Molly Hatchet

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Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet at Hellfest.jpg
Molly Hatchet at Hellfest 2012
Background information
Origin Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Years active1971–present
MembersJohn Galvin
Bobby Ingram
Shawn Beamer
Tim Lindsey
Jimmy Elkins
Past members Dave Hlubek
Steve Holland
Banner Thomas
Bruce Crump
Danny Joe Brown
Duane Roland
Jimmy Farrar
Riff West
B. B. Borden
Mac Crawford
Bryan Bassett
Andy McKinney
Phil McCormack
Sean Shannon
Russ Maxwell
J. J. Strickland
Jake Rutter

Molly Hatchet is an American Southern rock band formed by guitarist Dave Hlubek in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1971. They were a popular band during the late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s among the Southern rock and hard rock communities. [1] The band released six studio albums on Epic Records between 1978 and 1984, including the platinum-selling hit records Molly Hatchet (1978), Flirtin' with Disaster (1979) and Beatin' the Odds (1980). [2] They also had successful hits on the Billboard charts, including "Flirtin' with Disaster", "The Rambler", "Bloody Reunion" and "Satisfied Man". [3] Molly Hatchet has released eight more studio albums since their split with Epic in 1985, although none of them have been as successful as their early albums, nor charted in the United States.


Molly Hatchet has experienced numerous lineup changes throughout their 50-year career. While its current lineup includes none of the members who played on the band's first album, who are all deceased, keyboardist John Galvin has been a member of Molly Hatchet since 1984 (with the exception of a break between 1991 and 1994) and Bobby Ingram has been their guitarist since 1987, when he replaced founding member Dave Hlubek, who would rejoin the band 18 years later and stayed with the band until his death in 2017. [4] [5] Also included in the current lineup are drummer Shawn Beamer, bassist Tim Lindsey and vocalist Jimmy Elkins. [6]


Early years, commercial success and Danny Joe Brown's first departure (1971–1980)

Molly Hatchet was founded by guitarist Dave Hlubek in 1971. The band originated and was based in Jacksonville, Florida and shared influences and inspiration with what is perhaps the most well-known act in the Southern rock genre, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The producer on their first record, Tom Werman, known for working with straight rock music acts such as Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent, [7] combined boogie, blues and hard rock.

The band released their first album, Molly Hatchet in September 1978. [8] 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, [8] with its title song another AOR hit, as was its first track, "Whiskey Man", from the album. Molly Hatchet proceeded to tour behind both records and expanded their fan base, appearing at theaters, arenas and stadiums with the likes of AC/DC, [9] [10] [11] Aerosmith, [12] The Babys, [10] The Charlie Daniels Band, [13] Cheap Trick, [10] [11] Def Leppard, [9] Journey, [14] Judas Priest, [9] Eddie Money, [14] The Outlaws, [13] REO Speedwagon, [12] Rush, [15] Santana, [14] Scorpions, [11] Bob Seger, [12] Thin Lizzy, [14] .38 Special, [13] Pat Travers, [9] UFO, [12] and The Who. [11]

Lead singer Danny Joe Brown left the band in May 1980 due to diabetes and other reasons, only to return two years later. [16] After Brown left Molly Hatchet, he formed the Danny Joe Brown Band.

Continued popularity, member changes and split with Epic (1980–1988)

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

Brown was replaced in 1980 in Molly Hatchet by vocalist Jimmy Farrar, [8] a native of LaGrange, Georgia. The earlier albums seemed to some commentators to exhibit a distinct southern cultural influence; that sound changed with the addition of Farrar. [8] 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 away from the Southern rock sound of their first albums. [8] Nonetheless, Molly Hatchet toured successfully in support of Beatin' the Odds, opening for bands like Blue Öyster Cult, AC/DC and The Outlaws, as well as headlining their own tour that was supported by the Michael Schenker Group and the Johnny Van Zant Band. [17] [18] [19] [20]

By 1981, Molly Hatchet had evolved to a straight-ahead rock style and a slicker production, as exhibited on Take No Prisoners (November 1981). [21] The band remained a successful act on the touring circuit.

