Guitarist Steve Holland, a co-founder of Southern rockers Molly Hatchet, died on Sunday (Aug. 2), according to an announcement that emerged that day from his most recent band, Gator Country.

The musician, who formed Molly Hatchet with fellow guitarist Dave Hlubek in 1971, was the last surviving member of the group's early lineup as it appeared on their 1978 self-titled debut. Hlubek, singer Danny Joe Brown, guitarist Duane Roland, bassist Banner Thomas and drummer Bruce Crump have all since died.

Holland also performed on the four albums following Molly Hatchet's first studio effort until ultimately parting ways with the outfit in 1984. While his exact age (he was born in 1954) and cause of death weren't immediately made clear on Sunday, Gator Country — which at one time also included Roland, Crump and latter-era Hatchet members Jimmy Farrar and Riff West — alluded to some health issues in their statement regarding Holland's death.

"It Is With GREAT SADNESS That I Announce The PASSING Of 'ORIGINAL' MOLLY HATCHET Band / GATOR COUNTRY Band Co-Founder Lead Guitarist, STEVE HOLLAND," Gator Country shared this week. "Steve Was The LAST MAN STANDING And Has Joined The REST Of His FELLOW Band Brothers Up In Heaven."

The message continued, "Steve's Health Had Been On A Downward Spiral For A While, With Steve Finally Getting His ANGEL WINGS Today August 2nd, 2020. You Will Always Be One Of The GREATEST STEVE!! REST WELL & SING Out With Danny Joe, Dave, Duane, Banner, Bruce, Jimmy & Riff In Heaven."

Holland was born in Dothan, Ala., according to a biography by the Alabama Music Office, and he started playing the guitar at the age of eight. When he and Hlubek first founded Molly Hatchet, they went through several lineup changes before settling on the classic crew of Brown, Roland, Thomas and Crump. Holland helped form Gator Country in 2005, and that band released one album, a live set fittingly titled Gator Country Live, in 2008.

At one point in 1999, Holland reunited onstage with Molly Hatchet, as Consequence of Sound pointed out. It was during a benefit concert for Brown after the vocalist had suffered a stroke.

After the news of Holland's death emerged this week, Molly Hatchet shared their condolences on social media with a link to an Ultimate Classic Rock article outlining Holland's life and musical career.

"Our deepest condolences are sent to the family of Steve Holland, guitarist and co-founder of Molly Hatchet of his passing," the group said. "Steve left the band in 1984. He will be missed and remembered by all. RIP 1954-2020."

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