2007

DISC ONE
1. "Whiskey Man" (3:40)
2. "Bounty Hunter" (3:14)
3. Medley: "Gator Country/Dixie" (8:01)
4. "Son Of the South" (5:28)
5. "Fall Of the Peacemakers" (4:41)
6. "Devil's Canyon" (5:50)
7. "Get In the Game" (5:01)
8. "Drum Solo" (5:05)
9. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:38)
10. "Moonlight Dancing On the Bayou" (5:04)
11. "Rainbow Bridge" (4:05)
12. Medley: "Layla/Guitar Solo" (10:10)
13. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:49)
14. "Flirtin With Disaster" (5:51)

DISC TWO
1. "Whiskey Man"
2. "Bounty Hunter"
3. Medley: "Gator Country/Dixie"
4. "Son Of the South"
5. "Fall Of the Peacemakers"
6. "Devil's Canyon"
7. "Get In the Game"
8. "Drum Solo"
9. "Beatin' the Odds"
10. "Moonlight Dancing On the Bayou"
11. "Rainbow Bridge"
12. Medley: "Layla/Guitar Solo"
13. "Dreams I'll Never See"
14. "Flirtin With Disaster"

Molly Hatchet
Bobby Ingram & Dave Hlubeck live in Albuquerque, 2008.
(Phil McCormick in the background)
photo by Scott Waters

Molly Hatchet
Dave Hlubeck & myself in Albuquerque, 2008.

 

Recorded live in Prestonburg, KY and featuring a good variety of songs from the old and the new Molly Hatchet catalog. This live album features the return of Hatchet founder Dave Hlubeck on guitar, along with longtime members Bobby Ingram (guitars), Phil McCormack (vocals), John Galvin (keys) and Shawn Beamer (drums). The sound quality of the CD is outstanding. I have a feeling the crowd noise has been enhanced, but this is of little difference. I really enjoyed the live version of "Rainbow Bridge", a song dedicated to Bobby Ingram's wife Stephanie who passed away only a couple short years ago. The instrumental version of "Layla" was a nice addition as well. Unfortunately there aren't a whole lot of tracks featured that weren't already featured on the 2003 release, "Locked and Loaded".

This two disc collection is split up into the audio CD and the video DVD. Honestly, while I enjoy watching live concerts on DVD from time to time, I am much more concerned with the CD portion of this release. I spend a lot of time listening to music and can do so while doing other things. With a DVD, you have to devote yourself to nothing but that, and frankly I just don't have that kind of time. However, I did view the DVD once before reviewing this and it was quite enjoyable to watch. Molly Hatchet aren't nearly as energetic on stage as they use to be, but they are still fun to watch. Seeing the audience and hearing the reaction tends to reinforce my opinion that the audience noise was added or enhanced on the CD. Guitarist and Molly Hatchet mainstay Bobby Ingram looks great! The man lost a lot of weight years ago and has continued to keep the weight off. Dave Hlubeck has gained quite a bit of weight since Hatchet's heyday in the 80's, but he still plays as well as he ever has. Shawn Beamer is just a lot of fun to watch. I've seen the second incarnation of Molly Hatchet in concert myself and Beamer is quite the showman. One top of the complete concert there is also some bonus features including a biography, discography and photo section.

Southern Rock Masters
Molly Hatchet - Southern Rock Masters
(Dead Line) 2008

1. "Sharp Dressed Man" (4:46)
2. "The Boys Are Back in Town " (4:58)
3. "Desperado" (3:52)
4. "Bad to the Bone" (4:01)
5. "Dreams I'll Never See" (7:51)
6. "Melissa" (4:43)
7. "Mississippi Queen" (2:38)
8. "Tequila Sunrise" (3:00)
9. "Tumbling Dice" (3:07)
10. "Wild Horses " (5:37)
BONUS LIVE TRACKS
11. "Whiskey Man" (3:43)
12. "Beatin' the Odds" (3:32)
13. "Flirtin' with Disaster" (5:52)

Dave Hlubeck
Dave Hlubeck

Anyone reading this review probably can gather that I am about as big of a Molly Hatchet fan as they come. As such, it was a no brainer that I run out and picked up this album of covers. Hatchet has always done a great job with covers. Their cover of "Dreams I'll Never See" from their first album is a classic. They've been doing "Mississippi Queen" live for decades. With "Southern Rock Masters" Hlubek, McCormick and Ingram revisit some of their favorite classic rock songs. However, as with any album of this nature there are some songs that are better than others.

