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Indie rock band Ha Ha Tonka were formed in 2004 in Springfield, Missouri, by singer/guitarist Brian Roberts with Lucas Long (bass, vocals), Brett Anderson (keyboards, guitar, vocals), and Lennon Bone (drums, vocals). Initially, the name of the group was Amsterband. It was with this moniker that they released their debut CD, Beatchen, and began to tour extensively. In 2006, they followed with a second self-released album, Buckle in the Bible Belt. In May 2007, they signed to independent Chicago-based label Bloodshot Records and decided on a name change, calling themselves Ha Ha Tonka after a state park in the Ozark Mountains in southwestern Missouri. Bloodshot re-released Buckle in the Bible Belt on September 11, 2007, as Ha Ha Tonka were in the midst of a tour of the Midwest. Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South appeared in 2009, garnering a good deal of critical praise, and was followed by Death of a Decade, produced by Kevin McMahon and the Ryantist, in 2011. The impressive and lightly orchestrated Lessons appeared in the fall of 2013. ~ William Ruhlmann