Longtime bass player Banner Thomas left in November 1981 and was replaced by Riff West. [8] 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. [21] 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 . [8]

During the summer of 1983, Hatchet was touring with fellow Jacksonville natives Blackfoot. But just before a gig at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, Brown, Holland and Roland decided to leave and return home, leaving only Hlubek, West and Borden to play the show. After a quick rehearsal backstage, Blackfoot's Rickey Medlocke took Brown's place as front man and their other guitarist, Charlie Hargrett, played behind Hlubek's lead. Danny and the other guys re-joined the tour the next day.

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

In November 1984 the album The Deed Is Done was released, which was more of a straightforward pop/rock offering, [22] with Bruce Crump returning on drums.

November 1985 saw the unveiling of the band's double live album Double Trouble Live , [8] after which the band was dropped by Epic. They retained Brown and their Southern Rock style.

Guitarist/founder Hlubek, who later admitted to suffering from drug troubles, left Molly Hatchet in January 1987. [4] He was replaced by Bobby Ingram, who had contributed backup vocals to Double Trouble, had played as a guitarist in the Danny Joe Brown Band and had also played earlier with Brown in Rum Creek.

Years of turmoil and more lineup changes (1989–2004)

Molly Hatchet's first studio album in five years, and only release on Capitol Records, Lightning Strikes Twice was released in 1989 and it was their first one not to appear on the charts. One of its singles, "There Goes the Neighborhood", did however enter the Top 30 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. [3] The band went on a year-long tour to support the album, playing smaller venues such as clubs and theaters, as opposed to the stadiums and arenas that had expanded their popularity. On July 8, 1990 Molly Hatchet, who had been dropped by Capitol after the commercial failure of Lighting Strikes Twice, announced at a show in Toledo, Ohio that the concert would be their final one, that after that night the band would be disbanding. [23]

A greatest hits collection released by Epic, Greatest Hits , featuring two newly recorded songs, was released in the fall of 1990, with sales reaching gold status. [24]

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, from Johnny Van Zant's band), 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 and Danny Joe Brown Band) was bassist after Banner left again in 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 Jimmy Farrar was brought back for a few weeks to front the group and help "legitimize" the current version. But the crowd reaction to Farrar being back wasn't overly positive and Ingram and Brown together made the decision to bring back Brown's 1992 stand-in, Phil McCormack, as the permanent replacement. McCormack fronted the band for their next album Devil's Canyon (June 1996).

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. [25] 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 keyboardist Tim Donovan began filling in for Galvin on the road and Sean Shannon became the group's new drummer in 1998 after Crawford left. In 1999 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 organized by former Hatchet bassist Riff West on July 18, 1999 at Orlando, Florida's Club LaVela. 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". [25]

Molly Hatchet Justice 2010 39587 1618078973917 1294660223 1676407 483133 n (2).jpg
Molly Hatchet Justice 2010

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 the recording of Kingdom, guitarist Russ Maxwell came aboard after Bassett left the group to rejoin Foghat, then Shawn Beamer (from Southern Rock Rebellion) replaced Sean Shannon in the fall of 2001. Bassist Jerry Scott (formerly with Brian Howe's band) joined in early 2002 after McKinney departed.

That same year, Ingram took a short break from touring after suffering a heart attack, and the band continued with only Maxwell on guitar. [26]

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.

Bassist Jerry Scott was replaced by J.J. Strickland in May 2003, before Tim Lindsey, former Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Rossington Band, Artimus Pyle Band and the Mind Garden (with Dave Hlubek) bassist coming full circle back to his roots, took over in February 2004. [27] Maxwell left the next month, with Jake Rutter taking his place. [27]

Return of Dave Hlubek (2005–2013)

Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge (May 2005) featured the return of Hlubek after Rutter had left. But another guitarist, Jimbo Manion, played alongside Ingram until Hlubek had satisfied his other commitments and was able to return full time later that year.

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 . [28]

During the spring of 2006, David "Dino" Ramsey sat in for singer McCormack, who had taken ill.

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's 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. [29] In 2013, Beamer returned to the band.

