Molly Hatchet looks to tear it up at The Suffolk

A reinvigorated Molly Hatchet will slice through Riverhead next Saturday for a night loaded with heavy Southern rock that honors the band’s past and teases its future.

Those looking to check out the crunchy guitar-driven outfit at The Suffolk on March 9 can expect all the hits — “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” “Whiskey Man” and “Dreams I’ll Never See.” They will also get to hear “Firing Line,” the band’s latest single, dropped in November. Although he could not reveal a title or hard release date, Molly Hatchet guitarist and songwriter Bobby Ingram said the band will release another single in the coming weeks and its first new full-length album since 2010’s “Justice” this summer. The band is touring the country this year in support of that new album.

“We’re not a ‘greatest hits’ act, because we’re coming out with new material all the time,” Mr. Ingram said during a telephone interview he did from “Gator Country,” Jacksonville, Fla. “Our mission here, our vision, is to carry on the tradition, the spirit and the legacy of Molly Hatchet into the next generation. This is kind of like Molly Hatchet 2.0, and we feel very good about it. We’re confident about our stage performances and what everybody’s going to hear.”

Armed with both new music and Parker Lee, a new and younger singer, Molly Hatchet’s 2024 tour seems a victory lap for the rock veterans, who show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

“[Parker] brought this new life into the band,” Mr. Ingram said. “He used to actually listen to Molly Hatchet’s ‘Greatest Hits’ when his dad was taking him to school. That kind of young inspiration breathed new life into us and gave us a really good perspective on things … It’s the veteran fans that have been along on our journey with us for 45 years, the new fans that are now coming into the fold, discovering Molly Hatchet for the first time and even some of the older fans that are rediscovering Molly Hatchet keeping us out there. There’s no way to retire [from] something that you love.”

For a theater the size of The Suffolk, booking Molly Hatchet is not an easy task. As the venue’s executive director Gary Hygom explained, calculating the price point for original acts — be they national, established hit-makers or new acts on the block — is a delicate balance to ensure a successful evening.

“We’re a small venue,” Mr. Hygom said. “So getting the bigger acts here is a battle [between] me and my computer.”

Small theaters like The Suffolk, which has a few hundred seats, that want to entertain audiences with time-tested bangers often fill their schedules with tribute acts, which don the outfits and play the music of legends at a more manageable price point.

“We are getting there with more original artists, but one thing that is happening within the industry as a whole is that tribute acts are becoming huge,” said Mr Hygom, who has been with The Suffolk since 2022. “Early on, tributes were thought of as bar bands … but we find the best that’s out there. These guys are killer studio musicians or have toured with various giant bands … Audiences are changing, and I think it’s more of a reflection of what audiences are looking for than what venues are, because we’re all chasing an audience.”

Since it is more difficult, it’s also more special when The Suffolk is able to snag an original band. Mr. Hygom said he’s currently trying to book several national original acts for the theater’s 2024 season, adding that he’s personally excited to see Molly Hatchet, as he grew up listening to their music.

“Country rock, that genre was huge in the late ‘70s,” the 63-year-old said. “I was always a fan of artwork, and [Frank] Frazetta who did a lot of their iconic album covers was just hugely popular, too. They’re an awesome band, and we’ve got a huge Southern rock following here.”

Mr. Ingram joined Molly Hatchet permanently 38 years ago, but his dedication to the band and its various members dates back even further. In fact, one of his own first bands, Rum Creek, featured lead vocalist Danny Joe Brown, Molly Hatchet’s original lead singer.

“I’ve been involved with members of the band since 1975,” Mr. Ingram said. “Now, I’m the longest-standing member in the history of the group, alive or dead … and keeping the tradition and the spirit alive.”

Mr. Ingram and his bandmates — John Galvin on keyboards, Tim Lindsey on bass, drummer Shawn Beamer and Lee on lead vocals — recorded their upcoming album at England’s Abbey Road Studios, perhaps most famous for its association with The Beatles, who not only named their 11th studio album after the facility and its location, but recorded the majority of their catalog there.

“There’s no feeling in the world — and I can testify to this — like standing in Abbey Road Studio Two, where The Beatles did their hits,” Mr. Ingram said. “To have that feeling, and that camaraderie with Molly Hatchet, between the members, and as we’re recording, look up and see Paul McCartney’s engineer [Abbey Road’s Chris Bolster] up there in the booth. We’re on the same microphones that have been in the studio since the ‘60s. So everybody from John Lennon and Elton John to Foo Fighters, everybody’s been on the same microphones here … That’s a dream come true for all of us.”

Tickets for Molly Hatchet’s performance at The Suffolk — March 9 at 8 p.m. — range from $55 to $75, plus applicable fees, and are available online at