By Leah Fallon
When you hear the laid-back vibes from the band Butler, you can’t deny the East and West Coast influences of John Mayer and Jack Johnson. That’s not by accident.
Singer-songwriter, Nathan Bittner, 22, has split his time between Orange County, CA, and Loudoun County most of his life. He moved to Loudoun from California right before high school, and was homeschooled until graduation. After taking a few classes at Northern Virginia Community College, he made the trek west again where he studied music theory and theology at The School of Worship.
Since his return to Loudoun in 2013, Bittner and his band, Butler, have been drawing crowds to venues in the area, from Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg to Jammin Java in Vienna. The trio is made up of Bittner on vocals and guitar, 25-year-old Ethan Dean, of Berryville, on drums, and 22-year-old Chris Lopez, of Leesburg, on bass guitar.
Although Lopez has played with Bittner the longest, “Ethan is my all-time best friend. He is my mentor and friend.”
Bittner’s music has also been heavily impacted by his relationship with his father, who he considered a musical and spiritual influence. After his father died of cancer in 2014, Bittner wanted his music to honor to his father’s kind and giving heart.
“He taught me how to serve and help people throughout my life. I wanted to pay homage to his legacy,” he said. When deciding on a name for his band that was catchy and memorable, the image of a butler in a tuxedo just fit.
Butler will release their newest single “Moonlight” on Friday. The song is about a man who is in a relationship with a woman who is loving and kind in the daylight, but under the moonlight, shows a very different side.
“This song has been a labor of love, for sure,” Bittner said of the late nights spent in the studio. “It is one of the better and favorite songs I’ve ever written.”
Butler will perform that tune, and several others, at Jammin Java for the Mid-Atlantic Band Battle on July 5th at 7 p.m. And on July 29, as part of the Final Friday in Leesburg, Butler will headline ahead of three other bands at Leesburg Junction, 215 Depot Court SE in Leesburg.
Can’t wait to give “Moonlight” a listen? Only one more moon until the single is released.