I can feel all the aches and pains kicking into action when I realise that it's nearly thirty years since I bought my first Molly Hatchet album. There was only one rock show on my local radio station, and for most of 1980s the DJ played the Molly Hatchet song, "Beatin' The Odds," just about every week. So with my apprentice butcher wages in hand, I headed off to Oddfellows Hall and the Ezy Ryder record emporium. They didn't have the Beatin' The Odds album, but they did have a second hand copy of their self-titled debut. I didn't stop playing it for months and my life-long love of Southern Rock was well and truly underway.
Of course we didn't have the Internet back then, so it took a while for me to work out why the vocals sounded so different from the song I'd heard on the radio. And by the time I managed to buy the Beatin' The Odds album, vocalist Jimmy Farrar had already left to be replaced by the man he'd replaced, Danny Joe Brown. Confusing times. Molly Hatchet came to an end in 1990 after releasing one of the greatest live albums of all time, Double Trouble Live, in 1985, and their final studio album Lightning Strikes Twice in 1989. But if I'd been confused before, then things were about to become even stranger.
A touring band featuring Danny Joe Brown went on the road in the nineties, featuring guitarist Bobby Ingram, who'd been in Danny Joe Brown's solo band in the early eighties, and whom Brown had brought into Molly Hatchet. Sadly, in 1996, after a stroke, Danny Joe Brown had to leave the band (he passed away in 2005), who brought in vocalist Phil McCormack, releasing the album Devil's Canyon, resulting in a band that didn't contain a single original member. However, founding guitarist Dave Hlubek did rejoin the band in 2005 after a near twenty year absence.
Since Devil's Canyon, the band has released three further studio records Silent Reign Of Heroes in 1998, Kingdom of XII in 2000, and the particularly fine Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge in 2005 - and as many live records. They've proven to be very popular in mainland Europe and are signed to a German record label, as well as recording this latest, twelfth, studio album in Germany.