Are they Southern Rock or Southern Metal, as Molly Hatchet always thought of themselves?
Whatever they are, I can tell you my ears are still ringing from last night, and after seeing the current incarnation at the Canyon Club, I can also tell you they are a fun-loving, good-time having, enjoying-the-hell-out-of-life on stage bunch.
There we were in the front row, getting our ears blown out from the speakers… rocking out to the non-stop ball of energy, flashing the heavy metal horns and getting high fives from lead singer Phil McCormack. I was not sure what to expect going in, but I left having had a blast and enjoying what seemed like a great group of guys playing their hearts out and loving every minute of it.
Bobby Ingram on guitar… He was shredding on every song! John Galvin on the keys… Tim Lindsey, who I swear was either Sam Elliot or Billy Connolly, on the bass, man and the wind-blown Shawn Beamer on drums. Founder and original member Dave Hlubek was apparently sick and unable to travel. That was a bit odd.
My buddy Brad and I each grabbed a set list that the band gladly signed. Of course, they paid more attention to the female groupies… Yes, they are older, but they still have ’em… with picks and drum sticks… but the band seemed to really love the crowd and totally fed off us.
My knowledge of Molly Hatchet was superficial at best. I knew the hit songs and a basic history of the band, but that’s as deep as it went. As far as Southern Rock goes, I am much more in tune with Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, Marshall Tucker and Charlie Daniels… You know I’ll be at the Canyon in May when Marshall Tucker rolls in. Outlaws and Blackfoot would be on that list, too. And of course, one of the greatest bands of all time.. The Allman Brothers Band.
In fact, I wore my Retro Brand Fillmore East shirt which prompted Phil to give me a shout out and say, “Look at this guy in the front with a Fillmore East shirt! Awesome!”
Double Trouble Live came out in 1985 and is a good place to start. You get a lot of the fun hits like:
Whiskey Man, Gator Country, their cover of Freebird, Dreams I’ll Never See, Beatin’ the Odds and of course the mega-hit Flirtin’ With Disaster… all of which they played last night. I truly love those last two songs and you know what… objectively, they are really good songs. The band last night was also really good.
Their cover of Freebird is a great tribute to their brethren band from Jacksonville, Fla… and those lost in that tragic air crash in 1977. I can vividly remember when that news came down the line and it still freaks me out when I think of it. Charlie Daniels’ beautiful song Reflections is another tribute well worth a listen.
So grab yourself a bottle of Jack and slap this bad boy on the stereo. It is a hard rocking party album for sure. And if the Hatchet comes to a place near you, just go and have a fun time… Just bring ear plugs. Did I mention that my ears are STILL ringing???!!!