Friday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
Sara Evans has had five #1 singles, sold millions of records, won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award and claimed a Country Music Association trophy for her signature song, “Born To Fly.” It’s tough to imagine many accomplishments Sara Evans hasn’t already checked off her bucket list.
And yet, with the release of her eighth studio album, Words demonstrates that she’s still willing to leap into the unknown, taking greater control of her career and calling the shots in a way that’s unusual in country music – particularly unusual for a woman in the genre.
The album was an eye-opening experience for Evans as a creative force. “The only thing I had on my mind with this album is just Grammy-level songs and the coolest music that I can find,” she says. “I didn’t really go about it in any other way. I wasn’t catering to any part of the business. There was never a thought in my head of ‘Will this work on country radio?’ So what has happened with the music is that it is still very much Sara Evans music. It’s just a little bit deeper than I’ve gone in the past.”
There’s an irony there – part of the reason that Sara Evans is one of country’s iconic modern singers is that her music has worked so well on country radio, at concert halls and amphitheaters, and in fans’ personal playlists. And the music she’s made to date is authentically her. But where Born To Fly narrowed the crowd of voices around her, Words is distinctively Sara Evans. For a woman who always tackled the music her own way, the new album is 100% her own.
Evans’ resume now includes 14 Top-20 country hits, ranging from her reassuring first #1 – “No Place That Far,” featuring background vocals by Vince Gill – to the neo-traditional “Suds In The Bucket” to the elegant, spiky pop feel of “Slow Me Down.”
She’s co-authored a trio of books for Thomas Nelson; advocated on behalf of the Red Cross; became an active contributor to the Birmingham, Alabama community, where she’s lived with husband Jay Barker for nearly a decade; and established a lifestyle blog — A Real Fine Place—that captures her flare for fashion, beauty and cooking. Says Evans, “My fans are in middle America – you know, country music listeners, small town, exactly what I come from....I feel like the All-American girl-next-door that you could be a friend and go have coffee with.”
Evans is doing it all and doing it her way. As a mom. As a record company entrepreneur. And, mostly, as a distinct artist still excited about her unique journey.