Sara Evans is not one to be idle.
Before a recent telephone interview with the “Suds in the Bucket” artist, she asked if it was OK if she folded laundry while chatting.
“I cannot talk on the phone without doing chores,” she said during the interview from her Nashville, Tennessee, home. “I always find myself cleaning and straightening up the whole time. It’s probably so annoying to people who are trying to talk to me, but I’ll try to be quiet.”
It’s that nervous-energy that has helped keep the 48-year-old mother of three busy, not only at home but in her career. It’s that energy that has also earned the country music singer-songwriter five No. 1 singles, the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award and earn a slew of BMI Country Music, Dove and Country Music Association awards.
But because there’s no rest for the weary, Sara Evans will make a stop Friday at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
And it looks as though that need to constantly be doing something has been passed on to her children, 16-year-old Olivia Schelske and 18-year-old Avery Schelske, who together are the Barker Family Band. They took on the last name of their stepfather, Jack Barker, former football player turned radio personality, whom Evans married in 2008.
Evans, along with her kids, released a new live album called “Sara Evans with the Barker Family Band: Live from the City Winery Nashville.”
The album was inspired after Avery joined the band as a guitarist.
“When he joined the band, I just started thinking, you know, this is going to be short-lived, because he’s obviously an artist and a writer and musician and wants to have his own career and so I just kind of try to take advantage of it,” she said.
After talking about the possibility of just doing a small tour with the three of them, Evans said they ended up recording an EP to show what the promoters could sell tickets to.
“Everybody just loved it, so then we decided to record the last show that we did in Nashville,” she said.
Olivia sings several lead vocals on the album including her own take on Chris Stapleton’s “Tennesse Whiskey.” Although her voice sounds similar to her mother’s, she has her own distinctive style.
“Actually, she’s a much better singer than I was at that age, “ Evans said of her daughter.
But how did Mama Bear do with having the kids on stage with her?
“It was very fun, but at the same time, it was kind of, it was a little bit cringy for them, I think,” she said. “But once it really got down to it and it actually started happening, (Avery) was sort of like, ‘Oh my God, are we in a band with our mom?’ They are still young enough to worry about what people are going to think about this, especially my son. He was getting a little bit of grief from his friends.”
Now that the tour with the trio is over, Evans said they can fondly look back on it.
“The music was incredible. I mean, that was the best part, in my opinion. I mean, I just think that we made amazing music and we chose really cool songs to do,” she said.
The entire experience inspired Evans to get back into the studio and produce another album. She’s spent a month recording and is getting ready to mix. She expects to release the album in early 2020.
She is keeping tight-lipped about the feel for the new album.
“It’s totally different than anything I’ve ever done,” she said. “I mean, I think people are literally going to be shocked.”
Evans said Avery will be performing with her in Charles Town, and she expects to bring Olivia with her as well as her youngest, Audrey.
Evans said she wants the audience to have a great experience.
“I say a little prayer before the show that I inspire people and that they leave the show with that feeling when you leave a great movie or a great concert and you’re like, ‘Oh my God that was so fun!,’ and you’re kind of on a high,” she said. ”That’s what I want people to leave with because that’s what I leave with every night when I leave the stage. I’m definitely on a high. I’m just so grateful for the fans who came and I’m so grateful that I’m able to do what I love for a living. I never take it for granted.”
Follow Crystal Schelle on Twitter: @crystalschelle.