Messer was born in Middlesex in 1956. Throughout his childhood and
teens he played rock music with his two brothers and in various local bands.
In his early twenties, Messer spent time in Nashville where he had the
chance to meet and hear some of the ‘greats’ of country music performing in
their home environment.
These included Roy Acuff, Hank Snow and Johnny Cash. Back home in England in
the late seventies, Messer was mastering the art of Mississippi delta
blues slide guitar, buying his first National steel guitar in 1979. He
began playing blues gigs, both as a solo artist and in various local bands
in the early eighties. In 1983 he met Ed Genis and they began playing music
together, a partnership that has lasted for the past two decades. During
that year, Messer started gigging regularly with British blues singer, Mike
Cooper, and through him he got known on the folk and blues circuit. In 1984,
Cooper asked him to play slide guitar on The Continuous Preaching Blues, an
album he was recording with Ian Anderson.
Messer seems to have studied every nuance of slide playing; from the Delta
and Hawaiian styles, jazz and world beat, Chicago Blues, and more, weaving
each influence into his playing. The American magazine, ‘Spirit’ listed
Michael as one of the greatest slide guitarists ever alongside Duane Allman
and Ry Cooder.