I've never been a big fan of the Eagles, but any classic rock fan worth his vinyl collection is familiar with "Deperado". Hatchet does a commendable job here with Phil McCormick giving an exceptional vocal performance. He also does a phenomenal job on the Stones "Wild Horses" and the Allman Brothers "Melissa". I am a huge Thin Lizzy fan, so one of my favorite bands doing a cover of one of my other favorite bands is awesome. Oddly enough I felt that Hatchet's cover of "The Boys Are Back In Town" was decent, but not one of the better tracks on the album. Unlike a song like "Dreams I'll Never See" in which Molly Hatchet just owns, with "The Boys Are Back in Town" they seem to be trying too hard to stay faithful to the original recording and don't give it a full blown Molly Hatchet treatment. I felt the same way about "Bad to the Bone", although I actually did enjoy this song quite a bit. The addition of horns was a good idea. The biggest disappointment was "Mississippi Queen". Perhaps I am just use to hearing the cover they did with Ted Nugent on Volunteer Jam VII, but this version seems a little weak in comparison. I also think think this song doesn't feature the strongest vocal performance on the album. "Tumbling Dice" on the other hand is a killer cover, although one that had already been done on their 2001 release "Kingdom of XII".

With the title being "Southern Rock Masters" I had hoped that Hatchet would cover some other Southern bands like The Outlaws, Blackfoot or Charlie Daniels Band, especially since Hatchet has worked with Charlie Daniels in the not so distant past. It's a bit disappointing that two Rolling Stones tracks were included and nothing from Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The last three tracks are live versions of Molly Hatchet classics, all taken from the band's recent live album "Flirtin' With Disaster-Live". I suppose these were added on to help promote that album. I certainly don't mind having them tacked on at the end, but they are somewhat unnecessary for the Hatchet fan that already owns that live album. The CD also came with a small button featuring the cover art from "Flirtin' With Disaster-Live", giving further promotion for that live album.

Justice Molly Hatchet - Justice (SPV) 2010

1. Been To Heaven - Been To Hell (4:35)
2. Safe In My Skin (4:34)
3. Deep Water (5:39)
4. American Pride (3:58)
5. Gonna Live 'til I Die (8:32)
6. Fly On Wings of Angels (Somer's Song) (8:07)
7. As Heaven is Forever (4:45)
8. Tomorrows and Forevers (5:34)
9. Vengeance (6:25)
10. In the Darkness of the Light (5:06)
11. Justice (8:38)

I admit up front that I'm a bit of a Molly Hatchet fanatic. I have purchased each and every one of their new albums as soon as they were released since the day I discovered them back in the early 80's. I've found something to like about just about every one of their albums, even though I readily admit that some of the band's late 80's albums weren't nearly as strong as their early catalog. When the band picked things up in the 1990's with Danny Joe Brown and Bobby Ingram at the helm, I was just as excited as I was about the original band. After Danny's untimely exit from the band in 1996, and vocalist Phil McCormack was brought in as his replacement, many felt that Hatchet should call it a day. After all, there were no original members left in the band by this time. However, with the release of Devil's Canyon, Ingram proved that Molly Hatchet still had plenty to offer fans of Southern Rock. Fans who were open to the new line-up found that Molly Hatchet were keeping the music and Southern rock spirit alive. Several more studio albums didn't disappoint with each forging ahead with new ideas, while still keeping that Hatchet vibe. Fortunately, founding guitarist Dave Hlubek did rejoin the band in 2005 after a near twenty year absence. It was with this news that I was even more excited, as Hlubeck had penned some of Hatchet's best material.

"Justice" is the first studio album of all original material since Hlubeck has been in the fold. Unfortunately he doesn't have even one writing credit on the album. This was a little disappointing to me going into this album as I had really hoped for a collaboration from Ingram and Hlubeck. Once I popped the CD in and spun it a few times, the initial disappointment disappeared. "Justice" continues the proud Molly Hatchet tradition and offers a bit of diversity as well. "American Pride" seems to really sum up the sound and attitude of the band, both past and present. This is Southern Rock! As well, the opening "Been To Heaven, Been To Hell," will grab you by the jugular and shake you to your very soul. "Vengeance" is one of the heaviest tracks on the album and features some screaming guitar work. "The Darkness of the Light" is a melodic hard rocker and features more stunning guitar solo work. Best of all, though, are two epic songs. "Gonna Live 'Til I Die" and the title track both clock in at over eight minutes, and are absolutely stunning. The dual leads in the title track should please even the most skeptical fan. I can't wait to see McCormack and Hlubeck belt out this song together on stage.

The centre piece of the album is "Fly On Wings Of Angels (Somer's Song)," the closest Molly Hatchet come to a power ballad. This song will be released as a single, with all proceeds going to the Somer Thompson Foundation, which was set up in memory of a seven year old girl who was found murdered in October 2009. It's a non-profit foundation set up to help victims' families of child abduction resulting in death and brings education and financial aid during that critical time.

