Interview: Sara Evans talks about upcoming Jasper Arts Center performance

Sara Evans is set to perform at the Jasper Arts Center on October 22, 2022. She recently chatted with our afternoon DJ, Amanda, about plans for new music and what’s instore for her visit to our area!  

AT: We are so excited that you are headed to the Jasper Art Center on October 22! With over 20 years of hits, what can fans expect when they buy a ticket to your show? 

SE: Thank you, first of all! Being on tour is my absolute favorite place to be. We are kind of always on tour; we do over 80 shows a year.  I have one of the best bands in country music and my daughter is also onstage singing harmony with me. We play nearly all the hits, and then have a few cover tunes, about three new songs from my new record, which is a covers album, and it’s so much fun. My goal is to always do the show and make it when everybody leaves, they’re happier than when they arrived. 

AT: We have to talk about your book Born to Fly! When this came out about two years ago, I think I read it in like three days because it is that good! You were so open and honest about a lot of topics, including mental health, and balancing your career and family. Looking back, what do you think was easier: writing a book or creating an album? 

SE: Definitely creating an album because the book took me so long, and it was so hard to figure out what to tell and how much to tell. When I was writing the book, my kids were all still in high school and junior high. And I was so worried about ‘Will this embarrass them?’ It was a lot of trying to figure out what to tell right now and what to save for later. It was really hard to write but also very therapeutic. And you know, there’s definitely more memoirs in my future. 

AT: I’m so excited to hear that! I loved every part of it. If anyone out there has not watched Closet Chaos, they are missing out! It’s your weekly Instagram live show – you have had so many guests, can you share a few of your favorite moments? 

SE: Well, just this past Monday, we had Leslie Jordan on, and I was in absolute shock because he came on the show and he said, ‘You know, my mom had just died,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot believe you didn’t cancel.’ And he was like, ‘No, I would never do that.’ He’s such an amazing guy.  

We’ve had Martina McBride on and Brad Paisley. One of my favorite guests has been Kix Brooks, because he was so funny. And he didn’t want to get off the show. Usually, we ask them to stay on for 10 or 15 minutes, and just talk and chat it up and he started walking around his house and showing us around. That’s just so Kix Brooks! He’s crazy. But in the best way. We had REO Speedwagon on – it’s just been amazing. In two short years, we’ve grown it to where it’s taking on a life of its own, and we are definitely gonna have some surprises for you guys coming up soon. 

AT: You talked about your most recent album, Copy That, and it’s a collection of covers that spans all different types of music. You’ve got country, some rock hits, pop hits. We play your version of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and everyone loves it! Do you have any plans for any new music soon?  

SE: Oh, thank you! Yeah, that’s probably on my top three favorites on the record. 

I am writing, writing, writing, writing and my plan is to write this entire album myself or co-write. And it’s gonna be really, really country. That’s my vision for it. Sort of like Patty Loveless, she was one of my biggest inspirations growing up. And, you know, I started out singing in bluegrass. This album is going to be two things. It’s gonna be cry-in-your-beer country. And it’s going to be really, really sad. 

AT: My heart is so happy to hear that right now. I remember when Three Chords and the Truth came out – I loved that album. And I think you have such a great traditional country voice and you remind me so much of Dwight Yoakam, so I cannot wait to hear this new stuff! 

SE: That is a huge compliment because I love Dwight Yoakam, I think he will go down in history as one of the best country artists of all time. That’s who I wanted to be with Three Chords and the Truth. I went out to L.A., and I used Dwight’s producer, Pete Anderson. I absolutely loved him. We have the exact same tastes! 

AT: And I remember that same timeframe around the release of your debut album when you were on the CMA Awards for Harlan Howard’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction – you sang The Judd’s “Why Not Me,” which Harlan wrote. How did The Judd’s influence your music?   

SE: My sisters and I learned every single Judd’s song that they ever made. Even the ones that you never heard on the radio. I just thought they were so fantastic. Their music was so different. It was covered with so many acoustic guitars. And it was so special in the way that Naomi sang harmony with Wynonna, and she would always do that low part. Also, just their beauty; they were so strikingly beautiful. 

When I got my record deal, and I was at industry events, whenever I would see Naomi, she was so nice to me. She would always say, ‘You remind me of my family, like you could be a member of my family. You look like my people.’ I have told that story so many times over the years, because it was such a compliment to me. I’m devastated about her passing and feel horrible for the family.  

I had forgotten that Harlan Howard wrote “Why Not Me.” I just chose that with the Barker Family Band.  We have a live CD with “Why Not Me” on it. I just chose it because I love the song; I totally forgot that Harlan wrote that. Thank you for reminding me! 

AT: That’s such a timeless song! You’re recording new music, you’re back out on the road, what else do you have ahead? 

SE: We have a lot of stuff in the works. My life is changing shape a little bit in the sense that I’m now focusing not only on my music career, but on my kid’s music careers and helping them, watching them, listening to their music, and going to their shows, so it’s really exciting. I think 2023 is going to be an incredible year! 

Tickets to see Sara Evans at the Jasper Arts Center go on sale on August 1, 2022. Purchase online here or stop by the box office at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center Arts Wing. 

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