What comes to mind when you think of Molly Hatchet? Besides ‘Flirtin’ with Disaster’ and bad ass album covers? Whiskey, that’s what. Don’t argue with me.
So, venturing out of my comfort zone this week, I’ll be pairing some top shelf whiskey with some redneck rock. I’m unpredictable like that!!
Now, I dig me some southern rock. Molly Hatchet, Skynyrd (fuck Freebird though), Mountain, Marshall Tucker, Allman Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas – you name it. You throw in some outlaw country and distilled spirits and that’s a party waitin’ to happen – or a fight. Or both. Whatever. Anyhow, Molly Hatchet is indeed southern rock. One of the cool things about this band is they not only have one guitar player….No. Not even Two! They have 3, count ’em, 3 Guitar players! Three! Three Guitar Players! Ah-Ah-Ah!!!
Fun fact: Molly Hatchet took its name from a prostitute who allegedly mutilated and decapitated her clients. TOTALLY GNARLY and yet, quite badass. I’d like to elaborate on some of the band members, but this band changed it’s crew as often as Liz Taylor changed husbands. Literally, there is a freaking timeline online so you can see what band members were with the band during what period! See for yourself!
The band formed in the early 70s in Florida, (yes the Florida with the face eating zombies) and they recorded some demo tapes which piqued Warner Brothers Records interest.
Molly Hatchet: “oh my god dudes, Warner Brothers is gonna sign us cuz we sound so badass!”
Warner Bros.: “um, yeah. About that….”
Warner Brothers signed Van Halen over Molly Hatchet, which I ain’t mad about because Duh, Van Halen.
Alas, Epic Records picked them up in 1977, they put out some records, 150 band members later and those sons a bitches are STILL touring! Rock on with ya bad selves.
ALBUM: Flirtin With Disaster, Molly Hatchet, Epic Records, 1979
This is their second studio album and their best selling one. It’s pretty much why everyone knows about Molly Hatchet, it’s got all the songs that got air play! All two of them: Whiskey Man and Flirtin’ with Disaster. Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole album. It’s also got a sweet ass cover by a guy named Frank Frazetta. If you’re into the whole ‘fantasy’ art thing check this dude out.
Side one starts out with Whiskey Man. Great bluesy harmonica starts this off right. Confession: I love Molly Hatchet. I really do, but for some reason, the singer’s voice reminds me of Father Guido Sarduci – “Issa da pope!” (when Saturday Night Live was funny. Youtube that shit).
Sorry, got off track for a minute. Ok, Whiskey Man, has some solid guitar playing and though people may mistakenly think this song is about drinking hootch and having a good time, it’s actually quite foreboding “You ain’t so very damn tall at all. You start to get straight, then you get weak, Can’t you see your on a loosing streak.” Your shit is going down. All the way to China Town. Don’t break the Circle of Trust people. Next song up is the only cover song on the album It’s All Over Now. Originally performed by the Stones, no one, and I do mean NO ONE could ever replicate the awesome that is the Rolling Stones. Sorry Molly Hatchet. Your version is good, but it ain’t Stones good. One Man’s Pleasure comin’ in with some strong drums and bass line and big ol’ “YOW!”. I think this sums it up “One man’s loss is another man’s gain. One man’s pleasure is another man’s pain” – true dat brutha man. Jukin’ City is kind of a red neck anthem: women, beer, country music and fighting. It IS pretty damn catchy and actually one of my faves on this album. Boogie No More is very Skynrd-esque. It’s the guitar. Now flip this over and we start of with the iconoclastic Flirtin With Disaster. Does every band have a song like this – about livin’ hard and fast and partying? I mean it’s a great song, but I’m pretty sure every band writes a song about this shit at some juncture. Good Rockin’ – might as well be called Good Shaggin’ cuz that’s pretty much what it’s about – putting on a show and banging groupies. Minus points for this one, boys. Still, my toes are tapping to this song. Gunsmoke starts off with cowbell and any song that starts out with cowbell is OK in my book. I think Christopher Walken would approve. Listen, if we’ve learned anything from history it’s that drinking and playing cards don’t mix; especially if you have guns on the table. Just sayin’. Shit slows down a bit with Long Time which is kinda sorta a love ballad except he fucked around on her and she got hip and was like “SEE YA MUTHAFUCKA” and he still loves her and wants her back. Oooooh…..sooooooorry. There are some great guitar riffs toward the end of this song. The album ends with the bluesy, country-ish Let the Good Times Roll. In essence, this song is what it’s all about – wine, women, whiskey and rock n roll and sleeping the days away.
