Mark Rhodes, Therapeutic Support Musician

Mark always knew as a young kid that music was going to be his career when he grew up. There

was no doubt that from the second he could talk that he would be involved with music

somehow some way. It wasn’t until middle school when he discovered his singing voice and as

soon as that happened it was non-stop music, all day, every day for the rest of his high school

life. He began his college career soon after and immediately got involved in the local music

scene here in Columbus by starting as a solo performer. Strapping his acoustic guitar to his back

and singing his heart out wherever he could get the opportunity, Mark hit the ground running.

It took about 6 months for opportunity to start knocking. He had been in several bands that just

didn’t really fit his vocal style, so he stuck to the solo life until the right thing came along. He

was offered an opportunity to audition for an extremely popular local band called Mescalito,

they were a 13-piece band that specialized in Funk and Soul, a genre Mark had been drawn to

as a kid and he couldn’t wait to get to that audition. They soon announced him as the new lead


He spent the next 3 years performing with Mescalito and even recorded his first album with

them a self-titled album, it was well received, and the band was even getting national attention

from record labels. As it happens in the business though, bandmates were getting married and

starting families, so we decided to disband. Mark didn’t waste any time though, he immediately

joined forces with some of the baddest musicians in the town and began his lead vocal's role

with another funk powerhouse called Jamnesia. They started packing houses at every venue we

played and soon started hitting the road, playing all over the state and in New York as well. But

this band was a cover band and he missed performing his music, he had been writing a ton of

songs with his writing partner at the time, Tony Bonardi, and so he decided to leave the band

and started his own band called New Pollution.

New Pollution took off and was well received with the local music scene in Columbus. The band

was full of some of the best musicians the city had to offer. In fact, two have gone on to do

important things. Former bass player Larry Cook has won a Grammy award for best Kids jazz

album and drummer Steve Purcell has been the studio drummer for many national artists

including Shakira. This band stayed in existence for over 10 years. We recorded an EP called

Waiting for the Bus in 2008 and they made the top 5 for best soul artists in Columbus on

ReverbNation for 3 years. It was during the covid shutdown that Mark decided to rebrand his

music and drop the band name New Pollution. Now the band just goes by his name, Mark

Rhodes, mainly because he was now the sole writer of the music, something he had not done

his whole career, he felt it was time to focus on his music and what that means to him. During

the pandemic he began writing and recording his solo album entitled Long Time Coming. It was

called that because he felt this was a move he should have done a long time ago. He had the

privilege of recording the album with a two-time Grammy award winning engineer, local music

genius, Jeff Ciampa. Over the course of two years, we worked on the album one instrument at a

time, inviting nothing but the most world class musicians to come through Studio Orange and

lay down their heart and souls on tape. In January of 2021 the album was finally released and

now is on all of the streaming apps of your choice. Upon the release of his first solo album,

Mark began working as a Therapeutic Support Musician with the REID Foundation, he was hired to

perform and teach guitar and other instruments to people in recovery, in hopes to teach them

how to use music as a coping tool. Little did he know that this job would change his life. Now he

balances his performance life with his therapeutic life and has said goodbye to all other

restaurant jobs he has held over the years and now he can focus on his music career full-time.