Our 50th live session! I remember the day in Austin at South By Southwest when Oz and Shirk hatched this plan. And I remember my skepticism. What band is going to stop by the studio for a brand new blog? We invited a few bands to the studio, Shirk worked his magic and we slowly learned a few things. Ha Ha Tonka came in for Live Session #8 and knocked our socks off. I glanced over at Shirk afterward and we both seemed to have the same thought – “Hell, this might really work.”
Things have taken a life of their own since then and it’s fitting that our 50th session is a repeat visit from one of our favorite bands, Ha Ha Tonka. Not only do I love their music, but I also now consider Brian, Brett, Lennon and Luke friends. On their recent visit to Chicago they had a night off, so the scene in the studio was easy going and relaxed. I headed down with my 5 year old, Teddy, picked up a couple of beers and settled in for a good evening of music.
The band worked through a couple of takes before nailing “Close Every Valve Of Your Bleeding Heart,” one of my favorite tunes of the year off of this year’s album Novel Sounds Of The Nouveau South. As the night wore on, Teddy had the chance to sit in with the band for a little jam session. Lennon and Luke kept the beat as Teddy pounded away on the kit. Brian and Brett soon joined and I thought my son’s smile was going to explode off his face. The only thing that would have excited him more was if Luke Skywalker was on the bass instead of Luke Long.
As we drove home listening to Ha Ha, I thought how cool it was that my son just played with one of the best young bands in America. I expected Teddy to be asleep the minute I pulled away, but he was abuzz with excitement. After years of telling me he was going to be a construction worker when he grows up, he’s now decided to be a rock and roll guitarist. Teddy took a real shine to Brett (lead guitar) and wanted to listen to only Brett’s songs on the way home.
It’s difficult to express how much I enjoy Ha Ha Tonka. The band continues to grow and challenge themselves and their warm personalities accent their music like barbecue sauce on a slab of ribs. If you haven’t yet, catch them on tour and make sure to introduce yourself. You’ll see what I mean.
See the rest of the videos over here.
Video: Ha Ha Tonka – Walking On The Devil’s Backbone