As much as I like Molly Hatchet, all their songs sound remotely the same. You don’t get a whole lot of variation with Danny Joe Brown. His voice is very distinctive but very much the same throughout. I always think like they’re the Walmart and Skynyrd would be Target. (Stop throwing those damn stones at me, people! I’m just speaking my drunk mind!) They’ve always been a solid southern rock band in my opinion and I still hold love for Molly Hatchet plus it’s totally great drinking music! So, check out this album and Let the Good Times Roll!
Elias Staley Unaged Rye Whiskey, 40% Alc./Vol., Indian Creek Distillery, New Carlisle, Ohio
Threw ya off, didn’t I?! Yep. I’m doing whiskey this week! I know, I know. I’m a beer girl and have only reviewed beer. Sometimes we have to step outside of our comfort zones, get crazy! I mean, it IS called Drunken Vinyl – we don’t discriminate on how you get the job done. Now, I’m not a natural born whiskey drinker. In fact, every whiskey I’ve tried I’ve hated. So why in the hell am I reviewing a whiskey? Well, I paid a visit to this particular distillery. My girlfriend had just moved up there and started representin’. Well I guess I missed her so we took a trip up there. We pull up and see this AMAZING place. I mean, it’s a 200 year old farm! Grist mill, still house, guard dogs that only answer to commands in German! The owners are the most down to earth people you’ll meet. Oh and did I mention they’re 6th generation distillers? They’re making this shit in the SAME copper stills that the Staley family did 200 years prior! If that ain’t bad ass, then I don’t know what is!
I could go on and on but I gotta get to drinkin’. You can check them out for yourselves at www.staleymillfarmanddistillery.com
Beer Drinker that I am, I had no idea what to make with this unaged rye. I assessed my mixer situation and it was slim. I had to consult my personal mixologist – yes I have one of those; you should too! She instantly replied with “Make a Leatherneck!” Uhhhnnnkaaaay. No clue.
Upon researching (I do the work so you don’t have to) the “Leatherneck” was created by a former Marine that later became a journalist, Frank Farrell. The term “leatherneck” was derived from a leather stock once worn around the neck by Marines to protect their necks from super sharp swords that could take off their melons with one fell swoop. I did not know that.
Okay Franky, I’m giving it a go! I gathered my arsenal and away I went!
So here’s the result:
This drink is very blue. I feel like a kid drinking blue drinks. Anyhow, initially it was a little on the strong side for me. (This should probably make 2 cocktails but all I had was a mason jar so it made one). I did add about a teaspoon of simple syrup (make that shit yo’self). Then I tasted it and decided it needed a splash of water. After that, it was go time. Look, I know I modified it but I’m still quite the pussy as far as whiskey is concerned and I’m not really on the up and up with Blue Curacao. But this Leatherneck thing is actually pretty decent. Totally a summery, I’m-not-really-a-whiskey-drinker-so-I’m-gonna-douse-this-quality-shit-with-lots-of-sugar drink. Sidenote: I’ve had the Elias Staley Unaged Rye in other cocktails (that were made for me by aforementioned pro mixologist) and I loved every one of them. In fact, this whiskey is a perfect spirit for any combo you can throw in it. Okay, I’m actually really diggin’ this drink now.
I can’t see myself drinking a whiskey on the rocks any time soon, but you get some good ingredients mixed with some small batch, artisan whiskey and I think you’d be good to go. If you’re hard core you could drink any of their whiskeys straight up. You do you.
Now stop dicking around and go get your southern rock and whiskey on – Start Flirtin’ with Disaster!
Full disclosure: this isn’t a paid endorsement. I just happened to fall in love with the place and my girlfriend gifted me a lil bottle of the unaged rye to take home with me. Bonus!
P.S. If you want to try your hand at a Leatherneck, here’s the recipe:
2 oz Whiskey – I used Indian Creek – Elias Staley Unaged Rye and it was tits
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Lime Juice -I didn’t have a lime or lime juice. I used a half of a fresh lemon and squeezed it but good
Mix all that stuff in a shaker with ice and shake the ever loving shit out of it. Pour over ice. Feel free to add a little simple syrup. DEE-LUSH!!