Country Radio Broadcasters Announce Recipients of 2018 Artist Career Achievement Award and President’s Award


The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. have announced Steve Wariner as the recipient of the 2018 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award, and Charlie Morgan as the recipient of the 2018 President’s Award. Both awards will be presented during the Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards ceremony, to be held on Wednesday, June 20that 6 p.m. CDT at the Marriott Nashville (Vanderbilt, 2555 West End Avenue, Nashville, Tenn.).  

Twenty albums into his five-decade career, 2018 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award recipient, Steve Wariner has become a modern-day multi-genre icon earning fourteen #1 hits, over 30 Top 10 hits, three Gold albums, four GRAMMY Awards, three CMA Awards, one ACM Award, a Christian Country Music Association Award, a TNN/Music City News Award, a CMA Triple Play award, and 15 BMI Million-Air Awards. He is a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, and one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the "Certified Guitar Player" (CGP) award by Chet Atkins. The now Grand Ole Opry member was discovered by the legendary Dottie West at just 17 years old as he played a set in an Indiana club. West hired him on the spot to be her bass player. Upon accepting the offer, Wariner played bass for three years with her before his next gig playing in Grand Ole Opry member, Bob Luman’s band and was a featured musician on Luman’s Alive and Well record, which was produced by Johnny Cash. Working with Luman’s band led to Wariner being commissioned by his idol Chet Atkins to play bass in his band. It was Atkins that eventually signed Wariner to his first recording contract at RCA in 1977 and produced Wariner’s first recording session at the historic RCA Studio B. 

The CRB Artist Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual artist or act that, through their creativity, vision, performance or leadership has made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of country music and country radio.

“Steve Wariner is still enjoying of one of the most amazing careers in Country music history; singer, songwriter, Grand Ole Opry member, contributor to his fellow artists, and a member of the most prestigious clubs for extraordinary guitarists. All of this in addition to being the best friend any one on earth could be blessed to have!” says Bill Mayne, Executive Director of CRB.

Charlie Morgan is Senior Vice President/Market Manager of Emmis New York, which includes WBLS, WLIB and WQHT.  Morgan has supervisory responsibility for Emmis-Indianapolis, which includes WIBC, WFNI, WYXB, WLHK and Network Indiana. A Butler University graduate, Morgan has over 35 years of radio experience, the first 23 years with Susquehanna (now Cumulus) Radio, (WFMS/WJJK/WISG) in roles from Morning host to SVP/Market Manager. In 2007, Morgan joined the team at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, serving as President and COO of IMS Productions. In 2009, he returned to radio joining the Emmis team managing the Indianapolis cluster for seven years (WLHK, WIBC, WYXB, WFNI) and now the Emmis New York cluster (WBLS, WQHT, WLIB.)  Additionally, in 2013 Morgan formed the Rith Group, a marketing consulting agency with longtime associate Bob Richards. Morgan has been widely recognized for his leadership in Radio, honored on multiple occasions as one of the top Managers in radio, most recently in 2016.  Also named the 2013 Country Aircheck/Country Radio Broadcaster’s Large Market Manager of the year and the 2012 Radio Wayne Award winner for Market Manager of the Year.  Additionally, Morgan has received the CMA Large Market Personality of the Year Award in his on-air role and been General Manager of stations receiving multiple CMA, ACM and Marconi Awards for Station of the Year. Morgan has served the industry as President of the Board of the Country Radio Broadcasters, and is a current Board Member of the Country Music Association, the New York Market Radio Group (NYMRAD), and the New York State Broadcast Association. In addition to his industry involvement, Morgan is active in the community. He currently serves on the Boards of Heartland Films, and Classical Music Indy.  Morgan was past Chairman of the 500 Festival Board of Directors.

CRB/CRS President, Kurt Johnson comments, “Charlie is simply one of the best at what he does. And he does a lot. It’s hard to think of anyone who’s made more impact as a leader across a diverse list of organizations in and around Country Radio, earning accolades at every step. He’s been a fixture at CRB and CRS for years and is a good friend to artists, managers, labels, DJs…basically pro’s in every part of Country music. Charlie personifies the spirit of CRS and I’m proud to give him the President’s Award on behalf or the CRB Board.”

