Keeping It In The Family: Sara Evans returns to the road with her “All the Love Tour”

Country music star Sara Evans will bring her “All the Love Tour” to Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota on March 16 as part of the CMT Next Women of Country Tour. Joining Evans will be up-and-comers RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr.

Evans, a lifelong performer who was born and raised in Boonville, Missouri, honed her craft in bars and honky tonks earlier in her career before hitting it big with the 1998 chart-topper, “No Place That Far.” Evans has five No. 1 singles on her resume, including “Suds in the Bucket,” “A Real Fine Place to Start,” “Born to Fly” and “A Little Bit Stronger.” Her 2000 studio album, “Born To Fly,” her most successful to date, is certified double-platinum. Her latest album, and ninth overall, “Words,” was released last summer.

In a recent interview, Evans discussed her upcoming album, the constant search for songs that “fit,” and balancing her family and road life.

You have new music coming out this year so tell us about your song search process and co-producing with famed producer Mark Bright.
I always get so excited when I start working on a new album and begin the song search. Finding songs is really a collaborative process and in addition to myself, there are some key people who know what I’m going to like and what my “sound” is — my producer Mark Bright, manager Craig Dunn, and on this project  — Tracy Gershon on A&R. It’s like we’re all in this scavenger hunt together to try and find the most amazing songs. I like to meet with publishers and have them play me their “best of the best” pitches which also gives me the chance to tell them why I did or didn’t like a song and what exactly I’m looking for. They usually go back after the meeting and send even more amazing options based on what we talked about. My manager actually went out to a few women writer’s rounds and found some amazing songs and we have 14 different female songwriters on the record. I like having everyone on the hunt because everyone has a different ear and might hear something that I wouldn’t hear. Collectively, I couldn’t be more proud of this selection of songs. I think it’s the strongest album I’ve ever assembled and can’t wait for everyone to hear it. Working with Mark Bright is like putting on a glove that just fits perfectly. This will be the fourth album that we’ve made together and each time just gets easier and more fun. Mark has an incredible ear for finding great songs but he’s also an amazing musician. He can imagine what even a simple guitar vocal demo can turn into and bring it to life. I have a huge amount of trust with him that he’s going to make a great album with me, and it’s rare that we disagree on a song choice, a vocal part, etc. I absolutely love working with him.

Your tour schedule keeps you on the road a lot. How do you balance family and tour life?
It’s definitely not easy, but I’ve been balancing being a wife, mom, artist, friend, etc. for so many years, that we just kind of settle into a chaotic groove. My friends like to joke that I’m “Hannah MOMtana” because I have the best of both worlds. It can be surreal though sometimes performing for a sold out show and being on stage, to then pulling up at home the next morning on the tour bus and jumping off wearing sweats and instantly going into mom mode making breakfast for the kids. I’ve surrounded myself with people who understand that my kids and family are my priority. My management team does a great job at maneuvering around any family scheduling and somehow finds a way to make it all work. I typically tour on the weekends which lets me be at home during the week for all of the morning breakfasts, sporting events, school plays, etc., and then a lot of the time my kids come with me on the road. They grew up on the tour bus and absolutely love being on the road.