11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Missouri’s Ha Ha Tonka play roots rock with plenty of Southern ancestry laced throughout. The mandolin firing from the sidelines of “Usual Suspects,” the honky-tonk feel of “Lonely Fortunes” and Brian Roberts’ Americana-inspired vocals tell the tale of a Southern Rock band that’s passionate without getting silly or pompous about it. Lennon Bone’s drums never overpower the group, but gently brush through to allow the ensemble playing to take center stage. “Made Example Of” has beautifully loose harmonies that sound as if the band could be the scrappy kid brother to the Jayhawks. “Jesusita” traces spiritual concerns with a strong wordless call. Brett Anderson’s guitar picking keeps a bit of the back porch on the records, while the band sound like the Calvary coming over the mountain. “Dead Man’s Hand” has a forlorn lope and a sweet sound. “Death of a Decade” throws electric guitars on top to spike up the drama. Ha Ha Tonka is a band perfect for the alt-country scene.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Missouri’s Ha Ha Tonka play roots rock with plenty of Southern ancestry laced throughout. The mandolin firing from the sidelines of “Usual Suspects,” the honky-tonk feel of “Lonely Fortunes” and Brian Roberts’ Americana-inspired vocals tell the tale of a Southern Rock band that’s passionate without getting silly or pompous about it. Lennon Bone’s drums never overpower the group, but gently brush through to allow the ensemble playing to take center stage. “Made Example Of” has beautifully loose harmonies that sound as if the band could be the scrappy kid brother to the Jayhawks. “Jesusita” traces spiritual concerns with a strong wordless call. Brett Anderson’s guitar picking keeps a bit of the back porch on the records, while the band sound like the Calvary coming over the mountain. “Dead Man’s Hand” has a forlorn lope and a sweet sound. “Death of a Decade” throws electric guitars on top to spike up the drama. Ha Ha Tonka is a band perfect for the alt-country scene.

TITLE TIME
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3:57
3:29
3:53
3:20
3:25
2:57
3:50
4:18
3:27
4:28

About Ha Ha Tonka

Indie rock band Ha Ha Tonka were formed in 2004 in Springfield, Missouri, by Brian Roberts (singer/guitarist), Lucas Long (bass, vocals), Brett Anderson (keyboards, guitar, vocals), and Lennon Bone (drums, vocals). Their first album as Ha Ha Tonka, Buckle in the Bible Belt, was actually a re-release from a time when they were known as Amsterband. Under that moniker, they released their debut CD, Beatchen, and toured extensively. In 2006, they followed with a second self-released album, Buckle in the Bible Belt. The next year, the quartet 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. Ha Ha Tonka returned in 2017 with their fifth LP, Heart-Shaped Mountain. By this time, Lennon Bone had left the group, and Ha Ha Tonka recruited a new drummer, Mike Reilly, formerly of Hoots & Hellmouth. The group also brought aboard multi-instrumentalist James Cleare, who'd previously worked with the Spring Standard. ~ William Ruhlmann & Neil Z. Yeung

  • ORIGIN
    Springfield, MO
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    2004

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Albums

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