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Ark Set List & Videos

2017 May 11
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by Mike Vial

Playing the Ark is always my favorite gig of the year. The staff, volunteers, history, stage, sound–I’m riding an endorphin spike from last night. Plus, I got to hear my friends Frances Luke Accord! Being a full-time musician means I miss most of the shows I want to attend; I’m gigging when my friends are playing! Last night, I got to do both activities.

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River Street Anthology Session Video

2017 May 8
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by Mike Vial

In July of 2016, I went to Matt Jones’s basement to tape a session for his wonderful River Street Anthology. Charlie Steen & Mostly Midwest captured the session on video too, and they posted it today!

Matt’s been taping songwriters in his basement for a few years now. The sessions started on whim, and grew into a full blown anthology of many corners of Michigan. Like Alan Lomax, Jones has made it a mission to capture the flavors of songwriting, specifically in Michigan.

Last July, Gentry and I were deep into mixing process of my record A World That’s Bigger, and my chops were firing on all cylinders. I had already done 150 takes live for the record, so doing one more take live wasn’t daunting!

I had trouble deciding which song to record for the anthology, so I let my wife choose. Without hesitation, she told me to play Ginny’s song.

The first verse captures a scene of our home in Dixboro, an image of walking my daughter down the road to the baseball field, where a one-room school house and historic revival church await us, and the overwhelming questions about life…I got a notification was posted today, as I was walking Ginny down that very road.aworldthatsbiggerfield

Thanks for watching my session. You can see many more of Jones’s anthology here at The River Street Vimeo page.

Set List: May 6, 2017 – Coffee Amici

2017 May 7
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by Mike Vial
Photo credit: Mike Gentry

Photo credit: Mike Gentry

Fun show! These are my soul-filling gigs. Mike Gentry played a full set of original songs and shared stories about living in LA, Crazy Johnnie, and how we are all “one water.” Then I played a full set of mostly songs from A World That’s Bigger. I played one unreleased song, “Awestruck,” and three covers, too. Thanks to the returning faces for coming out to our favorite Ohio coffeehouse listening room. And thanks to Lynne, John, Craig and Jayne for hosting us.

Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour stream online at WVPE

2017 May 3
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by Mike Vial

The Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour’s episode featuring me is airing this weekend! You can stream it online here:

Here’s a video I posted from the taping of John Bahler performing a song called “If You Weren’t Afraid.”

WVPEShow Synopsis: “Join us for the Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour, Sunday night, May 7, at 10:00 PM EST. Our featured guest is Back Porch “Top 25 Album of the Year” artist Mike Vial. Mike will perform songs from that album,  A World That’s Bigger, talk about his work with host George Schricker, and read a poem. Music director John Bahler shares his wit and there’s some funny stuff, too. Recorded live at the Wild Rose Moon in Plymouth, Indiana.”




The Best Hug

2017 April 22
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by Mike Vial

“The Best Hug You Will Get”
I’ve had a soul-recharging run of cool shows this year. I’ve been making up for the lost time after cancelling my winter tour because of the accident in October.
Honestly, it’s not really “lost time.” I was given a second chance.
Three days after my record, A World That’s Bigger came out in October 2016, I was hit by the car while crossing Huron Street, walking to the Ark to play a gig.
I saw the walk sign, started crossing, excited to get to my favorite venue. Once I walked three quarters through the intersection, I saw blue sky.
I guess a U of M professor just didn’t see me in the road as he turned left, and ran me over. 
My Taylor guitar shielded my body from the initial impact and saved my head from hitting the ground. (Thank God I was carrying a gig bag, and not a hardshell case.)
As I was waiting in the ambulance, a police office came up to the door and said, “Hi, Mr. Vial!” (Yep. The police officer on the scene was a graduate of Holly High School, from my first year teaching.)
Anyways, my guitar and I got off easy.
I had a broken foot and a hurt back that needed physical therapy. My guitar is covered in cracks, but only needed a $115 dollar set up from my tech to play right again.
And then…
Three days after I was hit by the car, Natalie leaned over and said, “Mike, I’m pregnant.” Ginny was going to be a big sister in June!
Surreal. Three days and a second changes everything.
My record is about the struggles of miscarriage, the birth of Ginny, love, life, and death. If the driver had been going 10, 15, 20 miles faster, it might have been a final statement…Just like Nick Drake’s Pink Moon…
* * * * * * * 
Wild Rose Moon shared the live video of my song “I Will (If Your Plane Is Late”). I didn’t plan to play it that night, but it felt right in the second set.

It’s a song about the best hug one can get: in the airport, right when a loved one gets off the plane.

However, that best hug scene has been replaced for me.
The best hug I’ll remember is hobbling to my (unknowingly pregnant) wife and giving her a hug before being sent to the hospital.
Give someone a hug today.