Trinity House Theatre exists to enrich and enliven the communities of Southeastern Michigan through brave, truthful and necessary works of art.

Trinity House Theatre
38840 West Six Mile
Livonia, MI 48152

Mike Vial and Amy Soucy – September 29

Advance tickets for Mike Vial and Amy Soucy must be purchased at this link.

Mike Vial’s wife–writer Natalie Burg–said she wouldn’t marry him unless he quit his public school teaching job to pursue music.

Five years later, Vial has played 1000+ gigs across the United States and Canada, and he’s released a new album.

For his fourth music release, A World That’s Bigger, Vial recorded the entire folk album live and acoustic, similar to how Nick Drake made Pink Moon.

“I was encouraged by Nick Drake’s story,” he said. “I aimed to capture the energy of my live performances on this record.”

So in the spring of 2016, Vial took three acoustic guitars and recording gear to a cabin in northern Michigan. With the help of his friend Mike Gentry behind the mixing board, Vial completed a challenging, personal record. But it wasn’t easy.

“Vial has an incredible amount of mental stamina and finger calluses,” producer Gentry said. “The guitar playing is intricate. It isn’t something every musician could do!”

After recording 150 takes, Gentry and Vial picked the best ten; the album A World That’s Bigger was finished.

The album covers three universal themes—life, death and love—that Vial’s family has experienced during the last five years. The title track “A World That’s Bigger” celebrates the birth of Vial’s first child, yet also recognizes the anxieties of raising her.

“I looked up how expensive college will be for Ginny in 17 years, and it was half of the mortgage of the house.” Mike said. “I had to write a song to calm my nerves.”

While the record is a celebration of family, a common challenge also haunts it: “Ginny’s birth was bookended by two miscarriages,” Vial said. “Writing songs like ‘Little Drum’ and ‘Those Shoes’ helped me find closure with the pain.”

And the pain runs deep in other songs like “Burning Bright,” a dedication to Vial’s relative, Michigan Senator David Plawecki, who died of cancer in 2013. Plawecki’s dying wish was to give all of his friends and family $100 each ($14K) to give to someone else in need. His generosity was reported in the news, and inspired Vial to write the song in tribute.

The record also highlights Vial’s past as an English teacher. The lyrics are full of literary and Biblical references. “My former students will have a leg up on identifying the allusions to Greek mythology and Shakespeare, if they read the assignments,” Vial joked.

Vial’s songwriting has indeed matured, and his lyrics often achieve a poetic quality. Two songs from the new record earned Vial a spot as a Grassy Hill Finalist for this year’s CT Folk Festival. The song Vial will perform at the competition, “Girl on the Mountain, Boy on the Beach,” addresses the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

“I’ve been thinking about how lucky I am to raise my daughter in Ann Arbor, and how so many families are fleeing their homes overseas.”

Vial’s luck became even more apparent to him three days after the record was released in October. While crossing Huron Street in Ann Arbor to play at the legendary Ark theater, he was struck by a car.

“I thankfully took my guitar in a gig bag that night,” he said. “The car hit me on the right side, where I was carrying my guitar on my shoulder. If I was carrying a hardshell case, I might not be walking.” Making the event more serendipitous, the police officer on the scene was a former student from Vial’s first year teaching.

Vial and his guitar survived, but it took him three months to recover fully. Then, three days after he the accident, another surprise happened: “My wife leaned over and whispered, ‘I’m pregnant!’ I’m still making sense of how lucky I am.”

Vial hopes the music will inspire us to do more for those in need, like Plawecki’s dying wish. After one listen to his new music, the world will be definitely bigger, and brighter.

Born in small town New Hampshire and raised in the wintery suburbs of Detroit, New York chanteuse Amy Soucy (pronounced SOO-see) grew up in a musical family (a sax-playing father and brothers who played tuba, guitar, and bass). She began singing and performing at an early age in choirs and youth theater and became one of the first graduates of Michigan’s only magnet high school for the performing arts.

She went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Musical Theater Performance, and hightailed it to New York City shortly thereafter, where she continued to multi-task as an actor/singer/dancer on tour, in regional theaters, and in the dark and dusty theaters of New York.

Though the lure of the footlights was fun, she couldn’t shake the recurring vision of herself singing solo, guitar in hand. Prompted by personal stories and a gift for melody and imagery, in 2001 she heeded the whispers of her heart and began writing original songs; then workshopping and performing them. In 2008 Amy formed a partnership with Catskills’ singer/songwriter James Krueger, and their musical travels took them from house concerts to listening rooms, to public radio across the Northeast.

Gifted with a versatile, powerful and fluid voice, Amy has performed, recorded, written and harmonized with a wide variety of musical groups artists, including powerhouse singer/songwriters Penny Nichols and Sloan Wainwright; NYC’s favorite Japanese gypsy-folk band, Kagero; Comedy Central artist Stephen Lynch; and many more. She recently moved to Beacon, NY, after 20 years in New York City’s creative cauldron.