Mockingbird Sun Comes Home For Elizabeth Toon Concert

Mockingbird Sun is comprised of Highland Park High School alums Brett Taylor and Charlie Berry plus Nashville native Truck Roley. The trio will perform at Gilley's Dallas on Thursday night. (Photo: Dave Braud)

Brett Taylor and Charlie Berry have come a long way since covering Matchbox Twenty’s “Push” for the McCulloch Intermediate School talent show.

“We’ve yet to top that performance,” Berry said with a laugh. “We peaked in the sixth grade.”

Hardly. A few years ago, the Highland Park High School graduates formed a band with Truck Roley, whom they met through another Park Cities expatriate, Tom Douglas. Their band, Mockingbird Sun, is getting airplay throughout the South, including on Dallas’ “The Wolf.”

The trio has been so successful that, unlike many Nashville musicians, they have no day jobs.

“Since the band started, we’ve been full-time — touring and writing songs and recording,” Berry said.

During those tours, they often swap stories about some of the worst jobs they’ve had. The musicians were hesitant to detail which ones are at the bottom of the list.

“It’s hard to talk about, because these employers live in Dallas,” Berry said jokingly. “I don’t know if we can say, because we might be asking for that job back someday.”

Mockingbird Sun will be back in Dallas next week for another reason. For the third straight year, the band will be on the bill for the Elizabeth Toon Charities Concert.

Toon — who graduated from Highland Park in 2002, a year ahead of Berry and Taylor — was killed in 2006 by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles. Her parents, Larry and Patti, founded a nonprofit the following year to help people impacted by abuse, grief, poverty, disabilities, and terminal illnesses.

Shortly after Mockingbird Sun formed, Larry Toon booked them for the nonprofit’s annual show.

“We didn’t hesitate, because we’re a big fan of Larry and what he’s doing,” Taylor said. “We love him a lot.”

They love him so much that they drove straight from a gig in Panama City, Fla., the previous night.

“Larry was happy and smiling, and that’s all that really mattered to us at that point,” Taylor said.

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