In the early 1970s, a new genre of music was emerging in Jacksonville, Florida. A mixture of blues, country, gospel, and the English invasion of rock and roll that later was to be coined the phrase “Southern Rock.” The music was filled with style and emotion and with bands in the forefront such as the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and a band from Jacksonville, Florida called Molly Hatchet. Named after a famous 17th-century axe murderess “hatchet molly” who would behead her lovers with the hand tool Lizzy Borden made famous.
Their self-titled debut album was released on Epic Records in 1978 and reached multi-platinum status as the band established their reputation of working hard, playing tough, and living fast through intense touring with such bands as Aerosmith, Bob Seger, The Rolling Stones, and many more. In 1979, Flirtin’ with Disaster was released, and history was in the making. The band continued touring on the road with an average of 250 live shows per year and like the first album, it also achieved multi-platinum status. Lead singer, Danny Joe Brown left the band in 1980 and contacted Bobby Ingram, a Jacksonville-based guitarist, and friend, who gave Brown his first singing gig in 1975 with a Jacksonville-based band called Rum Creek. Brown and Ingram then put together with keyboardist John Galvin the Danny Joe Brown Band and continued touring until 1982. The album was produced by the legendary Glyn Johns at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas as he has worked with legendary artists The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, and The Eagles and is known as the top recording/engineer/ producer in rock and roll history.
During this time, Beatin’ The Odds (1980) and Take No Prisoners (1981) were released with singer Jimmy Farrar. Brown returned to record with John Galvin’s No Guts … No Glory (1983), The Deed Is Done (1984), and Double Trouble Live (1985). In early 1987, Bobby Ingram of Jacksonville came into the band as lead guitar and songwriter and the band continued to tour over 200 dates a year in 1989 record Lightning Strikes Twice for capitol records.
In 1990, while Ingram, Galvin, and Brown continued the tradition as Molly Hatchet the tough touring schedule led to the other member’s departure from the band. The Greatest Hits album was released in 1991 and certified gold. The band from 1990 until 1996 took a break from recording but Brown and Ingram continued to write new songs and tour in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Devil’s Canyon, was produced by Kalle Trapp and Bobby Ingram the album was voted the number-one rock record in various German magazines for 1996. With a history of diabetes, Brown was unable to fulfill studio and touring responsibilities and Phil McCormack took over the lead vocal position. Long-time members Bobby Ingram – on lead guitar, John Galvin – on keyboards, Timmy Lindsey – on bass, and Shawn Beamer – drums, make up the current lineup along with various singers on tour.
From the release of Devil’s Cannon and the worldwide touring of the band has continued performing classic hits such as “Flirtin’ with Disaster, “Gator Country,” “Whiskey Man” and “Dreams I’ll Never Dee,” as well as, the current hits in the true spirit and southern tradition of Molly Hatchet. The 1998 release of Silent Reign of Heroes was recorded back in Hamburg, Germany with producer/guitarist Bobby Ingram and is kept in the same spirit and tradition as the past with new hit songs “Mississippi Moon Dog,” “Saddle Tramp,” “Miss Saturday Night” and the title track “Silent Reign of Heroes”. Included on the album is an acoustic version of the classic hit “Fall of The Peacemakers”. The band is currently on an extensive 18-month world tour in support of the new release “Kingdom of XII” where guest artist Charlie Daniels appeared on 2 tracks the album charted in Europe and had great success.
In 2003 the band is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first national or international release with its first double Live album “Locked and Loaded” recorded in Germany as they consider this their home away from home and appeared on the German Charts as SPV GmbH is still their beloved record company with Rainer Hansel and Manfred Schutz. SPV Gmbh. The live album Locked and Loaded, a double CD that was recorded in Germany at the International Harley Davidson Festival in front of 80,000 Southern rockers has now been captured on DVD and released fall of 2005.
After 4.5 years of touring and tracking outside of the studio on their own material, it was time to release an album that in the band’s tradition goes back to the roots of straightforward southern rock and roll that are unequaled of anything the band has recorded before in the 25-year legacy. The album “Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge” recorded in the mountain tops of Bavaria was the perfect setting for such a comprehensive project. Bobby would suffer the loss of his wife Stephanie during the tracking of the album and finish after a delay. The Southern Rock community has lost a great person that she gave all and loved Molly Hatchet and the friends she met along the way.
Molly Hatchet is now led by the expertise of Olly Hahn SPV/Steamhammer GmbH in Hannover, Germany. Olly Hahn has been the driving force in support of Molly Hatchet for 30 years and is well-known and respected in the European music industry.
In 2005, Danny Joe Brown the singer for Molly Hatchet passed away from complications of diabetes he had suffered with for many years, and he gave so much to the rock and roll industry and music around the world and will never be forgotten. In 2006, Duane Roland, guitarist of the band passed away and left a legacy that will never be forgotten. In 2015, Dave Hlubek, a founding member after playing in various bands around the United States has returned to Molly Hatchet after 20 years. Everyone was glad to see Dave having a good time and doing what he does best. Dave passed away in 2017 from heart complications.
In 2018, the band headed to the Persian Gulf to play a special concert for the United States Military stationed in the United Arab Emirates and then on to Okinawa, Japan to perform for our dedicated troops in the South Pacific. Phil McCormack passed away in 2019. The band continues to tour and record. A live album “Battleground” was released in 2019 and recorded in Germany, Switzerland, and in cities in the United States over a 5-year time span. The band is currently touring worldwide and has plans for a new studio album release planned for 2024 and starting new studio recordings at Abbey Road Studios in London, England summer of 2023.
As we enter the next 40 years of music, Molly Hatchet’s tradition and legacy keep developing the common bond of southern rockers. Keeping our southern style of music alive and well. Rest assured, Molly Hatchet is a band, that after 40 years, is always workin’ hard, playin’ tough, livin’ fast, and still Flirtin’ with Disaster!