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.