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Molly Hatchet - Double Trouble - Live

Review: 210
Date: 7 Jan 05


Rating: 3 Stars

Danny Joe Baker - Vocals
Dave Hlubek - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, and Backing Vocals
Duane Roland - Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Bruce Crump - Drums
Riff Wes - Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
John Galvin - Piano, Synthesizer, and Backing Vocals

Tracks Listing:
Whiskey Man
Bounty Hunter
Gator Country
Flirtin’ With Disaster
Stone In Your Heart
Satisfied Man
Bloody Reunion
Boogie No More
Dreams I’ ll Never See
Edge Of Sundown
Fall Of The Peacemakers
Beatin’ The Odds


Ahh... Southern Rock. Breathe deeply and you can smell it. Well, not the music, but you can sure fill your nostrils with the heavy aroma of Jack Daniels. Southern Rock comes in many different packages, like Little Feat, very funky; the Outlaws, country influence; Blackfoot, who veered heavily towards hard rock; the Allman Brothers, carrying the flag for the blues; and of course Lynyrd Skynyrd, the ultimate Southern rock band. Molly Hatchet are the Stones and rhythm and blues influenced Southern rock band. What all the bands have in common is gruff vocals, a penchant for guitar solos, and no regard to dress sense as long as it’s blue jeans and cowboy boots, topped off by a Stetson hat. Also scant notice is taken of expanding waistlines and certainly no regard is wasted in keeping a stable line-up. Molly Hatchet are true to form in all these elements.

This album catches Molly Hatchet in fine form with the great Danny Joe Brown out in front with his hard living attitude and great diction. He sang and lived the Southern attitude to the maximum, a great focal point, charisma just oozed from this man, his vocals completely dominate these recordings, which is no mean feat considering what is behind him. Danny Joe Brown can be heard at his absolute best on Hatchet’s tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, when they break into a eleven minute version of ‘Freebird’ in the middle of this set. The song is given an emotional introduction before the band came crashing in. What a band, too. By now and after six years on the road, when this concert was recorded on a home coming gig in Dallas, Texas and a sultry night in Jacksonville, Florida, the Hatchet had reduced to a twin lead guitar attack (there had originally been three) comprising of Dave Hlubek, who turns in a fine display of slide playing, and other original Hatchet man Duane Roland. Backing them up are Bruce Crump on drums and the marvelously monikered Riff West on bass. Sitting quietly at the side of the stage was the recently acquired John Galvin on keyboards, but there really isn’t much room in Southern Rock for tinkling of the ivories with all the guitar and vocal action going on.

All the classic Hatchet songs are featured here in all their glory. (One glance at the song titles will tell you what they are about.) The band takes most songs on the gallop and only occasionally swaggers into a canter. Certainly do not bother looking for any ballads here; not an album to sit down to. Instead, turn up the volume to eleven and do some grotesque gurning down at the front of the stage. Every song here would go down well at the front in Tahitian Queens famous rock ’n’ roll Happy hour on Friday evening.

Molly Hatchet is now embarking on their 25-year anniversary tour. But, is it really Molly Hatchet you may ask? After this long life span all of the original members of the band have left. Even this line-up, which played together six years after the band’s conception, only contained three originals, and none of these guys are presently with the band. Over the years new guys arrived to fill the shoes of those who left and Southern Rock is an attitude, not a line-up. So what the heck, if it sounds good and feels good, love it. Deep Purple have only got the drummer left from the original quintet, and they make Spinal Tap look like a stable animal.

So then, why only three Stars? Well, two songs have been left off from the original release to make it possible to fit onto one C.D. When it comes to releases, this dog wants it all. Then the transfer over onto C.D. from the tapes is appalling, losing an awful lot of the bottom end. If ever a collection of songs needed the double C.D. re-mastered, made over with additional tracks, etc., this is it. Warner Brothers have already done a marvelous job of re-vamping Little Feats live album "Waiting for Columbus". Com’on, Epic Records, the Hatchet job’s awaiting.


Scratched by Mott the Dog
Re-assembled by Ella Crew


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