Sara Evans Entertains Fans and Family in Nashville
For those of you wondering how Sara Evans and her handsome hubby Jay Barker have been spending their evenings at home, you might be surprised. "We'd get the kids to bed, slip out on the porch with the laptop and watch your videos," she told those gathered for her annual fan club party during CMA Music Fest. This year many of Sara's fans entered the "Sara-oke Contest," submitting videos of themselves singing Sara's hits.
"Some were very, very good. Some were funny and some were ... oh well," Sara said with a big smile.
The event was held at Rocketown, a Nashville club/skate park, and 550 fans attended, the maximum capacity for the venue. Sara's brother-in-law Zach Simpson (married to Sara's sister Ashley) performed for fans before Sara took the stage. "I'm so honored and blessed to have such an amazing fan club," she told the crowd. After serving up her hit, 'Perfect'" she welcomed her fan club president Craig Dunn and husband Jay Barker to the stage. They introduced the three finalists in the Sara-oke contest. "These were chosen by an anonymous panel of judges," Sara explained. "I didn't want to judge because I didn't want anyone to be mad at me. My goal is to be liked by everyone in the world."
They showed the video clips of the three finalists' entries and had the crowd applaud for each contestant. Craig and Jay then went backstage to confer while Sara entertained the crowd. Putting the anticipation to rest, Sara announced Lisa Illobre from Lebanon, Tenn. as the winner. "You're a beautiful singer! Are you gonna go for it? You should," Sara said, congratulating Lisa and encouraging her to pursue a career. Lisa then performed 'No Place that Far' and received an enthusiastic reception from the crowd.
Before Sara resumed performing, her husband Jay addressed the fans and said "Thank you for loving her the way you do." It was a sweet moment, and the crowd roared their enthusiasm.
Sara's performance continued as she served up such hits as 'Born to Fly,' and filled the fan club members in on what she's been working on, including a forthcoming book for Thomas Nelson and a new album due out this fall. She introduced her co-writer on the book, Rachel Hauck, and Rachel directed fans to a table at the side of the room where they could sign up for a chance to have a character in a future book named after them.
Sara introduced her band, including her brother and frequent songwriting partner Matt Evans and then called her sisters, Ashley Simpson and Lesley Lyons, center stage and the trio performed the Dolly Parton classic, 'Jolene.' Producer Nathan Chapman joined Sara on stage as she performed her new single, 'Feels Just Like a Love Song.'
Though someone on the side of the stage began warning her about time running out, Sara continued to entertain the crowd even throwing in such classics as a cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Go Your Own Way' and the Doobie Brothers 'Long Train Runnin'.'
"I feel like the luckiest girl in the world," Sara told her fans. "This is all I ever wanted to do."