Friday, January 11, 2013

Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet is an American southern metal band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1975. They are known for their hit song "Flirtin' with Disaster" from the album of the same title. The band, founded by Dave Hlubek and Steve Holland, took its name from a prostitute who allegedly mutilated and decapitated her clients Most of Molly Hatchet album covers feature heroic fantasy inspired art, some of which were painted by artists Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Molly Hatchet shared influences and inspiration with the most well-known act in the southern rock genre, Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as another up-and-coming southern-rock act, .38 Special, who referred them to manager Pat Armstrong. Armstrong with partner Alan Walden had briefly been co-manager of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1970. Armstrong signed Molly Hatchet and garnered the group a recording contract with Epic Records, bringing in Tom Werman as a producer. Werman had already worked with acts such as Cheap Trick, Stranger and Ted Nugent. Ronnie Van Zant was slated to produce Molly Hatchet's first album, having helped in writing arrangements and directing rehearsals prior to his fatal airplane crash. Molly Hatchet actually cut their first demos in Lynyrd Skynyrd's 8-track recording studio using their equipment.[3] Other demos were cut in Jacksonville's infamous Warehouse Studios and "shopped", and Warner Brothers expressed interest. Warner Brothers' A&R could not decide whether to sign Molly Hatchet or another promising band they had been working with at that same time. They ended up being turned down by Warner Brothers and would later discover that the competing band was none other than Van Halen. Within six months they signed to Epic Records.Prior to the band's signing with Epic Records, they often toured the Florida roadhouse and bar circuit. Dave Hlubek was the band's vocalist prior to Danny Joe Brown, and wrote and co-produced many of the band's songs. Hlubek has stated that the demise of Lynyrd Skynyrd – who were at the height of their success – opened the door for Molly Hatchet.

The result of the teaming of Tom Werman, a producer known for working with straight hard rock acts, with a Southern-influenced band led to a new development in the Southern rock genre. Combining boogie, blues and hard rock, Molly Hatchet's sound was different from more country-influenced acts such as Outlaws. Like the area's other Southern rock acts, their music typically expressed the values, hopes and excesses of 1970s-era young adults in a Southern metropolitan area like Jacksonville, in addition to Southern ("Gator Country", "Sweet Dixie") and Western themes ("Edge of Sundown", "Bounty Hunter", "Gunsmoke").

The band recorded and released their first album, Molly Hatchet in 1978, followed by Flirtin' with Disaster in 1979. Molly Hatchet proceeded to tour behind the record, building a larger fan base. Danny Joe Brown, whose gruff voice and tough yet amicable persona had defined the act to that point, left the band in 1980 because of his chronic diabetes and other reasons, only to return two years later.

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