The Country Radio Hall of Fame event will also honor the “Class of 2018” radio inductees that were announced during Country Radio Seminar (CRS) 2018. Seven on-air personalities and two off-air broadcasters will be honored and include Radio category honorees Michael O'Malley of the Albright, O'Malley & Brenner consulting firm, and the late Lisa McKay, VP/Programming at Curtis Media/Raleigh, who doubled as PD for WQDR. The On-Air Personality category includes Andy Ritchie and Alison Mencer ("Andy & Alison") formerly of WIVK/Knoxville; Steve Harmon and Scott Evans ("Harmon And Evans") formerly of KPLX/Dallas and WXTU/Philadelphia; and Bill BarrettTim Fox, and Tracy Berry ("Barrett, Fox, And Berry) still active at KKNU/Eugene, OR. 

The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the Country format. The Country Radio Hall of Fame was founded in 1974 to recognize outstanding individuals working in the broadcasting industry who are promoting the Country radio format. 


NASHVILLE—Xfinity Fan Fair X, CMA Fest’s Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience where fans get up close and personal with their favorite artists, returns to Music City Center daily Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10(9:30 AM-5:00 PM). One of the biggest draws is the Artist of the Day session, which spotlights one of Country Music’s favorite acts each day by offering a glimpse into their careers from the CMA Close Up Stage. Dierks Bentley will appear on Thursday, Luke Bryan on Friday, Dustin Lynch on Saturday and Kelsea Ballerini on Sunday.   
Country Music superstar Jason Aldean closes out the first night of CMA Fest Thursday, June 7 with a performance at Nissan Stadium. Aldean joins hundreds of previously announced acts performing on 11 stages throughout downtown Nashville during CMA Fest. A limited number of four-day tickets for the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium are still available at or through the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST.

Additional Close Up Stage programming includes: 
• Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum presents an interview with 2018 inductee Ricky Skaggs, hosted by Museum Editor Peter Cooper
• The Making of Words with Sara Evans, joined by producer Mark Bright, songwriters Victoria Banks and Emily Shackelton, and hosted by CMT’s Leslie Fram
• “Good Ole Days” – A look at Tracy Lawrence’s career through the lens of his latest album, Good Ole Days, hosted by SiriusXM’s Storme Warren
• “How to Survive Anything” with Naomi Judd
• Bluebird Café songwriters round featuring Jake Etheridge, Adam Hambrick and Tenille Townes
• Songwriters round with Bill Anderson and Bobby Bare

The full CMA Close Up Stage lineup is available on the CMA Fest app. Additional stages and programming taking place at Xfinity Fan Fair X will be announced soon. Tickets for Xfinity Fan Fair X are available for $10 each day or $25 for a four-day pass. Visit to purchase. 

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Country Music Icon Clint Black To Debut Looking For Christmas Musical This November

GRAMMY award winning, country music icon, Clint Black will bring his 1995 chart-topping holiday album to life this November with the debut of his new musical, Looking for Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA on November 20th.  The musical is a heartwarming original story that follows Staff Sergeant Mike Randolf and his family as they settle back into life after he returns from Afghanistan.  His youngest daughter’s search for the true meaning of Christmas helps him make peace with his past on the battlefield. 

“I’m so excited to announce that I’m bringing my album Looking For Christmas to life this holiday season in Musical form,” said Black. “As a huge fan of Christmastime, I’m always thinking of our military families and what they face during the holidays. I’m especially happy to highlight their story with Looking For Christmas.”

Music and lyrics for the show were inspired by Black’s Christmas album of the same name but also includes a few new tunes written especially for the program by Black. The idea for this musical and book were dreamt up and written by Black and James D. Sasser and is directed by Kent Nicholson and produced by 959 Productions.

Looking for Christmaswill run November 13 – December 16, 2018 at the Old Globe Theatre with the opening on November 20. 

CMA Expands Partnership With U.S. Bank - Adds May 2 Songwriters Series With Sara Evans, Trent Harmon, Rob Hatch & Eric Paslay

The Country Music Association has expanded its partnership with U.S. Bank to launch a community building initiative that will impact four major U.S. cities through 2018. Already a presenting partner for the critically acclaimed CMA Songwriters Series, U.S. Bank will broaden its support by providing much-needed resources to music education programs across the country. 