This is quality rock and roll! Though some will never accept this line-up of Molly Hatchet as genuine. They are missing out. No, Molly Hatchet 2010 isn't the same band as Molly Hatchet 1978. What band that has been around for forty years can claim to be the same? Regardless of the naysayers, Molly Hatchet 2010 are upholding a proud legacy. Though the days of Southern rock ruling the world are long gone, "Justice" will surely not allow it to be forgotten.

Greatest Hits II Molly Hatchet - Greatest Hits II (SPV/Steamhammer) 2011

DISC ONE
1.   Son Of The South (4:43)
2.   Heart Of The USA (4:01)
3.   Tatanka (5:01)
4.   Fall Of The Peacemakers [acoustic] (6:56)
5.   American Pride (4:02)
6.   Devil's Canyon (6:16)
7.   World Of Trouble (5:33)
8.   Down From The Mountain (4:38)
9.   I'm Gonna Live 'til I Die (8:27)
10. Safe In My Skin (4:33)
11. Rainbow Bridge (6:18)
12. Cornbread Mafia (3:28)
13. Mississippi Moondog (3:46)
14. The Journey (7:21)
DISC TWO
1.   Bounty Hunter [live] (3:31)
2.   Gator County [live] (7:08)
3.   Edge of Sundown  [live] (6:58)
4.   Whiskey Man [live] (3:45)
5.   Beatin`The Odds [live] (3:35)
6.   Dreams I'll Never See [live] (8:02)
7.   The Creeper [live] (4:55)
8.   Flirtin`With Disaster  [live] (6:22)
9.   Sacred Ground (07:07)

Molly Hatchet are the die-hard Southern rockers from Florida. Going on four decades as a band now and they still keep cranking out quality, hard rock, Southern style. "Greatest Hits II" is a collection of songs from the later Bobby Ingram/Phil McCormack years, circa 1996 to present. In that time the band released five new studio albums, a tribute album, a collection of re-recorded classics, a double live CD and two live DVDs. Molly Hatchet have been busy over the past decade. This collection of songs commemorates all that work and marks the 35th anniversary of this legendary rock band.

Disc one is a compilation of the bands five new studio albums. The album opens with two very strong tracks. "Son of the South" is a Southern Rock anthem for the ages. I saw Hatchet on this tour and shouted along every single time. "Hell Yeah! Son of the South..." Had this song been recorded during the band's heyday in the 70's and 80's it would have been as popular as "Flirtin' with Disaster". "Heart of the USA" is a rip-roaring American anthem to follow it up. "Tatanka" is a heavy song with a chugging riff, but I never thought it was one of the band's strongest songs. In all, I can't really find much fault in this collection other than the fact that few of my personal favorites were left off. "Saddle Tramp" seems like the most obvious omission. I might also have included "Whilte Lightning", "Why Won't You Take Me Home" and the bands cover of the Rolling Stones "Tumbling Dice", all from "Kingdom of XII". I personally feel these are stronger songs than "Cornbread Mafia" and "Tatanka". However, every fan is going to have their favorites. Glad to see classics like "The Journey", "Devil's Canyon", "I'm Gonna Live 'til I Die" and "Rainbow Bridge" make the cut, despite being lengthy songs.

Disc two is a compilation of live tracks. All the songs are early Molly Hatchet classics, save for "Edge of Sundown", which was a song from Danny Joe Brown's solo album. Of course current Molly Hatchet members Bobby Ingram and pianist John Galvin were also in that band. The remaining seven live tracks are early classics recorded by the current line-up of the band. All these tracks are taken off of "Locked and Loaded" or "Live in Hamburg". Both those albums are solid live albums. I'm not sure why nothing was taken from "Flirtin' With Disaster-Live". Doesn't really matter I suppose. It's almost like a bonus to disc one anyhow. The last track is a previously unreleased studio track titled "Sacred Ground" that is a heavy rocker and features some slide guitar work.

The package includes a 12-page booklet with tons of photos of the band, which includes drummer Sean Beamer, bassist Timmy Lindsey, pianist John Galvin, longtime vocalist Phil McCormack, founding guitarist Dave Hlubek, and guitarist and principle songwriter Bobby Ingram. There is also a short essay by Ingram and a discography, which is limited to the bands SPV recordings. All in all, a nice package and a good way to introduce new fans, or old fans that didn't keep up, to what Molly Hatchet have been doing for the past couple decades.

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Danny Joe Brown Band
| Southern Rock Allstars | Gator Country | Blackfoot | Dixie Jam Band

Molly Hatchet

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