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Molly Hatchet at Hellfest 2012
Molly Hatchet is an American
Molly Hatchet was founded by guitarist Dave Hlubek in 1971. The band originated and was based in
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. Members of
Werman, known for working with straight
Molly Hatchet was followed by
Molly Hatchet proceeded to tour behind the records building a larger fan base. Lead singer Danny Joe Brown left the band in May 1980 because of
After Danny Joe Brown left Molly Hatchet, he formed
With the addition of Jimmy Farrar as lead singer, a new approach came to the band's sound. The earlier albums seemed to some commentators to exhibit a distinct southern cultural influence – which changed with the addition of Farrar. Danny Joe Brown's stage persona, gruff voice and cowboy horse-whistling was replaced with Jimmy Farrar's new vocal style, mixed with a new harder-rocking sound.
By 1981, Molly Hatchet had evolved to a straight-ahead rock style and a slicker production, as exhibited on
Long time bass player Banner Thomas left in November 1981 and was replaced by Riff West. And in 1982, drummer B. B. Borden (also known as B. B. Queen as a member of the
Farrar then left the group to make way for Brown's return. He would later rejoin other members of Molly Hatchet in
In March 1983 the line-up of Brown, Hlubek, Holland, Roland, West and Borden released a new album titled
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.[
December 1985 saw the unveiling of the band's double live album
Guitarist/founder Hlubek, who later admitted to suffering from drug troubles, left Molly Hatchet in January 1987. He was replaced by Bobby Ingram, who was guitarist in The Danny Joe Brown Band.
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 90s 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.
During the first half of the 1990s, Molly Hatchet played selected shows and tours but didn't 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 (formerly of The Roadducks and 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. 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
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
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.[
Also in 2000,
After appearing on Kingdom, guitarist Bassett left the group for to rejoin Foghat and Russ Maxwell came in on guitar, with drummer Dale Rock, then Shawn Beamer (from Southern Rock Rebellion) joining to replace Sean Shannon in the fall of 2001.
Bassist Jerry Scott (formerly with
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 of 2001). Tim Donovan (1997-2002), Scott Woods (2002), Jeff Ravenscraft (2003-2004),
In 2003 Tim Lindsey former
Danny Joe Brown died on March 10, 2005 at his home in
On June 19, 2006 guitarist Duane Roland died at his home in
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.
In 2011 drummer Shawn Beamer had a heart attack and was temporarily replaced by drummer Scott Craig. In 2013 Beamer returned to the band.
As of 2012, Molly Hatchet were touring in the United States, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden and other markets in the Pacific rim and Australia.
Bass guitarist Riff West died on November 19, 2014 at age 54 after injuries suffered in a car accident.
Dave Hlubek died of a heart attack on September 2, 2017, at the age of 66.
Former Hatchet singer Jimmy Farrar died at age 68 on October 29, 2018 of congestive heart failure, kidney and liver failure
The band, which now consists of Bobby Ingram, John Galvin, Phil McCormack, Tim Lindsey and Shawn Beamer, is still touring full time and performing in the US, Japan and the Middle East for United States Military fans.
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