Ha Ha Tonka

Springfield, MO

Once upon a time there was a band called Amsterband. They tore shit up pretty well in a beer-buzzy Americana kind of way, and finally they put out a great record called Buckle in the Bible Belt. When it was picked up by Bloodshot, they decided to change the band’s name to Ha Ha Tonka, which is the name of a state park in their native Missouri (and in no way is meant to imply that children laugh at their toy trucks, because Tonka makes a fine product). Many people loved Buckle in the Bible Belt (I even like just saying it), some even called it the best record of 2007 and compared HHT to The Hold Steady. Last year, they released Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South, which might be even better. And they Roots Rocked happily ever after. (Not) The End.

You’ll Dig It If You Dig: The Replacements reunite and record in Levon Helm’s barn while Drive-By Truckers throw palm fronds on the floor. (Brian Baker)