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Sunday, October 26, 2008

CMJ Day 5 - Ha Ha Tonka, Cordero

Indie rock quartet Ha Ha Tonka hail from the middle of the country - Springfield, Missouri to be precise.   But, before you start cracking jokes about cows and country bumpkins, you might want to take a second to check out the band's tunes.  Granted, Springfield may not have the music cache of other hot beds of rock like NYC or L.A. but what it does have is a cross-section of music genres that allow musically clever bands like Ha Ha Tonka to mix, match and ultimately, cherry pick the best of the batch.

In Ha Ha Tonka's rich musical palette, you'll find delta blues licks mixed in with Ozark folk melodies and the sass of Southern rock.   The band played a high energy set to a packed room at Union Pool in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.  In case you missed it, just take a listen to their stand out song "Caney Mountain" from their 2007 disc Buckle in the Bible Belt (Bloodshot Records) and then be prepared to stand up and swear that the coasts have nothing on mid-western rock!

Cordero, the Tuscon, AZ band that now calls Brooklyn home, was formed as a bilingual outfit by singer Ani Cordero in 1999. The band began to gain some headway after a 2000 move to New York City where they released three albums and hit the road in support of bands like Los Lobos, The Indigo Girls and Calexico. In 2006, the band signed with Bloodshot Records which released their latest album De Donde Eres on August 26th of this year.  

The band stopped by Union Pool on Saturday afternoon to play their official CMJ gig. Playing a mix of haunting Latin ballads and bouncy numbers that had couples teaming up for some sultry partner dancing, the band instantly won over the room.

You can catch Cordero in the Brooklyn area again on November 7th @ Bam Cafe Live.  

~ Amy Wagner

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