Ha Ha Tonka

1 05 2009

Springfield, Missouri’s Ha Ha Tonka have evolved into musical tour guides for their home Ozark region. The band’s name was coined from a nearby state park. The title of their first album, “Buckle In The Bible Belt,” refers to their hometown. The Chamber of Commerce, however, won’t be using Ha Ha Tonka’s music in an upcoming ad campaign. The band explores the dark side of The Ozarks; economic hardship, racism, ignorance, and drug abuse are all tackled with dark humor and intelligence.

The centerpiece of the Ha Ha Tonka sound is their generous four-part harmonies. The vocal parts pay homage to their region’s proud musical heritage. Those vocals are set off by inviting roots rock, funky keyboard runs, and sometimes snarling guitars.

“Buckle In The Bible Belt” was recorded in an abandoned church and self released by the four-piece under their previous name Amsterband. With their 2007 signing to Bloodshot Records the band decided a name change was in order. Thus, Ha Ha Tonka.

With their second album, 2009’s “Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South, ” Ha Ha Tonka delve deeper into southern gothic themes and traditions.

“Hold My Feet to the Fire”

To watch the other two songs Angel recorded for us after the jump…

“Walking on the Devil’s Backbone”

“So Quiet, They’re Loud”

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