Transition is our Middle Name

One of the things we’ve found surprising in life is how much transition takes a central role, especially in the fast-paced, do everything, let everyone know culture we live in.  You think your progress is about arriving, and once you arrive, you realize you are actually moving on to the next destination.  Some of this is perhaps to be avoided (ie. choosing a discipline of stability) but it’s also in the nature of things.   The world is constantly changing and evolving, seasons come and go, there’s a tension between stability and new growth.

Last spring we launched our first studio album Travelers, and on the wave of its arrival have enjoyed making many new connections, reaching out, sharing the music and meeting many of you!  Soon after the album release, it became clear that we would soon be wishing Bryan Chris, our bass player since the beginning of Shiny Shiny Black in 2012, on his way.  These types of transitions are always a little bittersweet, but we’re happy to share with you what is keeping Bryan busy now that he’s free of our late night antics and grandiose dreams. 🙂

We first met Bryan (of Bryan Chris Photography) when he offered to shoot live concert images of Nate’s previous band, Frequency Theater.  He helped make FT larger than life, and his enthusiasm and support made a world of difference. Some time later when Nate was ready to launch SSB, Bryan signed on as the bass player, another passion of his. Meanwhile his photography business continued to take off and he took lots of cool pictures, like these:















Bryan stepped away from SSB to give more attention to photography and we are psyched about the projects he will be able to say yes to because of this.  His wife Kim also just transitioned from years as a special needs schoolteacher in order to be home more with their three kiddos and work alongside Bryan in the business.  They’ve spoken of traveling more as a family, and actually spent about a month on the road together this summer, including client work, family time, and meeting up with friends.  Since family travel is also one of our dreams we put into action as much as possible, we couldn’t be more excited for them!

Anytime someone leaves a band lineup, it creates a vacuum and an opportunity.  So we’ve experimented a little this summer.  You might have noticed an abundance of drummers sitting in at various shows (thanks Nick, Bobby, & Brendyn!), and even a few new bass players. Toby Hazlett helped us out at Ignition Garage, and other shows were covered by our newest performing member, Amber Butler.  Amber’s been integrally involved managing behind the scenes from day one but stepping out on stage for SSB was something new. Experimenting this way has helped the band breathe a little, get new ideas, try new adventures and generally discover things we wouldn’t have otherwise, all while delivering good times and great music to our awesome fans!

SSB The Well July 25 2014

SSB at The Well July 25, 2014

Next week we are launching a string of shows that will take us through the end of September, when we are taking a performing hiatus in anticipation of Baby Butler # 2 in the late fall.  Everybody give Amber a hand for rocking the bass in her third trimester!  We are looking forward to the space for creating new music, videos and launching a new phase of booking for next spring and summer when we will return to the road.  Sometimes transitions you feared (taking a break from performing) help you breathe a sigh of relief (ahhh)!

Join us on the Road:

Fri Aug 29, Mishawaka, IN, Evil Czech Brewery & Public House, 10 pm

Fri Sept 5, Carmel, IN, Three D’s Pub & Café, – CANCELLED (we’ll see you in the spring for reschedule!)

Fri Sept 12, South Bend, IN, Chicory Café, 7 pm

Sat Sept 13, Lafayette, IN, Star City Coffee & Ale House, 7 pm

Thurs Sept 18, Nappanee, IN, Nappanee Apple Festival


Posted in observations, Stories, Touring

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