Big Medicine: Mike Vial & the Great Lake Effect – Reach Back/Ohio

by Hal Newman | originally published at Big Medicine

To hell with it. I’m going to break the rules and add two songs from one artist – Mike Vial – to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One this morning.

I was listening mesmerized to the most haunting version of the CSN&Y classic “Ohio” I’ve ever heard and knew I had to share it with Big Med readers. And then there’s the beautiful and sad solo piece “Reach Back” featuring Mike Vial and his guitar. Both are very worthy of the add so it’s a Saturday morning twofer.

Mike Vial is a Michigan singer-songwriter with the lyrical direction of James Taylor and the musical style of John Mayer. In the spring of 2011, he left his teaching position of eight years to pursue music full-time, playing over 100 gigs regionally in the Midwest that year. The Lansing State Journal named his recent Where the Sand Meets the Tide EP a “must-have” in their top ten of 2011, and the new EP made the top download list in December at

Mike’s gift of literary stories blended with accessible melodies and traditional instruments gives his fresh music a classic sound. He’s recorded two EPs with producer Michael Chambers [aka moon:and:6] from Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, Ontario, and worked with the late Dan Achen (City and Colour; Feist; Junkhouse) in 2010.

Mike is one of the most active independent artists out of Michigan. He has sold 1500 CDs of his first two EPs independently through CDBaby, iTunes, and live shows in the Midwest. Some of Mike’s songs on Youtube have had 10,000+ views.

Mike is currently promoting a charity campaign where all of the sales of his new song are being donated to a Michigan charity. On Feb. 8, 2012, he released “Damn Fine Day” with a goal to raise $1000 in sales/donations by March 31st for the Livingston County Art’s Council’s Howell Opera House “Restore the Glory – 140 Day Challenge.” More info here:


Kevin Vines – Bass
Leah Taylor – Keyboards and Vocals.
Stuart Tucker – Drums
Mike Vial – Vocals, piano, mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
David Mosher – Guitar, mandolin, Fiddle