Even though Sacramento was hit with a deluge of hail, freezing rain, and even a little bit of snow a few days ago, the sun came out the next day, warming and drying out our city, just in time to welcome a respectable crowd of patrons and musicians to Kupros this week.

As open mic co-hosts Marty Taters and Lare Crawley set up sound equipment, our favorite bartender, Jenn, was waiting to pour the favorite drinks of everyone coming in Kupros front door.  Moscow Mule lovers might recognize the Bundaberg Ginger Beer in Jenn’s right hand, hands down the absolute best ginger beer on the market.  No marketing here, just an observation.

Jenn, our favorite Kupros bartender

Last night, Jed and Marty, augmented by Lare on bass, led out the open mic, playing several tunes and inviting the audience to sing along, and people did.  Among the songs they played was Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”, and most people couldn’t help but sing along on the chorus.  I will admit that when I first heard that song played on the airwaves I thought the chorus lyrics were “free ballin'”.  My girlfriend Kimberley grates her teeth when I sing along with that song, because I still can’t help but sing the chorus as “I’m free, free ballin'”.  Question for consideration:  no disrespect to Tom Petty’s memory, but does anyone agree that just for fun he may have covered both bases by singing “Free Falling” as he was free ballin’?  Just sayin’…

Jed and Marty belt out some crowd favorites

I followed Jed and Marty, and hate getting my own photo taken, but Kimberley took the liberty of snapping a few shots as I played my 2nd-slot set.  Here’s the best of the two photos, which really ain’t saying much.  

Kurt Michaels

My enjoyment of the set was jacked up high, though, thanks to having Lare Crawley accompany me on guitar.  Lare was playing some hot and juicy blues guitar solos, on top of his usual tasty licks that he sprinkled throughout.  That set is going to be reprised when we play together at Marty Taters’ March 24 CD Release Show and Songwriter Showcase at Old Ironsides. Doors open at 7 pm. “You Front The Band” karaoke will follow the Songwriter Showcase lineup of eight acts, each playing three-song sets. $10 advance tickets from Marty or $12 at the door. And did I mention that the cover charge includes a finger-lickin’ good BBQ dinner? It does. No one leaves a Marty Taters show hungry. Come on out!  Saturday, March 24.

Next, Jamison and Lare, played one of their musically sophisticated sets, sets that are so pleasurable to listen to and always just over too quickly.

Jamison and Lare: “$trapped for Cash”

John Butler, aka “J.B.”, drove out from his Vacaville home, as he does often, to enjoy the open mic scene at Kupros, joined by his buddy Robert, wearing an expensive-looking, long-sleeved Cabo San Lucas t-shirt that he virtually stole in Mexico for $7. Here’s a photo of John from a previous Kupros appearance. Why previous? Because I was thoroughly enjoying his performance and neglected to grab my camera for a photo, dammit. Oh well, it’s still John.  


Who else was spotted last night?  Kai, a well-known hip hop artist, for one.  Kai is preparing for a March performance at the Blue Lamp and dropped in to sharpen his set.  Tony Galioto was also in the house, as was Mark Dobbins, a seasoned musical veteran.  Unfortunately for me, Mark was preparing to perform just as Kimberley and I had to leave. Next time I’ll be staying longer.



Kurt Michaels
Kurt Michaels

Kurt Michaels has lived in the Sacramento region for most of his adult life and these days is semi-retired from the band grind. His greatest regular weekly enjoyment is hanging out with his Tuesday Open Mic musician friends at Kupro’s Craft House on 21st St. in Midtown.