Deaths of former members and continued career (2014–present)

From 2014 through 2020 there were a wave of deaths of former or then-present Hatchet members; Bass guitarist Riff West died on November 19, 2014, at age 64, after a lengthy illness caused by severe injuries suffered in a car accident. [30] [31] Drummer Bruce Crump died on March 16, 2015, at age 57, from complications after a twelve-year battle with throat cancer. [32] Bass guitarist Banner Thomas, age 62, died from complications of pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis on April 10, 2017. [33] [34] Dave Hlubek died of a heart attack on September 2, 2017, at the age of 66. [35] 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. [36] McCormack had been sidelined in early 2019, after suffering from health troubles that affected his voice. He was replaced by singer Jimmy Elkins, who continued on with Hatchet after McCormack's death. Steve Holland, the last original member of Molly Hatchet, died on August 2, 2020, at age 66. [37]

Despite there being no original members left, Molly Hatchet continues to perform live as of 2021, and their current lineup features half of the Lightning Strikes Twice -era lineup (keyboardist John Galvin and guitarist Bobby Ingram) as well as drummer Shawn Beamer, bassist Tim Lindsey and vocalist Jimmy Elkins, who replaced McCormack in 2019. [38]

Name and iconic cover art

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. [22] [21]


Current members


Studio albums

YearAlbumPeak chart positionsCertification
1978 Molly Hatchet 64Platinum
1979 Flirtin' with Disaster 19542xPlatinumGold
1980 Beatin' the Odds 2590Platinum
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

YearAlbumPeak chart positions
1981Molly Hatchet Live E/P/A Series
1985 Double Trouble Live 13094
2000Live at the Agora Ballroom Atlanta Georgia 1979
2003Locked and Loaded
Greatest Hits Live
2007Flirtin' with Disaster Live
2013Live At Rockpalast 1996
"—" denotes album that failed to chart


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


YearSinglePeak chart positions [39] [3] 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"8113 The Deed Is Done
1985"Stone in Your Heart"26
1989"There Goes the Neighborhood"26 Lightning Strikes Twice

Radio shows

Related Research Articles

<i>Flirtin with Disaster</i> 1979 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Flirtin' with Disaster is the second studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1979. In 2001, Sony Music re-issued the album under their subsidiary label Epic/Legacy with the production of Jeff Magid and four bonus tracks. It is their best-selling album.

<i>Beatin the Odds</i> (Molly Hatchet album) 1980 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Beatin' the Odds is the third studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1980. This is the first album with new vocalist Jimmy Farrar, who replaced Danny Joe Brown. A remastered edition of the album was issued in 2008 by Rock Candy Records, with four live bonus tracks and extensive liner notes. The remastering was directed by famous British producer Jon Astley. The album was also reissued under the SPV/Steamhammer label in 2013 and only included the original tracks.

Danny Joe Brown was the lead singer of the Southern rock group Molly Hatchet after succeeding founder Dave Hlubek in 1976 and co-writer of the band's biggest hits from the late 1970s.

<i>Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge</i> 2005 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge is the eleventh album by American Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released on May 24, 2005, two months after former singer Danny Joe Brown died from complications of pneumonia. In January 2005, guitarist Bobby Ingram invited Dave Hlubek, one of the original three guitarists, to rejoin Molly Hatchet and in doing so became the only current member who was a part of the original band, and appears on this album.

Dave Hlubek

David Lawrence "Dave" Hlubek was the American lead guitarist and founding member of the Southern rock band Molly Hatchet.

Gator Country was an American Southern rock band formed in Davie, Florida, in 2005 by several ex-members of the Southern rock group Molly Hatchet. The band, founded by vocalist Jimmy Farrar, guitarist Duane Roland, drummer Bruce Crump, guitarist Steve Holland, and bassist Riff West took its name from the title of the hit song, "Gator Country".

The Danny Joe Brown Band (DJBB) was founded by lead singer Danny Joe Brown in 1980. Danny Joe Brown had just left the southern rock band Molly Hatchet, which had followed in the footsteps of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Outlaws to achieve wide national success with two multi-platinum albums and international recognition with intensive world tours.

