Michael Sarver, the multi-talented singer songwriter, is signed to Dream Records, a Universal Music Group affiliated independent label run by the Dream Center in Los Angeles, a non-profit outreach dedicated to helping inner-cities. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the self-titled CD go to the centers work providing food, clothing, shelter, life rehabilitation, education and job training to thousands of people. For Michael, a Louisiana native who grew up in Sulphur, and then moved to Jasper, Texas where he currently resides, the built in charity aspect of his recording deal is a true and inspiring extension of his developing artistry as a singer/songwriter.
"To me, a great song is all about the message," he says. "A lot of songs out there are cool to listen to and you might enjoy the beat, but a song can only speak to you personally when its fulfilling the soul of a person and speaking to the inside of you. As a writer and performer, I have a chance with every song to impact someones life and alter their emotions. Thats why, whether I wrote the track or not, I want to make sure every song I record and perform has all the heart and passion it deserves."
Since he began writing songs at age 14, the prolific and multi-talented 29 year old artist has kept an accurate count of how many he has pennedan incredible total of 948. Writing or co-writing six of the thirteen tracks on his debut, he introduces himself to the world as a recording artist of extraordinary depth and fearlessness, sharing everything from his great love for Tiffany, his wife of five years (including "Baby I Want You" and "You Are," which he wrote while missing her during his time away on Idol) to his thoughts about the naysayers who told him he would never succeed ("Watch Me").
Once Sarvers experiences on American Idol confirmed his initial instincts to pursue a career in country music (his favorite artist growing up was Garth Brooks) and record an album in that genre, Nashville came calling and he was pitched an incredible array of outside songs from Music Citys great writers. The singer was so impressed with the material he heard that he actually pulled five of his own songs from the project just to fit them in; he put his own ego aside to ensure that his debut had the right mix of the best songs available. "The main thing," he says, "is that each song has substance and personal meaning to me. Each song has a purpose for being on the collection and I poured every ounce of emotion into them."
These outside gems include the lead single "Ferris Wheel," about the dizzying feeling of falling in love in a place and moment that seems to be the top of the world; "Safe" (written by Ben Glover with Kyle Jacobs) about letting a partner know that he or she may have been hurt in the past, but their dreams and life are "safe with me"; the playfully sensual "Im In The Mood"; "Let Me Love You," another that Sarver calls "an intimate, heartfelt message from one lover to another"; "The Way She Loves Me," a Thibodeau/Josh Kelley tune that perfectly captures the feeling Sarver has for the way Tiffany loves him; and "Always Surviving" (by Thibodeau and Rivers Rutherford), a song the singer dedicates to "the working man," the guy who stretches his paycheck and does anything he can to keep his job to support his family. This track perfectly defines Sarvers life pre-Idol, when he was a young married man working as a roughneck on an oil rig to support his family.
Sarver reveals himself to be a heartfelt, emotional songwriter, but he also lets loose and has fun on the rollicking country rocker "Gonna Be A Good Night," which he wrote with Ben Glover and Rachel Thibodeau, 2008 winner of Song of the Year with Luke Bryan for Billy Curringtons #1 country hit "Good Directions." Titling the closing track "Tell Me," which he co-wrote with album co-producer Rachel Thibodeau the most difficult song he has ever written. The sparsely arranged ballad tackles the raw emotions he still feels for his birth father many years after the man left him and his mother when Sarver was only two. He says, "I have tried my best over the years to build a relationship with my father, but he has been very selfish. The song asks him what on earth is better about your life than the son you had at home. I actually broke down crying when I was recording it. I was so busy over the years worrying about succeeding that I didnt address the hurt. Writing and recording this song has brought healing into my life."