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Sara Evans' concert includes 'stone country' hits
0311SaraEvans
Sara Evans
Sara Evans
With Jimmy Wayne
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Anderson Music Hall, Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee
How much:  $30-$40
More info: 706-896-4191

Anderson Music Hall at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds will welcome Sara Evans and Jimmy Wayne to its Hiawassee stage this Saturday.

For Evans, the Saturday concert is a small part of her whirlwind schedule that also includes studio sessions to wrap up her latest CD, promoting a novel she co-authored, “The Sweet By and By,” and keeping up with her newly expanded family.

“I’m actually going to Nashville tomorrow to finish the album,” Evans said Tuesday in a phone interview with The Times. “I’m going to be in Nashville the whole rest of the week, slaving away in the studio, and our hope is to have a single out in April.”

Evans said the CD, which will likely come out in October, reminds her of “Born to Fly,” her album released in 2000 that went multiplatinum.

She said the new album will include songs that are “stone country,” most of which Evans wrote.

“A lot of the songs are sad, kind of heartbreak songs, which are my favorite ones to sing, even though I’m, like, happier than I’ve ever been in my life, and totally in love,” she said.

Evans, who was recently nominated for a Dove award for a gospel compilation, said one track also has a gospel feel.

“There’s one song that we’re putting on called ‘The Wheel and the Rail,’ that is sort of a gospel song,” she said. “It’s very bluegrass, and it talks about how our relationship is awesome, and we’re so in love, but God is in the center of it, so it’s got a really good message.”

“American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi also will show up in the writing credits for Evans’ new album.

“My brother and I wrote with her and she’s a fabulous writer, and she has a gazillion hits that she’s written, and she’s an amazing singer,” Evans said.

“We’re the same age, and we just hit it off really well. Now we’ve kind of become friends, even more so than just co-writers, and we’re trying to make it, like, a standing date, just to get together and write,” she said. “Even if it’s not for one of my projects, but just to write, because we have success every time we get together. She’s awesome.”

Evans said she hopes DioGuardi can get her another gig — guest judge on “American Idol.”

“I would love to be a guest judge and I’m totally going to make her hook me up for next season,” she said.

For Evans, a lot of her life is a family affair. After a car crash broke both her arms and legs at the age of 8, she performed at paid gigs with her siblings to help cover medical bills.

Evans married Alabama football player Jay Barker in 2008. With her three kids, and his four, Evans said the couple has “seven kids together, and a puppy.”

The kids sometimes travel on the road with Evans, who said their lives are different from the way she grew up.

“I’ve been on stage since I was 4, which is so weird. I look at my kids and I can’t imagine them doing that and going out and working,” she said. “But it was a different way of life. We grew up really poor on a farm, and it was a really, really simple life. Very slow paced.”

Evans said her brother, Matt, and two of her sisters are in her band, and will join her for the Saturday performance.

“We’re going to be doing, probably, four new songs from the new record, maybe five, and then some cover tunes, and then we’ll just do all the hits,” she said, “and it’s just going to be a lot of fun.”

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