Sara Evans is gearing up to release a new album, and she says it will be a contrast to her previous work.
“The new record is going to be very different than anything I’ve ever done,” she tells Taste of Country. “It’s not going to be genre specific, it’s just going to be me and songs that I love and sounds that I love.”
Part of the reason for this evolution is Evans’ children, Avery, 19, Olivia, 16, and Audrey, 14. Evans formed the Barker Family Band with her two eldest children for a new EP of the same name, and though they grew up with Evans as she became a dominant voice in country music in the late ’90s and early 2000s, their music tastes range from John Mayer to the Eagles to Ella Fitzgerald. Evans attributes her children’s musical diversity to contributing to her evolving sound.
“I’ve been so inspired by them, rediscovering all this music that I had kind of forgotten about,” she explains. “I’ve been having a new love and appreciation for music, and maybe a lot of music that I forgot about.”
The new solo endeavor will follow the release of 2017’s Words, a dynamic project that was well-received by critics, but largely ignored by radio. That’s a topic Evans has been outspoken about alongside several other female artists, including Carrie Underwood and Maren Morris, who’ve commented on the lack of women on country radio. Additionally, Words drew attention for the fact that it features 14 female songwriters, a sense of inclusion Evans says occurred naturally.
“It’s always may the best song win, and it just goes to show you that it’s astonishing and ridiculous and asinine what has happened in country radio,” Evans vents, adding that as her daughter Olivia embarks on a music career, she’s deterred her from entering the country genre in its current state.
“They’ve watched me go through it. When I bust my a– and do a radio tour and make a great album and then it doesn’t get any airplay and they’ve seen me at home crying,” she shares. “I look at Olivia and she’s so talented, such an amazing singer, and she’s got to find a format that will open up a space for her.”
Evans is performing a series of acoustic shows with the Barker Family Band at City Winery venues across the country, wrapping the tour on May 18 in Nashville.