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Ozarks-area Indie Band Ha Ha Tonka
to Play Free Concert at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Sept. 6, 2007

Ha Ha Tonka
Ha Ha Tonka

EAU CLAIRE — Ozarks-area indie-rock band Ha Ha Tonka will headline a free outdoor concert at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Friday, Sept. 14. The show will start at 7 p.m. on the Central Campus Mall, between Zorn Arena and Schneider Hall.

Ha Ha Tonka mixes sanctified four-part harmonies and blistering rock, carving out songs that evoke the dichotomies that define their home. The Springfield, Missouri, natives titled their new album "Buckle in the Bible Belt," in homage to their hometown, positioned on the dividing line of the Ozark states. Their dark view of the realities of socioeconomic hardship, backwoods prejudices and drug abuse is leavened by wry humor and a deep appreciation for regional storytelling traditions.

"Buckle in the Bible Belt" was recorded, fittingly, in an old church in Union, Missouri, with a control booth where the pulpit had once been. Augmented with piano and organ, the songs bring to mind Southern bands like REM and Kings of Leon, as well as such classic artists as The Band and Bruce Springsteen.

Formed in 2004 under the name Amsterband, Ha Ha Tonka released its debut CD, "Beatchen," and hit the road, playing with a diverse range of acts including Tapes 'n Tapes, Say Anything, Soul Asylum, Limbeck and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

The band self-released "Buckle in the Bible Belt" in 2006 before catching the attention of Bloodshot Records and signing a deal in May 2007. Deciding that a name change was in order, they chose Ha Ha Tonka, the name of a state park in southwestern Missouri, as a mark of their Ozark pride. This past summer Ha Ha Tonka toured nationally with the Violent Femmes and Old 97s.

Also appearing will be popular Wisconsin-based rock band Fat Maw Rooney. Formed in 1996, Fat Maw Rooney has emerged onto the national music scene. Although their roots are firmly planted in the blues, Southern rock and funk genres, the band never hesitates to experiment with different musical styles to make their compositions and live shows memorable.

Fat Maw Rooney
Fat Maw Rooney

Fat Maw Rooney has performed at such prestigious venues and events as the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, Minn., The Rave Ball Room in Milwaukee, and the Orpheum Theatre in Madison. The band has shared billing with major national touring talent such as Trey Anastasio of Phish, The String Cheese Incident, moe., Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

The concert is free and open to all ages. In the event of rain, the show will be presented in the Council Fire Room of Davies Center.

The concert is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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