Through its Community Possible platform, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play, U.S. Bank is launching this new Places to Play partnership with the CMA Foundation focusing on arts and culture learning through play space renovations. Places to Play is an initiative U.S. Bank started in 2015 with the naming of U.S. Bank Stadium, focused on creating and refurbishing high-quality, accessible play spaces in low- to moderate-income communities it serves. This new partnership with CMA will support music education programs that teach important life skills and develop the future leaders of tomorrow. 

The partnership is currently focused on strengthening programs in Cincinnati, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. Both entities look forward to the community impact this new partnership will have moving forward.

CMA Songwriters Series Presented by U.S. Bank will visit the four cities in 2018 as part of the initiative to host intimate performances with some of Country Music’s most exciting songwriting talent. Tickets are on sale now for the May 2 performance at Cincinnati’s Memorial Hall, featuring Sara Evans, Trent Harmon, Rob Hatch and Eric Paslay. Additional details for performances in Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle will be announced soon. 

“We are thrilled to be launching this new partnership with U.S. Bank throughout the country,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Not only will we be bringing top-notch performances to these four markets, but we will leave a lasting impact in these cities with a deeper dive in the education space.” 

“At U.S. Bank, we believe in the power of play,” said Reba Dominski, Chief Social Responsibility Officer for U.S. Bank and president of the U.S. Bank Foundation. “It brings joy, helps develop problem-solving skills and stimulates creativity. By expanding our Places to Play program with CMA, we will help create vibrant communities by refurbishing classrooms and providing instruments and educational training for music teachers. We are beyond excited to get started.”

Sara Evans Wraps Up CMT’s 4th Annual Next Women of Country Tour

Surprises Tourmates RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr With Plaques Commemorating the Successful Tour

 RaeLynn, Sara Evans and Kalie Shorr at Saenger Theater (Mobile, AL) on April 7 for the final stop of CMT’s 4th annual Next Women of Country Tour

RaeLynn, Sara Evans and Kalie Shorr at Saenger Theater (Mobile, AL) on April 7 for the final stop of CMT’s 4th annual Next Women of Country Tour

ACM and CMA Award winning country music star Sara Evans spent the weekend performing in the southeast, wrapping up CMT’s 4th annual Next Women of Country Tour. “CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr” launched in February in New York City with fifteen shows from coast to coast. Special guests RaeLynn (“Lonely Call,” “Love Triangle”) and Kalie Shorr (“Fight Like A Girl,” “Two Hands”), both part of CMT’s “Next Women of Country’s” impressive roster of artists, were surprised onstage at Saenger Theater (Mobile, AL) where Sara presented them with a custom plaque at the final show, commemorating the tour’s success. Fans can relive Sara, RaeLynn, and Kalie’s final performance of the fan favorite encore, 80s pop anthem “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” via the Facebook Live stream.

Fun facts about the tour include racking up nearly 40,000 miles on 3 tour busses and 1 sprinter van and playing to over 12,000 fans including 500 one-on-one VIP Meet & Greets with Sara. Keeping with the “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” theme, 30 bottles of red wine were consumed.

2017 was a landmark year for Sara Evans – the multi-platinum selling country music star launched Born To Fly Records where she released Words, her “impressive album….which captures an artist in full musical flight” (Associated Press). The heartfelt album features fourteen separate female songwriters, including Evans, Ashley Monroe, Caitlyn Smith, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott, Liz Henberger, and Sonya Isaacs.

First launched in 2013, CMT’s “Next Women of Country” continues to grow with confident, fun and talented female singer/songwriters who are taking the country music world by storm. The campaign emphasizes undiscovered female artists and several alumnae – Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Cassadee Pope and Ashley Monroe included – have achieved both commercial and critical acclaim. Since 2015, the franchise has promoted female-fueled tours at more than 40 dates with Kelsea Ballerini, Brandy Clark, Lindsay Ell, Jana Kramer, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles and Tara Thompson.

Sara Evans, RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr Kick Off CMT Next Women of Country Tour with SOLD-OUT New York City Show!

