Nashville comes to Simpson as Mockingbird Sun performs


by Kylee Hereid, reporter

Mockingbird Sun brought a taste of Nashville to Simpson College Saturday night when performing country-rock music for students.

They sing in harmony, according to singer Charlie Berry, and they are sorry if that offends you.

The group, consisting of Berry, Brett Taylor and Truck Roley, has come a long way since they first formed their band, performing full time and traveling around the United States.

According to Berry, they are often asked what it is like to travel so often. He responds, “We do travel a lot, but it is really cool.”

This is especially true for Berry and Taylor, who have a long history of performing together. According to the singers, they performed together in a middle school talent show in Dallas, Texas where the duo grew up. They are proud to say they won.

When the concert began, only a few students had come out for the event. The band, however, was not dismayed.

“We have played just about everything,” Berry said. “We have played for a room of two and for a room of a thousand.”

Nevertheless, it was not long before more students joined the crowd.

“It is really cool when a room starts out almost empty, and then slowly fills,” Berry said. “At the beginning, there were only a few tables full. By the end, though, the whole room was almost filled.”

Kayley Zimmerman, a freshman Simpson student, said she was glad she came out to the event and was far from disappointed by the performance.

“I really enjoyed it! I really like how we always have things like this to do on Saturdays,” Zimmerman said.

Her favorite part of the show was the end.

After 21 songs including singles Hard Habit to Break, Allison, Echo, Everybody Needs a Sign, Hey Mary and My Hometown – a song dedicated to Berry’s wife who, according to the singer, was working in the Nashville emergency room at the time of performance – the band decided to give a final surprise to their audience.

“You guys have been so polite and the room is pretty quiet,” Berry said at the end of the performance. “We usually can’t do this so we are going to come sing one more for you guys, off the microphone.”

The singers grabbed an acoustic guitar, came off the stage, asked the audience to come in closer and together they sang a more personal song about their experiences and their journey.

Zimmerman said, “I really liked the intimate part where they came off the stage. You don’t expect something like that to happen, especially at bigger concerts, and it was really neat that they did that.”

Zimmerman also said she would love to see the group come to campus again in the future.

With a new album to drop in March, Mockingbird Sun was able to play old songs along with new ones, even covering some well-known country songs such as Travis Tritt’s It’s a Great Day to be Alive.

The singers said they enjoyed performing at Simpson and had fun, even joking with audience members. At one point during the concert, a student commented on how silent the room became when the vocalists tuned their instruments. She found the situation similar to what is experienced during band classes.

Berry responded to the student by saying he was never in band. “My mom did everything to keep me from being a musician. It didn’t catch.”

The band was also impressed by the Principal Black Box stage in Kent Campus Center. According to the singers, it was one of the best stages they have seen on a college campus.

“This is a great room to play in. Any artist who comes would love this room,” Berry said.

As the concert came to a close, Mockingbird Sun was ready to say goodbye to Iowa’s cold temperatures and return to the warmer sun of Nashville.

“We’ve had a good time here,” Charlie concluded as the audience rose from their seats at the end of the night. “Thank you guys for hanging out. It was cool.”