Sean Michael Dargan | The Big Picture

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United States - Wisconsin

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Pop: with Live-band Production Rock: Americana Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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The Big Picture

by Sean Michael Dargan

stylish & tall original guitar pop
Genre: Pop: with Live-band Production
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Note from the Heartland
3:38 $0.99
2. The Big Picture
3:51 $0.99
3. Paint a Target
4:40 $0.99
4. Headed Back Out to Sea
6:05 $0.99
5. Before the War
3:23 $0.99
6. Dallas Morning News
1:59 $0.99
7. Little As I'd Planned
3:59 $0.99
8. Ride for the Roses
3:19 $0.99
9. Corner Kick
3:29 $0.99
10. If You Came to Me Now
3:07 $0.99
11. Eyes Full of Christmas
3:38 $0.99
12. Twelfth Night at Payne Street
4:27 $0.99
13. You're the One
3:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sean Michael Dargan is almost too tall, standing six feet, four inches in his favorite black-and-white saddle shoes. His penchant for two-tone footwear and bow ties dates back to high school, although the nuns at Saint Camillus Catholic School say there were obvious signs as early as fourth grade.

These fashion choices left Sean with very few dates during his formative years, so he had ample time to practice his guitar playing, singing and songwriting -- passions he acquired after leaving behind his highland bagpipes, much to the delight of the entire neighborhood. After much research, Sean realized that guitars could be plugged into amplifiers, making them even louder than bagpipes; the neighbors again put their hands over their ears, but this time their toes were tapping.

Cut forward to 2005: Sean Michael Dargan is the proud parent of a brand-new album, "The Big Picture" released on his Madison, Wisconsin-based Slightly Charred Records label. "The Big Picture," Dargan's third album, comes a scant eight years after his second, eponymous album, leading many fans and not a few noted music critics to muse quietly to themselves, "What the hell took so long?"

Sean wonders if those fans and critics kiss their mothers with those dirty mouths. He then points out that even the Beatles took some time off after "Let It Be," so maybe everybody ought to just calm down and listen to the new album instead of getting' up in his grill about the word "tardy" and it's many possible definitions.

Fortunately for Dargan, the new album is really quite good, with a palette of twelve delicious new songs penned by Dargan, and one fine tune by his old school chum, NYC alt-country mainstay Chris Bonner. The record springs to life with the opener "A Note from the Heartland," a relentless, up-tempo, true-story rocker in glorious three-part harmony. The album then holds you close for forty minutes, tucking you in gently at the end with "You're the One," a gauzy, lilting ballad that features those same highland bagpipes that we thought we'd escaped back in the second paragraph.



to write a review


Fun for the entire family!
Talk about musical variety -- this album has a song to please everyone in the family. Just on the strength of the first six tracks alone, The Big Picture comes off as a much more mature record than SMD's last disc (not to take anything away from that album). I like the modern groove of "Paint a Target," the leanings of the title track, the roots-rock familiarity of "Before the War," and the slow burn of "Headed Back Out To Sea." SMD even shows off his proficiency on the bagpipes on the sweet-sounding closer "You're the One." This is fun ...

Matthew T Ledger

The Big Picture Is a wonderful mix of pop rock n roll and heart felt emotion.
The Big Picture is a wonderful mix of pop rock n roll and heartfelt emotion. Sean Michael Dargan has a real gift for writting lyrics that are smart and are right on time giving your ear a mix of rich singing voice and unpredictable verse. The Big picture is full of great music. As in his other albums smd. is no stanger to the guitar. He has a seasoned yet fresh ability to play.


best album yet
I like the mix on the album as the music doesn’t get in the way of the lyrics. Nice guitar solos through out the album. And birddog did a nice lick too. 2nd track is the best track on da album, or at least my favorite. Really got the mix going on too in the transitions. This chart ought to get some air time for sure. I have heard it about 4 times in a row now. Really grows on ya. I really like the opening on the 3rd track as it eases in and builds. Gots a nice R/B feel under da 60s rock. Really good vocals and harmony. Just rolls along don’t it. A very listenable album that shows a lot of song diversity.

Ed Schwitzky

If I was stranded on a desert island with just 3 CDs...
Although it was a very long time between CDs, The Big Picture was absolutely worth The Big Wait! And now that I know where Sean is living and playing his music, my wife and I are planning a trip to Madison this summer.

Hugh McAloon

Tight and consistent... wow.
Tight. Consistent. Catchy. These are words that describe SMD's The Big Picture. You know an album's good when you find the songs... that's right, the *songs*, not just a single... running through your head at odd times throughout the day. I can't get "One Step Back" or "Eyes Full of Christmas" out of my head. And it doesn't bother me one bit. I've listened to this album several times over the past few days, and each time I hear something I hadn't noticed before in every song. Yes, *every* song. I can't say that about many albums. Another reviewer mentioned the production value. I'll take The Velvet Underground's Nicco and any Robert Johnson album over a super-polished type like Ashlee Simpson or Milli Vanilli any day. It's all about the lyric and musical content, and The Big Picture is tops where it counts.


sticky pop songs that you're compelled to hum
Great pop songwriting and singing. excellent performer and a very cool guy. this is his first 'home' recorded album. Some of the rough edges show in production quality, drum recording, and editing but overall a very creative effort.

Brian S

You can tell SMD spent some time on this one. The writing, playing, singing, mixing, recording... it all comes out smooth as silk. Roll down the windows, enjoy life, and crank it up. You'll please every ped you pass.

Lori Skelton

The Joy of Sonic Discovery
Remember the first time you had your hands on a musical instrument and you couldn't sound the notes fast enough; so enthralled with what you were hearing, that it all sounded revelatory? If you're lucky, you never lose the sheer joy of hearing stuff. Sean Michael Dargan is lucky, as well as disgustingly talented. With "Picture," SMD is letting all of us in on the party in his head; a variety of song styles splashed through with inventive sonic color combinations. There is no apologizing for honest emotion, bitter as well as sweet...and who knew bagpipes are the perfect way to underscore a love song? You can almost imagine yourself sitting next to Sean in the studio, as he happily pulls up and fiddles with track after track. "Check this out!" is this CD's mantra. Check, indeed!


Heartfelt and soulful. I already know I will re-listen to this CD for many years to come. Enjoyed the pictures, since they ARE a part of The Big Picture.


Makes Me Want More
Came across the CD at random and really liked the lyrics. Sounds a lot better offline (obviously), but the passion is really clear.
Makes me want to find out how to get the first CD. Is this a big secret?
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