RaeLynn - Sara - Kalie Shorr - NYC 2-12-18.jpg

ACM and CMA Award winning country music star Sara Evans headlined the 4th annual CMT Next Women of Country tour last night, kicking off the series with a sold-out show at New York City’s B.B. King’s Blues Club! In addition to electrifying sets from Sara and special guests RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr, the packed house was treated to a special encore with the three artists performing a special rendition of the 80s anthem “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”  
The 15-city “CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr” heads to Concord, NH for a special Valentine’s Day show before dates in Albany, Verona and Medford to round out the first weekend.
Adding to the great week, Evans is set to appear on the syndicated daytime talk show "Pickler & Ben," hosted by country singer Kellie Pickler and Emmy-winning television personality Ben Aaron.  The episode will premiere on February 15 and re-air on CMT.  Check for tune in information.
Tickets and VIP packages for the “CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr” are on sale now. For full list of dates and to purchase tickets, visit and

Sara Evans Joins Star-Studded Lineup for Volunteer Jam






Music stars Alabama, Chris Young, Lee Brice, Sara Evans and Travis Tritt have been added to the lineup for this year’s Volunteer Jam XX. The once-in-a-lifetime event already includes Charlie Daniels and The Charlie Daniels Band, Alison Krauss, Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Chuck Leavell, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Ricky Skaggs. More special guests are to be announced in the coming weeks.

The legendary annual Volunteer Jam is back again, bringing the best musicians and most unforgettable music moments to Nashville. From last-minute surprise guests to legendary collaborations, each Volunteer Jam is a special experience. Country Music Hall of Famers, Alabama, "I'm Comin' Over" chart-topping singer Chris Young, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons will bring the heat with Southern rock, soul, and country music filling the historic Music City venue.

Storme Warren will be returning as host of “Volunteer Jam XX” and for the first time ever

Fans won’t want to miss this year’s “Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute To Charlie.” The all-star concert event is at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 7 PM CT.

Tickets are on sale now at, by phone at 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena box office. A portion of the proceeds from 2018’s Volunteer Jam will be donated to The Journey Home Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit co-founded by Daniels and manager David Corlew to help Veterans.

“This year we get back to basics, back to the free form rocking traditions the Volunteer Jam was known for.  I’m planning a jam at the last part of the show that will blow the roof off Bridgestone. And we’ve got the pickers coming this year that can make that happen big time.” says Charlie Daniels.

“We are honored to produce this year’s Volunteer Jam at the Bridgestone. We’re putting together an incredible lineup of music legends and Nashville stars with a set list that will be talked about for years to come. It’s going to be a great night to jam!” says Keith Wortman, CEO of Blackbird Presents, executive producer of “Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute To Charlie,” creator and executive producer of Nashville’s recent highly acclaimed “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration” and “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard”.

GRAMMY® Award Winner Don Was will serve as music director, and preside over a stellar house band including Chuck Leavell, Kenny Aronoff at this unforgettable concert event.


Sara Evans Partners With CMT For Its 4th Annual Next Women of Country Tour

"CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr" launches February 12 in New York City
Tickets on-sale Friday, December 22
at and

ACM and CMA Award winning country music star Sara Evans has partnered with CMT for its 4th annual Next Women of Country Tour in 2018. “CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr” launches February 12 in New York City with fifteen shows from coast to coast. Special guests RaeLynn (“Lonely Call,” “Love Triangle”) and Kalie Shorr (“Fight Like A Girl,” “Two Hands”) are among the impressive roster of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” artists. 

“We are thrilled to announce our 4th Annual ‘Next Women of Country’ Tour and partner with the amazing Sara Evans,” said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music Strategy & Talent, CMT. “This tour was created to give emerging female artists a stage to play on and this year we are proud to welcome RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr.”
“I absolutely love that CMT champions female artists with the Next Women of Country Tour and am so honored to be headlining it in 2018,” said Sara.  “I can’t wait to hit the road with RaeLynn and Kalie. They are both incredible singers, songwriters, and overall artists and we’re going to have a blast!”
Tickets and VIP packages for the “CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr” go on sale beginning Friday, December 22 at 10am (local time). Tickets can be purchased at and

CMT Next Women of Country presents Sara Evans All The Love Tour featuring RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr

February 12, 2018     New York, NY     B.B. King’s Blues Club

February 14, 2018     Concord, NH     Capitol Center for the Arts – Chubb Theatre

February 15, 2018     Albany, NY     The Palace Theatre

February 16, 2018     Verona, NY     Turning Stone Resort Casino – The Showroom

February 17, 2018     Medford, MA     Chevalier Theatre

February 23, 2018+     Athens, OH     Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium

