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MOLLY HATCHET - Molly Hatchet

Old School !! Release date September 1/78 (Epic)

I, like many of you out there I assume, had an older brother who influenced my musical journey early in life. His tastes were quite diverse when I look back, with the likes of Bowie, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Tubes, Sabbath, Sex Pistols, Elton John, Grand Funk Railroad and the like hitting his turntable in random order ... most often at ear splitting levels. He was astute enough to realize that it was the harder-edged stuff that caught my particular fancy, so he would often throw a new release at my feet and say 'You should check this out." Thus, was my introduction to albums like Never Mind The Bollocks, Volume 4 and Let There Be Rock, releases that I still eagerly listen to at my advanced age.

One such release was the brand spanking new (at the time) debut album from southern rock outfit Molly Hatchet way back in 1978. He was usually bang-on with his suggestions, so I remember eagerly putting it on the turntable expecting some headbanging fare to come blasting out. What I heard indeed was some aggressive fare, but it was different ... dare I say more refined and nuanced than I expected. Rumbling bass and quick-picking guitar that often sounded acoustic washed over my ears, while Danny Joe Brown's vocals were of more down-home, every-man variety rather than the expected crazed histrionics of a Halford or McCafferty.

I remember being somewhat confused upon first listen and not that enamored, to be truthful. However, there was no denying the great guitar playing, catchy songs and lord I loved Danny Joe's vocals which invited you to pull up a log with him at the campfire. The record somehow found itself in heavier and heavier rotation until it became one of my fave releases of that year. 'Bounty Hunter', 'Gator Country', 'Big Apple' and 'Dreams I'll Never See' are still within the top 50 southern rock tracks of all time in my humble opinion.

In retrospect it represented my introduction into the world of southern rock, where I was later to delve deeper as a result. So, here's a hearty slap on my brother Mike's back for inadvertently directing me towards such great bands as Blackfoot, Georgia Satellites, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nashville Pussy, ZZ Top, Raging Slab, Hogjaw and, of course, Molly Hatchet ... forever my fave down-south ravers.

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