Molly Hatchet singer Phil McCormack (1960-2019) remembered
Founded in Jacksonville, Florida, by guitarist Dave Hlubek in 1971, Molly Hatchet has carried the southern rock torch throughout the decades, ever since Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant helped them out by letting them record demos using Skynyrd’s equipment. Van Zant, of course, sadly died in the fatal airplane accident of 1977 before Molly Hatchet got around to release their self-titled debut in 1978.
Famous for their Frank Frazetta album covers, Molly Hatchet had released seven studio albums when vocalist Danny Joe Brown (who joined the band in 1976 and had sung on all albums except the Jimmy Farrar-fronted releases “Beatin’ the Odds” and “Take No Prisoners”, recorded during Brown’s absence of 1980-82) left the band after suffering a stroke in 1995.
Formerly of The Roadducks (who released one album, “Get Ducked” in 1987), Phil McCormack had stood in for Brown briefly in early 1992 (the same year as he sung on two tracks, “Let Me Be Your Driver” and the title track on the Savoy Brown album “Let It Ride”) and now joined them as their new singer.
The line-up McCormack joined by then no longer featured the founder Hlubek. He had left the band in 1987, suffering from drug troubles, and had been replaced by Bobby Ingram, previously guitarist in The Danny Joe Brown Band. Phil McCormack would – together with Ingram – remain at the core of Molly Hatchet for the rest of his life, starting with their 8th album “Devil’s Canyon” in 1996 which was soon followed by the excellent “Silent Reign of Heroes” two years later.
After another three albums of original material and the cover album “Southern Rock Masters”, the final Molly Hatchet recordings to feature Phil McCormack was 2012’s “Regrinding the Axes”, an album featuring covers of songs by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Mountain, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Thin Lizzy, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers Band, Eagles and The Beatles.
Phil McCormack was born on July 31, 1960 and passed way on April 26, 2019.
Phil McCormack discography:
1987 Roadducks – Get Ducked
1992 Savoy Brown – Let It Ride
1996 Molly Hatchet – Devil’s Canyon
1998 Molly Hatchet – Silent Reign of Heroes
2000 Molly Hatchet – Kingdom of XII
2005 Molly Hatchet – Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge
2008 Molly Hatchet – Southern Rock Masters
2010 Molly Hatchet – Justice
2012 Molly Hatchet – Regrinding the Axes