Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Spearfish continues to draw back New Orleans-based indie rock band
Band members Nick Huster and Jake Ryan perform side by side during a show. photo retrieved from

Loved for the endless exploration and opportunities it provides, loved for its pristine views of tree covered hills that paint the horizon in every direction and loved for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Spearfish, S.D. is a town that is adorn by many, tourists and members of the town alike.


One group of musicians, a New-Orleans based indie-rock band, “Mighty Brother,” seem to particularly enjoy the town. The band has recently travelled to Spearfish for the third time in three years to perform at a local theatre, the Matthews Opera House.


Mighty Brother is comprised of five musicians who come from all different areas of the country. Members include: Jake Ryan from Cloverdale, Ind. on electric guitar and vocals; Nick Huster from Carmel, Ind. on guitar auxiliary percussion and vocals; Quinn Sternberg from Bloomington, Ind. on bass; Jonah Tarver from Seattle, Wash. on saxophone; and John Valdez from Bloomington, Ind. on drums. Members can agree the dynamic of their group allows for a truly diverse, one of a kind sound.


“We all come from diverse musical backgrounds. Bringing that together is a fun experiment in collective expression. It’s constantly evolving and coming into being,”  Huster said.

Spearfish was first introduced to Mighty Brother when they played at the Spearfish Winery in 2016. Prior to their show that night, band members were walking around downtown Spearfish and stepped into the Matthews Opera House. They were immediately captivated by the intimate theatre and the acoustics it had to offer, causing the musicians to begin singing. In the words of Huster, the band had been “cordially confronted” by the executive director of Matthews Opera House, Sian Young, along with the Community Engagement Manager.


“I had heard singing in the theater, so I came out of my office to see what was going on. The band was just singing in the theater because we have such nice acoustics,” Young said.


After becoming acquainted with the directors of Matthew’s Opera House, Mighty Brother invited them to attend their show at Spearfish Winery that night. After hearing the show, the two ladies were impressed with the positive audience reaction and the unique sound of the band and invited them back to play at the Festival in the Park in the summer of 2017.


“We enjoyed them. We liked their attitude and we liked the fact that they enjoyed our community,” Young said. “Their music was a little bit different than what we hear just generally around here and we are always looking for a headliner for Festival in

the Park.”


During the band’s performance at Festival in the Park, it started raining. They decided to move their equipment under a little tent and continue to play their music, providing a more intimate experience for their audience.

“It was a very unique moment getting to connect with our audience in that way,” Huster said.


Young additionally mentioned that one of the reasons she continues to invite Mighty Brother back to play at the Opera House is the fact that the band is easy and relatable from the stage to the audience. Furthermore, audience members seem to really enjoy the inclusiveness that Mighty Brother offers at their shows.

“Mighty Brother came to Spearfish and brought a great fit with their stage presence and diverse sound from swampy cajun to indie jazz. The crowd was engaged as audience members, even participating on stage,” community member Dylan Moro said.


Early last week, Mighty Brother returned from their three week-long tour, “The Odyssey Tour.” The band travelled nearly 4,000 miles, playing a total of 13 shows in Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota. The band played in Spearfish at the Matthew’s Opera House on Sep 28, 2018.  Members of the band expressed the love they have for the Opera House and the community of Spearfish.


“At Matthew’s, we were welcomed with a gorgeous stage and warm and receptive audience… the vibe of Spearfish is so positive and friendly, and we’ve made really great friends in town that always want us back,” Huster said.


Stay tuned, as Mighty Brother sees more visits to Spearfish in their future. The band has Instagram, Facebook and Spotify. For more information about the band, go to