http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/interview-with-sara-evans-slow-me-down/article/373297

Interview with Sara Evans: 'Slow Me Down' Special

Posted Feb 26, 2014 by Markos Papadatos
Acclaimed country star Sara Evans is set to release her seventh studio album "Slow Me Down" on March 11, via her record label, RCA Nashville.
Country star Sara Evans
Country star Sara Evans
Robert Ascroft
Her previous album Stronger reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Albums charts. In her newest studio effort, the songstress co-wrote three of the albums 11 tracks and she collaborated with some of the finest songwriters in Nashville. "My main goal is to find the smartest, most compelling lyrics that I can find or write and then, weigh them out with what I think would be commercially successful in our genre," she said. "If it's a great lyric, you can do anything with the song. I can't sing a lyric that I do not believe in. That's my initial criterion in picking a song. It also has to move me emotionally."
It includes her lead title track single "Slow Me Down," as well as three duets with such esteemed musicians as Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill ("Better Off"), as well as Isaac Slade the lead singer of The Fray ("Can't Stop Loving You"), and Gavin DeGraw (a rendition of "Not Over You," where DeGraw is featured on harmonies). "I was a huge fan of the Gavin DeGraw song and I just loved it. Every time it was on the radio, I loved it, so I decided to record it and make it a Sara Evans song. He doesn't know it, but he wrote it for me," she said with a sweet laugh.
On having GeDraw sing harmony with her on the song "Not Over You," Evans expressed that she was blown away by his talent. "He just exceeded all of my expectations. We loved our version of the song and we were very excited about it, but what he added to it, he completely took it over the top and made it this incredibly sad, emotional duet, where by the end of the song, you are almost crying," she said.
Evans is reunited on this project with Vince Gill on "Better Off," who previously sang backing vocals on "No Place That Far, "her 1998 chart-topping single. "'Better Off' is such a great country song and it is one of the most country songs I've ever recorded, in the sense of it sounding so traditional like Patty Loveless in the 90s. Of course, we needed a high male vocal harmony and Vince was absolutely my first choice. He has always been so good to me and he has helped me so much in my career," she said graciously.
It was also "really surreal" for Evans to work with Isaac Slade from The Fray and praised him for his hard work ethic. "He was great. I am such a fan of his. I have been to their concerts and I have bought all of their records. It was very surreal to have his familiar voice on my song. I could not believe that was happening," she said.
Evans would not compromise on song choice for this record. "This album had to be undeniable," she said. "I was so particular and did everything I could to maintain my Sara Evans sound but still push myself vocally," she said.
When asked about her personal favorite song on this new CD, she listed her current single "Slow Me Down" and her version of Gavin DeGraw's "Not Over You." "I love this whole record and I am so proud of it. I am excited to hear every song and there is no song that I would skip over. Those two are the most fun for me to listen to right now," she said.
Throughout her career in country, the ever-talented Evans has scored five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Country Airplay charts, as well as two No. 1 albums on the country charts; moreover, she has garnered two Grammy award nominations and in 2006, she was crowned "Top Female Vocalist" by the Academy of Country Music (ACM).
Other proud moments in her career include playing at the Grand Ole Opry for the very first time, as well as performing "A Little Bit Stronger" at the ACM awards, for which she received a standing ovation, after being out of the scene for a few years. "There are a lot of different moments," she said. "Winning 'Female Vocalist' was definitely awesome."
She was also chosen as one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," which she dubbed as yet another "awesome" feeling.
When asked what motivates her from day-to-day, she shared that she is a "natural fighter." "I can have the worst day and have all the stress pile up on me, but I always have something in me to talk myself back into all of the things that are positive. I am very competitive naturally and I strive to be perfect, so I challenge myself a lot. I want to do good for my children and give them a great life and a great lifestyle and all of the opportunities that I can possibly bring to them. I am trying to give my best and be diligent in everything that I am given. I do take anything for granted and I try to remember how blessed I am," she said.
Evans listed traditional country singer Dwight Yoakam as her dream male duet choice and she noted that she is a huge fan of country and bluegrass musician Alison Krauss. "I have always wanted to sing with him. Dwight has been one of my favorite country artists of all time," she said.
"I am so grateful to the fans," she concluded. "Everything I did for this record was for them. I wanted to give them the best project that I possibly could. I wanted to make their ears happy and I wanted to make them happy. I worked really hard to find the best lyrics and to give them a great product. I did not compromise at all. I appreciate them because without them, I have no career."
To learn more about country darling Sara Evans and her new music, visit her official website.