Local musician, sound manager seeks more opportunity

Reporter and Reporter

Marky Dally has made his mark at Howard’s Club H as one of the bar’s favorite sound managers, but Dally has decided to take his talents elsewhere — for a little while at least.

Dally, a Bowling Green native, started playing at Howard’s as a high school student. He and three friends started a band called The Tapes, and it had its first show at the club.

“I’ve played music a lot here, so I’m working here now because I’ve known all these people and they needed a sound guy,” Dally said. “So I said, ‘I’m a musician; I’m a Bowling Green native; I’ll run it.’”

DJ Snyder went to high school with Dally and now works as a bartender at Howard’s.

“He’s always here having a good time,” Snyder said. “Anytime he comes here, he brightens everyone’s day.”

Dally has never gotten a degree in sound managing, but uses information from the Internet to learn how to work the equipment and make the bar’s system sound good.

“That’s something I was really proud of,” Dally said. “If you’re passionate about something, you can learn it, but you have to get good at using the muscle in your brain to learn things and teach yourself.”

With all the time Dally has spent at Howard’s, he always thought it sounded too loud. He wanted to change that during his seven months at the bar.

“I’ve really cleaned it up in here and gotten more bands to be like ‘Hey, let’s go play at Howard’s,’” Dally said. ”I feel like I’ve done a good job here, to toot my own horn.”

Kevin Stoll of the band Lesson 22 works with Dally when his band performs at Howard’s.

“I like him. He’s personable and he knows what he’s doing,” Stoll said. “We’re all going to miss him, not only because he’s a cool dude, but he’s a good sound guy too.”

Dally thinks meeting the local musicians is the best part of the job.

“It’s a really cool community of musicians here in BG. It’s good to be part of it because a lot of good bands tour through here, and there’s a lot of history here,” Dally said.

Now, however, Dally wants to take his own music career further. At the end of the month, he will pack up and head to Portland, Ore.

“Playing music here in Bowling Green — there’s only a certain amount of soil, if you’re thinking of a plant,” Dally said. “Your roots will hit the bottom really fast, and then you don’t grow anymore. So, I’m going to uproot my little plant and plant it in Portland’s soil and see if it goes anywhere.”

Dally has played his own music under the name Balloon Messenger since 2008. He plays mostly by himself, but occasionally invites others to join him for a show.

After living in Kentucky for awhile after high school, Dally moved back to Bowling Green and wasn’t sure what to do with his life.

“I was that guy in between college and nothing,” Dally said. “One day I was mowing the lawn, and I saw this blue balloon that had popped lying in the grass I hadn’t cut yet. I was just thinking, ‘Send me a message,’ and it came to me on a balloon.”

The balloon had a napkin tied to it, and Dally thought it would have a message telling him what to do with his life. The balloon message: “U suck big ones.”

“I was like, ‘Wow, thanks God, thanks church, thanks hopes and dreams,” Dally said. “I named myself that because no one knew what it meant, but it made me laugh every time I thought of it.”

Balloon Messenger has three albums Dally recorded, produced and mastered .

As Dally leaves, he hopes for the best for Howard’s.

“BGSU students should get more involved with this place,” Dally said. “If the students use Howard’s, they could make this bar turn into a great music venue. I would love to see that happen. This place has really good sound equipment, and they should utilize it. We should bridge the campus to this place better.”