Danny Joe Brown / Danny Joe Brown Band

Danny Joe Brown and the Danny Joe Brown Band

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One of the most puzzling moves in the history of Southern rock occurred when vocalist Danny Joe Brown left Molly Hatchet after the huge success of 1979's Flirtin' with Disaster, one of the genre's definitive albums. He released one solo album on Epic, 1981's Danny Joe Brown and the Danny Joe Brown Band. It only scraped the bottom of the charts, and he wisely rejoined Molly Hatchet by 1982. This album is of interest to Southern rock fans because it should come as no surprise that it sounds like Molly Hatchet. Like Molly Hatchet, Brown's band also featured a three-guitar attack, courtesy of Bobby Ingram, Steve Wheeler, and Kenny McVay. A couple of extra musical touches support Brown's throaty growl: slide guitar riffing by Ingram and Wheeler, keyboard accents by John Galvin and harmony vocals that certainly must have been encouraged by producer/engineer Glyn Johns, a legend who'd worked with the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Eagles and Eric Clapton. The best tracks are "Sundance," "Nobody Walks on Me," "The Alamo," "Run for Your Life," and, in particular, "Edge of Sundown," a mythical guitar-driven epic springing directly from the loins of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" and the Outlaws' "Green Grass & High Tides." But that's not a bad thing. "Edge of Sundown" also plays an important role in Molly Hatchet's convoluted history. Ingram and Galvin would go on to join and lead Molly Hatchet itself (keeping the band alive long after Brown retired due to poor health) and an acoustic version of "Edge of Sundown" is featured on the underrated 2001 album Kingdom of XII. Danny Joe Brown and the Danny Joe Brown Band doesn't contain any earthshaking surprises, but it will reliably please Southern rock fans.

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