Death of a Decade, the third album by Ha Ha Tonka, came out in early April, and it's a good one.
In comparison the band's first two albums, Buckle in the Bible Belt (2007) and Novel Sounds in the Nouveau South (2009), it's yet another solid effort by these guys who hail from West Plains, Missouri. But the third album incorporates the mandolin like no album I've heard in a while besides bluegrass outfits I listen to.
Death of a Decade begins with the song "Usual Suspects," and the official video of the song below should give you a taste of their tunes that feature the mandolin.
Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations program on the Travel Channel also had a program on the Ozarks not long ago, and the band had a short cameo in that episode. They drink beer, grill meat, and let Bourdain shoot stuff with a shotgun.
If you watch the second video and start thinking these guys are, shall we say, unrefined, I'll just mention that the band ends its second album with the song "Thoreau in the Woods." And one of my favorite songs on the new album is "The Humorist," which is, as far as I can tell, about Mark Twain.
I wanted to find a video of them playing "The Humorist," but I couldn't find anything.