One can only imagine what lady of the evening, Molly Hatchet, who lived several hundred years ago, would have thought, if she had known her name would become synonymous with a hard rocking, southern music band. Then again, she probably wouldn’t have cared because legend has it; she was lopping off the heads of her admirers with a great degree of regularity.
The band released their first album during 1978 and except for a few years during the early 1990s, have been playing their brand of southern hard rock ever since. They have released 13 studio, seven live, and around seven compilations.
There have been numerous personal changes through the years. The current band consists of guitarist Bobby Ingram, vocalist Phil McCormack, guitarist Dave Hlubek, keyboardist John Galvin, bassist Tim Lindsey, and drummer Shawn Beamer. Former members Steve Holland, Bruce Camp, Jimmy Farrar, and Riff West now play together in the band Gator Country. Danny Joe Brown passed away during 2005, and Duane Roland did in 2006.
Molly Hatchet have just released the two-disc, Greatest Hits II. The first disc contains 14 tracks that concentrate on the second half of their career. As with most greatest hits albums, there can always be discussion and controversy as to what songs are included and what is left out.
While their recent material may not be as well-known as that contained on such early career albums as Flirtin’ With Disaster, Beatin’ The Odds, and their self-titled debut, it is still hard southern rock. Songs such as “Son Of The South,” “Fall Of The Peacemakers,” “Rainbow Bridge,” “ Cornbread Mafia,” and “Mississippi Moon Dog” may not be subtle but they do reach out and grab you. It is the kind of music you turn up real loud and then hang on to.
The second disc contains seven live tracks and one new song. The seven live tracks seem to have been taken from the same concert. They are energetic live updates of some of their best known material. Songs such as “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” “Beatin’ The Odds,” “Whiskey Man,” and “Edge Of Sundown” are all recognizable to hard rock fans, and it’s nice to see that the modern day Molly Hatchet is still rocking away.
The new track is “Sacred Ground.” While it may only be about average, it is appropriate, as the band sings about sticking to your guns, as the sacred ground is southern rock.
Greatest Hits II may not be essential to hardcore Molly Hatchet fans but it is a nice overview of the second, less commercially successful part of their career. If you have not kept up with Molly Hatchet since their heyday, this is a good way to catch up.