Episode 49: Mark Messerly, Music Maker For Life

Mark Messerly has been a key player in the Cincinnati music scene for decades, and he’s still going strong. (No wonder he calls himself a “lifer.”) Mark was the longtime co-leader of Messerly & Ewing, which won 97Xposure in 2002, and he joined Wussy as their bassist that same year when they expanded from a duo to a full band. He also released a 2018 album under the INERT moniker, and his day job is working as a music teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools district. In this first of a two-part interview, we talk to Mark about INERT, the perks of winning 97Xposure, and what 97X meant to local bands and true music fans. 

Here’s the Messerly & Ewing song “Shallow Grave” which got plenty of airplay on 97X as part of their 97Xposure win.

Messerly & Ewing “Shallow Grave”

Messerly and Ewing-Shallow Grave

“With Pixies/Nirvana-esque dynamics, clever lyrics and giant sized hooks, these supposed Folk rockers teach the world to sing the best local Pop song of the year.”

CityBeat Cincinnati

Check out this CityBeat Local Roots Music Primer from 2001 for a mention of M&E and several other great local bands, including a couple with 97X connections (Big in Iowa featured Mr. K, and Monkey Biscuit was led by Rob Ervin). And here’s a nice M&E CityBeat feature from 2015.

Messerly and Ewing Band, Bunbury 2012 with MidPoint found Sean Rhiney on bass and MidPoint and Bunbury founder Bill Donabedian on drums. Photo credit: Michael A. Kearns

Three Messerly & Ewing albums can be found on Bandcamp.

“Stay classy, Mark!” Photo credit: Merilee Luke-Ebbeler

Read this 2018 “Spill it” feature from CityBeat’s Mike Breen about Mark’s INERT release, a very cool collaborative project with dozens of Cincinnati musicians, writers, poets, and visual artists.

The INERT album can be found (and purchased!) on Bandcamp (link below) and on Wussy’s website.

In the second part of our interview with Mark Messerly (coming soon!), we’ll chat about his work with the brilliant Cincinnati-based band Wussy.

Photo credit: Sean Hughes

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