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Hatcher, George - 1978 Rich Girl




ARTIST: Hatcher, George
ALBUM: Rich Girl
LABEL: Shark Music
SERIAL: 148 502
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: George Hatcher - vocals * James Morgan - guitars * Pete Goshing - guitars * Geraint Watkins - keyboards * Victor Young - bass * Mac Poole - drums * Renate Mauerer, Claudia Schwarz, Gitta Walther - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Back To Dixie * 02 Hell Hole * 03 Blue Skies * 04 Rich Girl * 05 It's All Over Now * 06 The Price I Pay * 07 Regrets * 08 Black Rose * 09 Fly Away


Background
In much the same way that Canadian blues guitarist Pat Travers did his OE and apprenticeship in Britain during the 70's, so too did blues/southern rock singer George Hatcher. A North Carolina native, Hatcher decided to set up shop in the UK, and to compound the international flavour, set himself up with a German record label - Shark Records. The George Hatcher Band recorded two albums: 1976's 'Dry Run' and 1977's 'Talkin' Turkey'. His band featured 'Big' John Thomas and Phil Swan on guitars, Steve Wren on keyboards, bassist Harris Joannou and drummer Chris Slade. However, neither record set the world on fire, and despite a support tour with Status Quo, GHB amounted to nothing. Legal issues forced Hatcher to disband GHB after the 'Talkin' Turkey' LP, he then moved to Germany as a form of self-exile, and released a solo album called 'Rich Girl' the following year. The record features mainly session musicians, non of whom ring any bells with me. The GHB southern rock inspired sound continues pretty much onward for Hatcher, and for fans of the Confederate South, and perhaps a dash of Crawler for good measure, well.. you'll get some change outta this one.


The Songs
Things get off to a rollicking start with the dixie boogie of 'Back To Dixie', the twelve bar rhythm and boogie hopefully a sign of things to come. 'Hell Hole' is a dirty sounding rock n roller, with a lot of wah, coming across like a very early version of Thin Lizzy, especially Hatcher's Phil Lynott flavoured vocal. Sounding a lot brighter and sunnier is 'Blue Skies'.. must be the weather huh? The title track 'Rich Girl' is a rock ballad that sounds like a cross between Crawler and 70's era Triumph. Nice tune! Hatcher's version of 'It's All Over Now' is true in the southern rock vein though played in a slower tempo. It's not a patch on the Molly Hatchet rendition which followed a year later on their classic 'Flirtin' With Disaster' album.. a far racier version by comparison. 'The Price To Pay' is a gentle paced British blues flavoured workout with Crawler as a reference point yet again. Back to the wholesome boogie approach we return with 'Regrets', it's followed by the wide and spacious acoustic flow of 'Black Rose', which segues into the equally expansive 'Fly Away', which fuses Joe Cocker and gospel flavours to finish up the album.


In Summary
The more I played this, admittedly the more I enjoyed it. The boogie strains got my feet a-tappin, and has opened up a whole raft of albums that I need to cover off in future album reviews. Despite adding to his discography, Hatcher did not add to his overall popularity or legacy. Another album was forthcoming beyond this, 'Coming Home', also released on Shark Records in 1980. Hatcher then left the industry, never to be heard from again. Of his ex band members, Big John Thomas moved on to a distinguished stay with Welsh rockers Budgie, while drummer Chris Slade has played in many bands, most notably and more recently - AC/DC.


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Comments

#1 | Eric on June 12 2008 13:17:50
A popular band in the U.K pub rock scene, Hatcher eventually moved back to North Carolina and toured a bit including one gig opening for The Kinks, but after that- not a peep. hmm!
#2 | Koz07 on January 26 2009 22:07:34
The George Hatcher Band is one of the best rock bands of it's day. The albums rocked and the live shows were awesome. The music still stands up today. Take a listen to Coming Home or Rich Girl or Talkin Turkey, look for them on Myspace. There are some collectors items available on E Bay and some web sites offer the music in vinyl form. Those in the know say a greatest hits CD may be in the works. Peace Koz07.

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