Michigan songwriter Mike Vial writes songs about love and life's transitions, and his vocal style shows the influence of James Taylor and Ari Hest. But his accomplished guitar playing has a voice of its own, mixing elements of jazz, folk, and rock. Out on the road once more, Mike is taking Mike Gentry along for the ride. Mike started out playing guitar at Dexter High School, worked for years at A&M in Los Angeles, and came home to Michigan. He's appeared at Plymouth Coffee Bean, Black Fire Winery, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room, Dearborn Brewing, and many other venues. "I pitched to him the idea to tour together this summer like old folk artists did in the 60s!" Vial says. The Mikes will complete a tour of one-night stands with suitcases and guitars in hand, performing as solo artists and ending shows as a duo. Their musical partnership feels fated, since Gentry produced Vial’s latest record, the ambitious "A World That’s Bigger."
Mike Gentry’s love for music kicked in early in life. He credits Elvis Presley with being his first musical influence. Mike began playing guitar while attending Dexter High School and fronted the local bands Max and True Story. In 1986 he moved to Hollywood to study at the Guitar Institute of Technology/Musicians Institute, where he learned his craft first-hand from Paul Gilbert, Keith Wyatt, Tommy Tedesco, Howard Roberts, and other luminaries.
From 1989 until 1994, Mike worked at A&M Records in Hollywood. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, he moved back to Michigan to attend Eastern Michigan University, where he studied music education. In 2003 he and his band Shining Farmer released their self-titled CD. For a dozen years Mike was the director and guitar and drum instructor at SE Michigan’s National Music Workshop’s Day Jams program.
These days, Mike regularly performs as a singer-songwriter around South-Eastern Michigan, appearing at the Plymouth Coffee Bean, Black Fire Winery, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room, Dearborn Brewing, and many other venues.
Limn is the solo project of Jake Hawrylak, formerly of the band Sedgewick.