Michael Sarver sings finale at Oakland with Megan Joy

Michael Sarver sings finale at Oakland with Megan Joy

“OK, you guys just spread out, get at different tables and I’ll get the Idols for you.”
Now it was a crapshoot. Who would I talk to first?
“Michael, why don’t you come over here. This is Bill Pinella from Santa Rosa.”
“Nice to meet you sir,” 28-year-old Michael said.
I had never met a guy who had worked on an oil rig before, much less one who called me “sir.” They say it’s the fourth most dangerous job in the world. I didn’t even want to bring it up, figuring Jeremy Michael Sarver didn’t either.
But I asked anyway.
“So, if this music thing doesn’t work out, will you go back to the oil rig?”
“No, sir,” Michael said as he grinned, almost laughed. Maybe it was a nervous laugh, maybe he was thinking to himself (“This guy has got to be kidding me”).
If you were thinking that, Michael, I was. Kidding, that is.
The smile was contagious. He’s just one of those kind of people who make you want to feel good. Make you want to smile.
But his music is hard to define.
You’d expect him to say country. I mean, he is from Sulphur, La.
“My genre?” he questioned. “If it is country then it’s extremely modern country. I’d term it as more soulful. I’m not closed to being labeled country. You’d be surprised at how much country music I don’t listen to. I do listen to a lot of Rascal Flatts, but I grew up in a soulful genre of music.”
Michael, who claims to have written over 900 songs, is not huge, but he’s big. Could be a linebacker. Could be a worker on an oil rig.
“Won’t have to go back there. The Tour definitely takes care of us … in a good way,” he said and you knew he meant through a nice deposit in his checking account.
But the truth is a year ago this day he was working on that oil rig and planning to tryout for AI. Now he’s talking to a Boomer about the AI Tour in Oakland, Ca. Where does he envision himself a year from today?
“I expect to have my album out. I’m working on that right now. There are some interested people. And I hope to have all the songs I have written organized and hopefully I’ll have sold some of them to other artists.
“And I’m not closed to using other peoples songs. But the majority of what I do will be my work.”
If you watched the show you would recall Sarver as the guy who was involved in a “sing-off” to advance. And that came against Matt Breitzke who happened to be a welder. Just a couple of blue collar singers performing for 50 million folks.
“Anybody who thought that (sing-off) was for real ought to go back and watch the tape of that show,” Michael said. “They tricked us good that night because they took us out of the crowd of people so we couldn’t keep up with the numbers. We weren’t counting.”
But Michael outsang Matt and he moved on.
“He’s (Breitzke) is still a good friend. He texts me, in fact he texts all of us and tells us how well we are doing. I don’t really know. I think he went back to welding.”
About four hours later Michael Sarver was center stage at Oracle in front of 9,000 cheering fans. He was in a suit and tie and he was the opening act. And while he is no Kris Allen or Adam Lambert, he is much, much better on stage than he was on the show. No question about that.
“I try to give it a different flavor every night even though it’s the same song,” Michael said. “You get out there and you see that crowd and it’s just so exciting. It’s absolutely different than the American Idol show.”
With that Michael was whisked off to another interview.
Later I looked up his bio on the AI website. It listed his favorite quote as this: “Even if the truth hurts it’s always better than a lie.”
Somehow you just want to hope the truth about music never has to hurt Michael Sarver.