Lead singer and lead guitarist Charlie Berry is one in a long-standing tradition of Texas-raised troubadours. He is a graduate of SMU. Now, after years as a working musician, Charlie is as comfortable under the stage lights as he was under SMU’s football stadium lights. Brown-eyed soul singer and Gibson-picker Brett Taylor chased the neon rainbow all the way to Nashville after wearing out the dancehalls in Fort Worth. A poet from his youth, Brett found his voice as a songwriter in Music City. Renaissance man Truck Roley plays guitar, organ, banjo, mandolin and basically any other instrument you put in front of him. The son of a musician, Truck was born into a life on the road but made Nashville his home.
The boys came together through collaborations with veteran country songwriter Tom Douglas. Now the trio can’t get enough of writing songs together and we can’t get enough of it! Check them out at Eddie’s Attic, Thursday, January 30.
Can you tell us a little about your newest release, the Muscle Shoals EP?
Our newest release is actually an EP that we called “3”. We have released 3 projects over the life of this band and each one is like a photograph of who we were at the time of recording it.
Who are some of your strongest musical influences?
Well because there are three of us, our influences are all over the map. It seems obvious, but I think it’s important to say that we are true music lovers. We listen to anything and everything we can get our hands on. That being said, when we’re rolling down the road in our Ford van, we tend to settle on songwriters like Bruce Springsteen and bands that are heavy on harmony like the Eagles and Alabama.
How do you feel social media has helped in reaching your fans?
Social media breaks down walls between the artist and the fan. As an independent band, that’s everything. For example, in December we went overseas and did a two week naval entertainment tour. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. We’ve been able to keep up with the troops and have conversations that, without social media, wouldn’t be possible.
Your songs are rich in both vocal and instrument content. How do you go about arranging the harmonies and instrumentation in your songs?
I don’t want to oversimplify it, but we really don’t think too much about it. We like to have fun and we try to make sure that the end product is something that we would want to listen to.
When writing songs, what do you usually begin with?
It’s funny, but we get asked this question a lot. And to tell you the truth, I don’t quite know how to answer it. There really is a magic to songwriting that can’t be explained. I think it’s one of the reasons I stay so fascinated by the process. Sometimes it’s a melody you can’t get out of your head. Other times it’s a groove or something as simple as the mood that you’re in. And trying to fit all that into three minutes can be a challenge. It’s amazing to sit down in a room with Truck and Brett and shape an idea into a piece of music and lyrics and then watch that become a song.
What influences your songwriting?
We really think of ourselves more like story tellers than songwriters. We are lucky enough to be able to travel all over America playing music for people. We have played every kind of gig. From an empty dive bar to festival stages in front of tens of thousands of people. Along the way we’ve met so many people with amazing stories. Sooner or later, those stories mix with our own and eventually weave their way into our songs.
Your Next Single, That Girl Tonight came out recently. What can fans expect following its release into 2014?
“That Girl Tonight” has actually been out for a while now, but it’s still one of our favorite songs. We play it every night and we usually open up the show with it. We have written about 100 songs since our last release… we’re scheduling time to get in the studio and finish up some songs. No release date as of yet, but we want to get it out as soon as possible. We’re gonna be playing several new songs at Eddie’s Attic on the 30th. You should come out and listen and help us decide which ones should be on the album.
You heard the man. They need input! Get tickets to see Mockingbird Sun at Eddie’s Attic on January 30 here.