Ha Ha Tonka
According to the Missouri State Parks Web site, Camden County’s Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a “geological wonderland.” You could say the same about the rough-and-tumble rock of the park’s namesake band, Missouri’s Ha Ha Tonka. With whispers, shouts, blazing guitar riffs, soaring four-part harmonies, and an affinity for the Southern gothic, the Springfield four-piece makes music as textured as Missouri terrain. The band is at its best when it ventures beyond radio-ready rock and digs deeper into old-time folk and gospel roots. The results are sometimes softer (the creepy “Hangman,” an a cappella rendition of a traditional tune) and sometimes stranger (“Caney Mountain,” the story of a traveling preacher who murders a young girl). Ha Ha Tonka’s sound is rooted in the land — and history — from which the band comes.