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Bloodshot Briefing: Ha Ha Tonka's Lucas Long

By Matt Harness

By my count, 15 bands on Bloodshot Records call Chicago home. Don't you think you ought to know them? Of course you should.

So this week in Bloodshot Briefing we're introducing a recurring feature, Get To Know Your Chicago Bloodshot Musician. Off we go.


Name: Lucas Long

Band: Ha Ha Tonka

Instrument: Bass, vocals

Neighborhood: Couch surfs between Andersonville and Edgewater

Bars: Simon's for the jukebox, the Sovereign for the cheap beer.

Coffee Shop: Pause.

Record Store: Hasn't bought a CD in two years; gets his music online.

Street Food: When Luke gets hungry for a snack in the summer, he heads to Thorndale and Kenmore and finds the huge umbrella. Underneath is the best corn he's tasted.

First Big Show Venue: Metro

Biggest Venue Played: Lollapalooza last summer.

Day Job: Urban Out Sitters. Ethan Adelsman of the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir helped him get the job.

Grew Up: In the Ozarks of southeast Missouri.

Age: 28

Drank During Interview: High Life, PBR, Jim Beam

Chicago People: Ha Ha Tonka's other members are scattered about, so Long has a few Chicago folks he relies on to keep his chops sharp.

"I rely on the generosity of friends to play anything other than an Ozark harp when I'm in Chicago. My jammin' buddies are Brad Sawicki in Noble Square, a tall Polish dude who's been in a lot of bands in and around Chicago. Nick Peraino, an excellent blues guitarist up in Rogers Park who plays in the Joanna Connor Band.

Claim To Fame: As an acting student at Missouri State, Long appeared in a Budweiser commercial that paid royalties until recently.

Signed To Bloodshot: Spring 2007. Double Door talent buyer Phil Kosch helped hook them up.

"We drank our balls off with Bloodshot. At some point I was forced to kick Nan Warshaw's ass in an arm-wrestling match for Jameson shots . . .

"They gave us street cred. I'm head over heels for them. These are people I would hang out with anyway."

What He Hates About Chicago: "The price for a PBR can can be surprisingly high . . . parking tickets, but I call those expenditures my rent."

Discography: Ha Ha Tonka released Buckle in the Bible on Bloodshot in 2007. On the day we met, Ha Ha Tonka released a 7-inch, two-song vinyl. Their second LP, Novel Sounds from the Nouveau South, lands on the shelves June 16,.The tour in support of the new album begins April 29 in Omaha, Neb. Ha Ha Tonka headlines Subterranean on May 2.

In Action:


Matt Harness brings you Bloodshot Briefing every Thursday, except when it appears on Friday. He welcomes your comments.


Posted on April 24, 2009

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