In June of this past year, Mike Vial did something many only dream of doing; he left his full time teaching job to pursue his true passion: music. Fans can be glad he did. His most recent album, Where the Sand Meets the Tide, has been very well received, even making the top downloads list on NoiseTrade.
Mike’s music is described as having “the lyrical direction of James Taylor and the musical style of John Mayer.” The description is wholly accurate; his music is both relaxed and relaxing. The sound is seemingly effortless, with the guitar melodies covered by thoughtful lyrics in a style that make for a wonderful soundtrack to any activity.
Since leaving his teaching position, Mike has been sharing and promoting his music all over Michigan. Playing an impressive 60-something gigs over the summer, Mike has been working hard to share his passion and create new music for his fans. And with the release of Where the Sand Meets the Tide, this population is steadily growing.
Another wonderful aspect of Vial’s musical journey is that it is just that: a true journey. After leaving the stability of his teaching job, he is now living the life of an artist, one that is completely uncertain. This uncertainty adds a wonderful quality to his music; the hope, love, and passion in each song is amplified.
Mike’s intricate guitar riffs and vocals are layered beautifully with the sound of his band, The Great Lake Effect. With Stuart Tucker on drums, Kevin Vines playing bass, David Mosher adding the fiddle and mandolin, and Leah Taylor on keys and vocals, this Michigan-made band has created a wonderfully layered, complex sound that still appears effortless. This soothing alternative-folk sound is something that resonates with all who hear it.
If his incredibly accessible, wonderfully enjoyable music weren’t enough, Mike is also what you might call a Michigan philanthropist. He is at the forefront of the Great Lakes Effect, a nonprofit that aims to promote local musical talent and stimulate the Michigan economy. In fact, Mike’s next release will be doing just that. He says, “On February 1st, I’m releasing a new song called “Damn Fine Day,” an optimistic, alt-country tune about making the best of today while waiting for a better tomorrow. All of the sales are being donated to the Howell Opera House “Restore the Glory” campaign until March 31st, and all donations will be tripled by two donors!” ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer