Country singer Sara Evans makes performing a family affair
Country star Sara Evans has enjoyed a prolific recording career and is one of the most compelling female vocalists of her generation, with hits such as “Born to Fly,” “Suds in the Bucket” and “A Little Bit Stronger.”
Over her storied career, she’s released eight critically acclaimed studio albums and her latest — “Words” — was named among Billboard and Rolling Stone’s favorite country albums of 2017.
On Nov. 7, Evans will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse as part of her Say the Words tour.
Keith Loria: You grew up on a farm. How did you get involved in the music business?
Sara Evans: Both my parents are huge music lovers, but neither had ever performed themselves. When I was 4, my two older brothers started taking guitar lessons and I would start singing along with them and my parents realized I had a voice. They started getting other musicians to back us and we formed different bands. By the time I was 6, I was working as a professional musician, doing shows all over Missouri.
KL: What sort of music were you singing?
SE: We knew we needed to play the hits so we always had country radio on and my mom bought tons of albums, so I would learn whatever hit songs were out. I would sing Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Reba, The Judds — all the big stars.
KL: What can those coming out to Ridgefield expect from the show?
SE: This will be an acoustic show. I like these because they are a lot more intimate and it gives me an opportunity to talk to the audience a little more, so it’s quiet. My son will be playing guitar and we’ll have another guitar player. My sister Leslie will be singing harmony with me. You can hear the songs in a different way than normal.
KL: Why is it important to share a musical connection with your family still?
SE: Growing up, I had six siblings. Family has always been important to me and I love being in business with them. When you work with family, it sounds great because you grew up doing it together, so harmonies are really natural. Plus, they keep me grounded. My brother is my bass player also, though he won’t be at this show.
KL: Did you ever consider a career outside of music?
SE: I knew I was great at it and it was one of those things that when you start so young — something you have done your whole life — you don’t think about anything else. I don’t have a memory of not being a singer. I knew this was my purpose in life and there was never any really doubt that I would move to Nashville and become someone like Reba or Loretta Lynn. I always knew that.
KL: What do you enjoy about being in front of an audience?
SE: The live shows are my favorite part of what I do. I love being in a studio and creating new music, but to be on the road and have those moments where you know you are reaching right into someone’s heart and maybe even changing their life with a song you are singing, something that has already meant so much to them and now they get to hear it live for the first time, it’s a great feeling. That’s really important to me to try and deliver that every night.
KL: It’s been a couple of years since your latest album. Will we be hearing any new music from you soon?
SE: Yes, I’ll be starting a new album in October. We’re in the pre-production phase so I’m overly excited. It’s going to be really cool. Something very different for me, something I’ve never done before, but I can’t say what it is yet. It will be a big surprise to a lot of people.
KL: Ridgefield is one of your last gigs before you start a Christmas tour. What do you have planned for that?
SE: That will be a full band and a bigger production. We’ll start rehearsing right about then and hit the road. I do this every year and we are changing up the show to add some songs not on the last Christmas album. A lot of people do come to the Christmas show every year, so we’ll be sure to do some fun stuff.
KL: What else do you have planned in 2020?
SE: I’ll be releasing a memoir — a partial memoir. It started out being a little more comical and my unsolicited advice about different things in life such as parenting and being a working mom and then when I started writing it, it was impossible not to give a lot of backstory to my life and how I developed these opinions and why I am the way I am. It’s not my entire life story, but quite a bit of it.