Mike ethan messick
Mike Ethan Messick hasn’t had a music career so much as an ongoing adventure, an up-and-down mix of high times and hard luck to leave him with a lifetime of stories while still (fairly) young. Occasionally playing for thousands and other times to much more intimate spaces, sometimes full-tilt with a band and sometimes alone with his guitar, the well-traveled Texan has made himself at home in the Austin-area Hill Country to create and release his sophomore album, The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.
With a natural, bone-deep twang that turns all of his songs into country songs (though he often sports a folkie’s knack for lyrical detail or a rock & roller’s intensity), Messick took his first shot at the Texas country-rock scene while still in college at Texas A&M University, making himself an open-mic mainstay before starting up a band best described as “country music for the hearing impaired”.
Texas headliner Roger Creager cut Messick’s early composition “The Everclear Song” – a catchy, college-friendly drinking song – and provided the foot in the door to numerous towns and venues. Messick’s reputation as a gifted songwriter and onstage live-wire grew; even as his band broke up and an early crack at recording an album fell through, his solo gigs and song-swap appearances made him an obscure favorite of many fans.
With the help of producers Stormy Cooper and Aaron Holt, Messick recorded and released his first CD, Bootlegger’s Turn, in early 2007. With limited promotion the album received significant airplay anyway, in and around several medium-to-large Texas radio markets as well as worldwide on internet and international stations. “American Steel”, “Kings of Juarez”, and other tracks from the album caught on with listeners, and other artists including the Gougers, Big John Mills, Ben Morris, and Larry Hooper included Messick’s songs in their own shows and projects.
With time Messick scored opening slots or song-swap gigs alongside the likes of Randy Rogers, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Mike McClure, the John Evans Band, Adam Carroll, and Cory Morrow. He found new audiences in venues like Cheatham Street Warehouse, Momo’s, and Riley’s Tavern and a new community of musicians when he made the move to Austin in late 2007; within a couple of years the seed was planted for his newest project, The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday. Recorded in Austin’s legendary Cedar Creek Studio with backup by an array of artists including producer Adam Odor, folk band The Trishas, steel guitar legend Lloyd Maines, songwriting buddy Mark Jungers, and pickers on loan from Reckless Kelly and Hayes Carll’s band, the album expands upon the promise of Messick’s debut with a mix of stone country twang, soulful singer/songwriter grit and hard-charging American rock. The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday … but Mike Ethan Messick’s tomorrow looks pretty promising.
"Mike Ethan Messick has thrown down the gauntlet and raised the bar so everybody else
down here had better go back to school. Just pretty damn great." - Ray Wylie Hubbard
“Messick’s singing voice falls somewhere between Steve Earle and Max Stalling … all of these [songs] are done with quality, conviction, and a personal artistic integrity that is not easily found.” - Brad Beheler,www.galleywinter.com
“A soulful, challenging record that’s been a terrific surprise to hear.” – Alejandro Escovedo
"... with The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday, Messick plants his flag firmly in an acre of [Americana music]'s finest soil ... the album showcases Messick's diversity as a seasoned songwriter at home in various genres, from rockers like "Leave The Rest Behind" to the roadhouse honky tonker "So Little Left To Lose" to love songs of longing such as "Whiskey Colored Eyes"" - Gleason Booth, Texas Music Magazine
“…draws from his influences growing up in a home that embraced the Outlaws of the ‘70s, but whips it to the present with a definite Red Dirt delivery. Add to it some Springsteen/Mellencamp flavor and a touch of Americana folk and you’ve got Mike Ethan Messick.” - Dave Wheaton, Coming Home Radio Show
“Kind of sounds like Buck Owens …” - Lee Leffingwell, Mayor of Austin