<i>No Guts...No Glory</i> (Molly Hatchet album) 1983 studio album by Molly Hatchet

No Guts...No Glory is the fifth studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1983. Original vocalist Danny Joe Brown returned for this recording, with a new rhythm section composed of bassist Riff West and drummer Barry Borden. It is Molly Hatchet's only album not to feature an epic, fantasy themed cover. The cover photo for the album was reportedly shot at Six Gun Territory, a now defunct theme park in Silver Springs, Florida.

<i>The Deed Is Done</i> 1984 studio album by Molly Hatchet

The Deed Is Done is the sixth studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1984. This is the first Molly Hatchet album with only two guitarists, after Steve Holland had been replaced by ex-Danny Joe Brown Band keyboard player John Galvin and the return of drummer Bruce Crump. It was also the band's last album for 21 years to feature longtime guitarist Dave Hlubek. The sound of the album is quite different from the southern rock of the band's earlier offerings, completing the transition towards more commercial and FM-friendly hard rock. The Deed Is Done is also Molly Hatchet's last studio album released on Epic Records, and their last one to date to enter the Billboard charts. It was reissued in 2013 under the German label SPV/SteamHammer.

<i>Lightning Strikes Twice</i> (album) 1989 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Lightning Strikes Twice is the seventh studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1989. This was the band's first album not released on Epic Records, and their first one with guitarist Bobby Ingram, replacing founding member Dave Hlubek. Although the album did not enter the Billboard charts, it included their last charting single to date "There Goes the Neighborhood". Lightning Strikes Twice would also be the band's last album before their temporary breakup in 1990 and the last one to feature vocalist Danny Joe Brown, guitarist Duane Roland, bassist Riff West and drummer Bruce Crump.

<i>Devils Canyon</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Devil's Canyon is the eighth studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1996. The album was recorded seven years after Lightning Strikes Twice, with only Danny Joe Brown of the original line-up. During the recording of the album, Brown was forced to retire because of his precarious health condition and was replaced by Phil McCormack, who completed the vocal tracks.

<i>Silent Reign of Heroes</i> 1998 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Silent Reign of Heroes is the ninth studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released on June 16, 1998.

<i>Kingdom of XII</i> 2000 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Kingdom of XII is the tenth studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 2000 by the German label SPV. It was reissued in the United States in 2001 by CMC International, a division of Sanctuary Records Group.

<i>Double Trouble Live</i> 1985 live album by Molly Hatchet

Double Trouble Live is a double LP live album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 1985. Two previously unreleased songs, "Walk on the Side of the Angels" and "Walk with You" were omitted in the CD edition to fit all the music on a single compact disc. The cover of "Freebird" and "Edge of Sundown" were songs usually performed by lead singer Danny Joe Brown and The Danny Joe Brown Band during his period of absence from Molly Hatchet.

<i>Greatest Hits</i> (Molly Hatchet album) 1990 compilation album by Molly Hatchet

Greatest Hits is a compilation of songs by the American southern rock band Molly Hatchet. The collection was released in 1990. It was their last album released by Epic Records and features guitarist Bobby Ingram on the two newly recorded tracks after the departure of Dave Hlubek in 1987. The album also does not include anything from their latest album at the time Lightning Strikes Twice, which was released on Capitol Records. In 2001 Sony Music re-issued the album in an expanded edition with three tracks that weren't on the original 12-track collection, along with liner notes from Martin Popoff.

<i>Southern Rock Masters</i> 2008 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Southern Rock Masters is a cover album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, was released on April 15, 2008.

<i>Justice</i> (Molly Hatchet album) 2010 studio album by Molly Hatchet

Justice is the twelfth studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet, released in 2010.

Skinny Molly

Skinny Molly is an American southern rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, United States.

Regrinding the Axes is the thirteenth and at least as of 2021, is the most recent studio album by American southern rock band Molly Hatchet with a different order of the songs and some substitutions. "Free Bird", "Back In The USSR", and "Yesterday" have been inserted instead of "Desperado". The three original live bonus tracks have been replaced with "Get In The Game", the instrumental part of "Layla", and a live version of "Dreams I'll Never See". .


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