Q&A: Sara Evans

Q&A: Sara Evans

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Sara Evans is a multi-platinum country singer from rural Missouri.

Sara Evans, a native of rural Missouri, released her debut album “Three Chords and the Truth” in 1997. Since then she’s been a staple of country music, putting out several platinum records and songs that became instant classics like “Suds in the Bucket.”

Sara Evans was scheduled to play at the Thunder on the Mountain country music festival on Mulberry Mountain on Sunday, June 28. Unfortunately, the festival was canceled, but I was fortunate enough to speak to Sara over the phone about a week ago to talk shop.

She spoke extemporaneously with humor and candor. The following interview has been edited for clarity:

TFW: You’ve got a big tour with a lot of festivals, how do you get yourself psyched up and energized to go on stage and perform?

EVANS: I have a process that I go through every night before each show: I get in the shower, get out of the shower, and go into hair and makeup. My makeup artist likes to do my makeup with me lying down on my back; she says that I hold still and I’m kind of trapped there. My kids have always traveled with me and been on the road with me so getting ready for a show has always been this chaos and she[makeup artist] would get so mad because I would be holding the babies and they’d be totally in the way. So for the last several years I lay down to get my makeup done and I think when I do that, mentally I go into show mode, and just get geared up to give myself, all of me, because you have to do that no matter what’s going on in your life—you could be having a horrible day, or a horrible month, or whatever, or fighting with your spouse, whatever is happening you still have to go out there and give a great show because each show matters because it’s potentially the first time that someone is seeing you.

We, in my family, are huge John Mayer fans, so if we went to see him, we would want him to give his best effort—and so that’s what I try to do. And I’m also really prideful about putting on a great show and having perfect musicians, perfect vocals, all that. So pretty much every time, by the time I’m done with hair and makeup and I’m getting dressed and I put my stage gear on, then I’m so in the mode by then.

TFW: Do you enjoy playing at music festivals and what’s your favorite festival you’ve been to or performed at?

EVANS: I love them, they’re super fun. There’s a feeling that you get at the festival that gives you this old-fashioned picture of what I thought being on the road would be when I was young. So yeah I absolutely love it. We actually have a festival here in Coleman, Ala., that my husband is co-owner of, called Rock the South, and that was really fun because it’s partly ours but also the vibe is really southern, southern rock.

TFW: You started your career before social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram became popular Do you enjoy these new opportunities to connect to your fans?

EVANS: I love it! I absolutely love it. I really do read the comments—as an artist there’s certain things that you post and then there’s certain things that your people post, because I can’t sit around all day and post “come see me at such and such place and enter now to win whatever,” but anything that you ever see that’s personal, like the picture I posted this morning of the tomato t-shirt, I love that and I love reading the comments. But my son Avery who’s 15 told me that I have to run all my posts by him, because if I do something that embarrasses him in front of his friends he gets really mad [laughter]. I can’t really post anything that’s too sexy or anything like that because he’d say “mom! take that down!”

TFW: How do you feel about music services like Spotify and the trend towards streaming in the music industry?

EVANS: I think that nowadays any way that you can get your music out there is great. Any way that people can hear and want to buy your album. And I know that as a female country artist—it’s so hard to get played on country radio and I feel like (and I’ve been saying over and over) it’s sad but I feel like I don’t have a genre anymore, because they won’t play females, and country music is my format. It is my genre, I grew up listening to country music, I grew up singing country music, I grew up on a farm. I am country music. And I’ve contributed a ton to this format and just all of a sudden for the last five years we’ve essentially had the door shut on females, and we have to just kill ourselves begging and pleading to get played on country radio so— to answer your question I want my music to be heard wherever it can be heard.

TFW: Who inspires you personally as an artist and a performer?

EVANS: My son started playing guitar about a year and a half ago, and I suggested to him that he start listening to John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughn—so we are currently, and have been for the last year and half— obsessed with John Mayer. My son is the type of personality that will go full-fledged into researching something and he’s a gifted musician, he really is and so he has found anything and everything that you could possibly watch or see about John Mayer, and he [John Mayer] is incredible, he really is. I never get tired of listening to his music, especially the trio with Pino Palladino and Jordan the drummer. I never get tired of it, it’s so incredible. I love Sam Smith right now. I love his voice I love his record. Who else do I love? I love the song “Earned It” by the Weeknd, great song. It’s hard to know whether to call him “they” or “he.”

TFW: Can you give fans any hint as to when we might look forward to a new studio album?

EVANS: We’re going into studio this year—I’m thinking it’s gonna be late fall when we start working it.

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