Mark Iler

Mark Iler

 Olympia, Washington, USA

Mark Iler is a talented singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and brings his brand of "Humor and Heart" to every solo and group performance. He performs live onstage, records in the studio as a session sideman, and works as an on-location audio engineer.


Mark Iler is a gifted singer/songwriter, instrumental sideman, show host, and sound engineer from Washington State.

Originally from Detroit, Mark has lived in the Seattle area for over twenty years. He holds a degree in sound recording, and operates his own professional audio services company, Grey Hawk Productions. But Mark is equally at ease on the other side of the microphone.

He performs throughout the Northwest as a solo singer/songwriter, accompanying his wry ballads on guitar, tenor guitar, and harmonica. He is also in demand as a studio session player and live concert sideman, frequently appearing with the Kevin Jones Band, Constellations Crew, and Hank Cramer.

Mark generously shares his time as emcee and producer for the Victory Music musicians co-op, hosting open mikes and song circles throughout the Puget Sound area.

He has recorded 10 CDs with Hank Cramer, and they are now collaborating on their 11th project. The work has earned critical acclaim. Heartland Public Radio named their version of My Sweet Wyoming Home the #5 Cowboy Song of 2007. Texas Public Radios Random Routes chose two of their songs Della and The Dealer and Two of A Kind for their Top Twenty of 2007. The Western Music Association has nominated their Way Out West CD as the best Traditional Album of 2007.

Marks past performances include Pine Stump Symphony (Washington); Northwest Folklife Festival (Washington); Lunenburg Folk Harbour (Nova Scotia); Sharlot Hall Festival (Arizona); Saint Patricks Week (Hawaii); National Special Forces Reunion (Oklahoma); USS Constellation (Maryland); USS Constitution Museum (Massachusetts); Tall Ships Victoria (British Columbia) and WMA Festival, Tombstone, AZ, Tall Ships Festival, Green Bay, WI.

Mark can be reached at...;
By phone at (360) 570-2251;
By Snail Mail at
6245 Guerin ST SW, Olympia, WA 98512
Or, check out his music website at...


Upbound And Empty

Written By: Mark Iler

Upbound And Empty
By Mark Iler © (All Rights Reserved) 11/27/03

In November of ‘13 we thought we were done
Thought we’d made the last haul of the season
But the word had come down that we’d make one more run
And the quest for more profit seemed to be the reason

Our ship, called the Crawford - was just 6 years old
Built strong to last a good 80 years more
She was longer and wider and massive and bold
Storing 12 thousand plus tons of raw iron ore

        Now we’re upbound and empty, again we will go
        Thru the Soo to Duluth, Minnesota
        The last hold of ore for the season we’ll load
        Tempting fate in November once more

The wind started howlin’, the gale flags flew
As we steamed on past the Fort Gratiot light
The waves grew to mountains, the snow and wind blew
And the sky grew as dark as the dead of the night

Up near Point Aux Barques, the first mate did shout “There’s a ship off to starboard -
It’s the Argus”, he cried
She was caught in the trough and she couldn’t break out
Then was crushed like an eggshell in front of our eyes


Upbound And Empty
By Mark Iler © (All Rights Reserved) 11/27/03 (Continued)

Then the aft cabin windows caved in with the waves
That flooded the mess room and galley below
Both anchors soon parted along with their chains
And the rivets were popping as we twisted and bowed

We struggled to keep the George Crawford afloat
As the last of two ships left on Huron that day
Bow to stern covered with thick ice and snow
With our loved ones back home left to wonder and pray

        BRIDGE BREAK x 2

Then a break in the weather gave us slight reprieve
And we brought her back round to the battering wind
We steamed her ahead still scared - but relieved
With a glimmer of hope we might get home again

The next morning arrived - we put in at the Soo
The ship and the crew they were battered and worn
Saint Christopher must have been there with us too
For the Crawford had lived thru the greatest of storms

        CHORUS x 2 then END

The Lady And The Captain

Written By: Mark Iler

The Lady And Captain
Words and music by Mark Iler © 1989

Well the calm water glistens with the sun in the morn
This is the day that she's waited for
Out on the horizon, a captain and crew
Coming home for a shore leave that's long over due

But it's only a few days together they'll share
So they'll make the most of the time he is there
And on the last evening down at the town hall
A dance for the sailors, invitations for all

So swing to the left and swing to the right
The Lady and Captain will dance through the night
For his shore leave will end as tomorrow begins
And she doesn't know if she'll see him again

The weeks go by slowly - they seem just like years
When he's on the water there's always the fear
For one day a message may come to her door
Telling her she'll see the Captain no more

Chorus then Solos over Verse

Now the seagulls are calling as the new day is born
He shoulders his duffel bag and heads for the door
She is his true love, but his first is the sea
She kisses him knowing that's how it must be

Chorus x 2
No, she never knows if she'll see him again


3 track Mind: Mighty Big Therapy (CD, 1993)

3 Track Mind: Living Room (CD, 1996)

Kevin Jones: Hester Street (CD, 1998)

Joe Jencks: What Kind Of Brother (CD, 2000)

Ken Boynton Band: Aural Pleasure Cruise (CD, 2000)

Dan Keusal: All Along (CD, 2001)

Heidi Muller: Gypsy Wind (CD, 2001)

Hank Cramer: If There’s One More Song (CD, 2002)

Seabold Second Saturday Open Mic: Settin' The Woods On Fire (CD, 2002)

Constellation’s Crew: Songs of USS Constellation (CD, 2003)

Kathye Long: Check Please (CD, 2005)

Hank Cramer: A Soldier’s Songs (CD, 2005)

Constellation’s Crew: Back To Sea (CD, 2005)

Budd Bay Buccaneers: Got Booty? (CD, 2006)

Hank Cramer: Songs From Maurie’s Porch (CD, 2006)

Various Artists: Pine Stump Symphony (Concert DVD, 2006)

Mike & Val James: Back To Back (CD, 2006)

Hank Cramer: Way Out West (CD, 2007)

Kit McLean: Horses ( DVD Soundtrack, 2007)

Hank Cramer: Caledonia (CD, 2008)

Steve Guthe: Say Goodbye (CD, 2008)

Hank Cramer: An Old Striped Shirt (CD, 2009)

Hank Cramer: Loosely Celtic (CD, 2010)

Brian Maskew: Songs In Good Company (CD, 2010)

Kevin Jones: Winter Moon (CD, 2010)

Set List

His original songs of Humor & Heart are interspersed with covers, Sets are usually around 45 minutes and depending on the crowd, may not take a break for well over an hour. Cover songs include Folk, 50's, 60's and 70's Classic Rock /Pop, Traditional, Celtic, Sea Songs and Blues as well as Humor & Novelty Songs.