The heart circulates blood throughout your body. It also circulates emotions. Every single beat is felt, head to toe. It’s quite a feat to balance ever-changing feelings in a song, let alone throughout an album. As emotions rise and fall, Sara Evans maintains a vocal equilibrium from song to song on her latest album, Slow Me Down.
To even attempt to capture the gamut of emotions, one has to have experienced quite a few. No doubt Sara qualifies to sing these emotionally packed tunes.
She grew up on her family’s New Franklin, Missouri, farm with six siblings and joined the family bluegrass band at age 4, playing mandolin. Four years later, an auto struck her, breaking her legs and arms, but not her spirit. Over the next two years, she endured reconstructive and plastic surgeries, along with casts as her shattered body healed.
RCA released Sara’s first album, Three Chords and The Truth, in 1997 when she was 26. The next year her second album, No Place That Far, produced her first number one hit – the title track, a duet with Vince Gill. Over the years, Sara has climbed the charts with “Suds in the Bucket“, “Saints and Angels“, “Born to Fly“, and “Stronger“. While her career climbed, Sara’s personal life met with a roller coaster of ups and downs.
After releasing the album Stronger three years ago, she commented on her husband, Jay Barker, he “tells me, ‘There’s nothing you can’t do. There’s nowhere you can’t go. There’s no song you can’t sing. There’s no venue you can’t fill. Whatever you want to try to do, I’m there to support it. If you don’t want to do it anymore, I’m also there to support you.’” With stability in her private and professional life, Sara found herself right where she wanted to be. The song “Sweet Spot” on her newest release will have you grinning ear to ear as she sings about how hard good love is to find, but when you do, it feels so perfect as it hits the ‘sweet spot’.
Producer Mark Bright commented on Slow Me Down, “With this album, she’s really happy, which makes a big difference as far as song selection and being able to have fun in the studio and not have all these things weighing on you.”
From the opening and title track, Sara strong vocals tug at your heartstrings, as anyone who has lived know ‘what ifs’ can tear you apart.
“If you let this train roll down these tracks
Gonna wish you tried to talk me back
Boy, you’re gonna miss everything we had
If you let this train roll down these tracks
If all’s that’s left to do is walk away
Then baby I’m as gone as yesterday
But if there’s something you still need to say
You need to say it now, hurry up and slow me down
Slow me down”
“Not Over You” (featuring Gavin DeGraw), “Better Off” (featuring Vince Gill) and “Can’t Stop Loving You” (duet with Isaac Slade) take the listener from the feelings of lingering love, to a solidary place of healing, and to feelings that hold on as you try to break love’s addictive qualities.
Love can’t be easily defined or described. Maybe it’s best if we open ourselves to experiences and depths of its many layers.