A Missouri girl is coming home — platinum selling country music artist Sara Evans will perform at the 112th Missouri State Fair Saturday at the Pepsi Grandstand.
Evans, born in New Franklin, is the oldest of seven children and sang in her family’s band as a child. She recently spoke with the Democrat by email.
She said her parents played a large part in honing her musical abilities.
“They honestly both influenced me greatly,” she said. “My mom loved classic country and my dad loved some of the more rock and pop music. It was a great blend to have both influences.”
The band was at first called “The Evans Family Band,” but she said it soon became known the “Sara Evans Show.” A true family person, her life philosophy includes a quote by her mother.
“In life I strive to be a good person of integrity and also try to do the same in the music business,” Evans said. “My mom always said ‘You can never go wrong by doing right.’ That saying has stuck with me my entire life.”
She said she looks forward to performing at the state fair and said she will have family in the audience that night.
“I always love getting to play shows in my home state of Missouri, and especially the State Fair,” she said. “I’ll have so many friends and family coming to the show that night to cheer me on. I’m blessed to have their support.”
SIn describing her musical style she said she tries to keep an emotional connection with her audience.
“I strive to record songs that say something, that move people, and make you feel something,” Evans said. “Songs of substance that will stand the test of time.”
Song writing is integral part of her career and has played an important role in her hits.
“I am a songwriter and have written many of my hits,” she added. “It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of the music business. My current album ‘Slow Me Down’ has three songs that I co-wrote.”
“Slow Me Down,” her seventh studio album, was released March 11 and it debuted at No. 2 on the Country Album Chart and also in the top 10 on Billboard. The album was co-produced by Mark Bright, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood and the title track, “Slow Me Down,” is Evans’ 14th top single.
According to a press release, Evans has sold 6 million records and has five No. 1 country hits including “Suds in a Bucket,” “A Real Fine Place to Start,” and “A Little Bit Stronger,” holding at No. 1 for two weeks and eventually certified as platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Other awards, according to the release, include her achievement as the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist and Country Music Association’s Video of the Year for her hit and chart-topping single, “Born to Fly” from her double-platinum album of the same name. Added to these awards Evans’ career takes in the platinum-selling studio albums “Real Fine Place” and “Restless,” the gold-certified “No Place That Far” and the double-platinum selling “Born To Fly.”
During her music career, one of the toughest decisions for her was to turn away from recording songs she knew would be hits.
“I’ve had several songs pitched to me that I knew were going to be hits, but just weren’t right for me,” she noted. “I refuse to record songs that I don’t love just because I know they will be a hit.”
Being a woman in the music industry has its challenges, especially when raising children, but Evans said she is blessed.
“My husband, Jay Barker, is an amazing man and I couldn’t do what I do without his love and support,” she said. “I have three children and Jay has four children. We’re the modern day Brady Bunch!”
Women also face other challenges when is comes to men in the music field.
“Currently I’d say it’s definitely more difficult for female artists to get played on country radio,” Evans noted. “When I first started, it was more evenly balanced. I also think it’s harder for a woman to sustain a career in the industry when she has children. It’s easier for men to leave and tour, but mothers still need to be with their kids as much as possible.”
Evans’s future plans besides music includes a blog.
“I’m touring now through the rest of 2014,” she said. “We’re getting ready to release the second single from my current “Slow Me Down” album. I’ve also recently launched a lifestyle blog with my sister-in-law, Kaelin Evans, who’s also my stylist and hair/makeup person.”
The lifestyle blog, “A Real Fine Place,” focuses on women’s interests and passions in food, travel, fashion and beauty; her blog may be found at arealfineplace.com.
Evans, multi-talented, is also a published author having written works of fiction.
“I’ve written three books with co-author Rachel Hauck,” Evans said. “They’re a trilogy that follows a woman and the many relationships in her life. They’re Christian based and I really enjoyed the entire process.”
Her book titles include “The Sweet By and By,” “Softly and Tenderly,” and “Love Lifted Me.”
At the end of the day when it’s all said and sung, Evans said she wants to be remembered for her values and as a parent that made a difference.
“A person of integrity and values who passed those on to her children,” she added.
For more information on Sara Evans, visit her website at: SaraEvans.com.
Sara Evans and Joe Nichols will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pepsi Grandstand at the Missouri State Fair. Tickets cost $35, $30, $25, and $20; for more information contact www.mostatefair.com or call 1-800-422-FAIR extension 3247. The Missouri State Fair opens Thursday and runs through Aug. 17.