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Ha Ha Tonka – Death of a Decade

April 23, 2011

Ha Ha Tonka has just put out their 5th album Death of a Decade. You might think my math is a little off here, but I’m counting their 1st self released album way back in 2002 when they were still known as Amsterband. They use a mix of folk, bluegrass, southern & indie rock together to make up their sound. I was fortunate enough to live in the town in which they started it all, Springfield, Missouri.

Here is a brief history on the band:

Brian Roberts (lead vocals & guitar) & Luke Long (bass & vocals) both grew up in a small town called West Plains, Missouri. The songs of Ha Ha Tonka often speak of living (or growing up) in the Ozarks. They formed in 2002 in Springfield, MO under the name Amsterband. They picked up Brett Anderson (vocals, keyboard, mandolin, guitar) in 2003 & Lennon Bone (drums) in 2004. The name Ha Ha Tonka, comes from a state park here in the Ozarks.

I have been going to shows & listening to this band since the beginning. I was at shows in 2002 & have made it to at least one show for each album release. My favorite being the kick off for the Death of a Decade tour here in Springfield, MO, this March. I was there chilling front stage next to Brian’s mom in the front of the crowd. (That may sound a bit strange, I guess I forgot to mention that I am friends with Brian & his fam. It is also very true.) The album wasn’t out when I went to the show, but I was able to pick up one of the 1st copies they had for sale there. The concert was amazing, every new song was great, every older song they played was equally great. I was a bit surprised with how much I was enjoying the new material. After the concert I plugged in my new cd to listen some more on the drive home. It was just as great as the show.

I hear some maturity on this new album & a band that knows their sound. Death of a Decade is going to have you jammin’,  foot-stomping a la Mumford & Sons & a maybe even belting out in a sing-along on occasion. It starts out with the track “Usual Suspects” (which I featured the video  of on my blog last month) and then is followed up with my favorite track on the album, “Westward Bound.” “Westward Bound” is my favorite simply because of the feeling it gives me with each listen. A track with a wordless chorus, & catchy rhythm. Ha Ha Tonka is going to have you playing their new album over & over again. Go grab yourself a copy today.

I give Ha Ha TonkaDeath of a Decade 8.1/10

“Westward Bound”*

* favorite track

I told you I was a fan. (Me at Walden Pond, 2009)

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