February 24, 2018     Richmond, KY     EKU Center for the Arts

February 25, 2018     Joliet, IL     Rialto Square Theatre

March 9, 2018++     Salina, KS     Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts

March 10, 2018     Pocola, OK     Choctaw Casino Resort - Centerstage

March 15, 2018     Kansas City, MO     Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Muriel Kauffman Theatre

March 16, 2018     Prior Lake, MN     Mystic Lake Casino – Mystic Showroom

March 17, 2018+     Waukegan, IL     Venue TBA

April 6, 2018     Lake Charles, LA     Golden Nugget

April 7, 2018     Mobile, AL     Saenger Theatre

*Dates subject to change, please check for the latest information
+Tickets on sale January 5
++Tickets on sale December 21

Sara Evans to Reprise Limited Engagement “At Christmas Tour” for 2017

Multi-platinum-selling country entertainer SARA EVANS will reprise her popular, limited-engagement At Christmas Tour this year, with seasonal shows created to deliver the holiday spirit to young and old. Tickets are available now at where fans can also upgrade to a VIP package, including a Meet and Greet to chat and take a photo with Sara plus an exclusive merchandise item. Check out Sara’s full list of tour dates including stops in Branson, MO, Wetumka, AL, Florence, AL, Huntingdon, TN (Sold Out) and Renfro Valley, KY HERE.

At Christmas, released in 2014, is Sara’s first full-length Christmas recording. The 10-song collection features well-known holiday classics including “Silent Night,” “Winter Wonderland,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” plus the seasonal original song and title track, written by Shane Stevens and Toby Lightman.

Evans released her eighth studio album, Words, this summer and it quickly shot to #1 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart. The 14-song project, released on her own Born To Fly Records, has been dubbed the album of her lifetime and “captures an artist in full musical flight” (Associated Press).

Listen to or Buy Words Now
Listen to or Buy At Christmas Now


Clint Black, Don Henley and Lyle Lovett Present Helping Texans: A Hurricane Harvey Benefit Concert

When Clint Black, Don Henley and Lyle Lovett take the stage at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas on Tuesday, November 28th, they’ll be doing so in support of their fellow Texans, whose lives have been upended by the ravages of one of the most vicious hurricanes in history. HELPING TEXANS: A HURRICANE HARVEY BENEFIT CONCERT will be a one-of-a-kind event where all ticket proceeds will go to The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation, which will distribute the funds to charitable organizations and programs working in Houston and Aransas County to bring relief to those affected by Harvey. These distributions will be allocated according to the advice of Clint Black, Don Henley, Lyle Lovett and Ed Bass. The artists are donating their time and all expenses for the event are being underwritten by Ed Bass so that full proceeds from tickets sales and sponsorships will go to Hurricane Harvey Relief.

Tickets for HELPING TEXANS: A HURRICANE HARVEY BENEFIT CONCERT are now available at and by phone at 817-212-4280.   

“We all watched on the news as Harvey destroyed much of Southeast Texas and Houston, my hometown,” said country icon Clint Black. “We braced ourselves through the night as the flood waters grew closer to our family's doorsteps in Houston and Katy. My mom, brothers, niece and nephews were all very fortunate and I knew I had to find a way to help those who weren’t so lucky, to recover and rebuild what was lost in the hurricane. I’m really proud to have friends like, Don, Lyle and everyone at Bass Performance Hall who'll join together for the cause."

“This is another example of Texans helping Texans, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said legendary artist Don Henley.

“I'm honored to join fellow Texans Don Henley, Clint Black, and Ed Bass to raise money for victims of Hurricane Harvey,” said Lyle Lovett.

Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017. It caused an estimated $180 billion in damage, more than any other natural disaster in U.S history with the exception of Hurricane Katrina. The storm damaged 203,000 homes, of which 12,700 were destroyed. Funds raised through this benefit concert will be deployed for immediate relief and will also address the communities’ long-term needs, which are likely to include rebuilding homes, schools, and community facilities and supporting survivors’ physical and mental health needs.

For sponsorship opportunities with exclusive amenities, please contact Sasha at

Sara Evans - Words Available Now

Sara's new album, Words, featuring 14 new songs, is now availableWords is the first project on Evans’ own label: Born To Fly Records, appropriately named after that CMA-winning signature song, which celebrated risk and adventure. Much is familiar about Words. Evans’ voice is warm and strong, the songs are authentic and memorable, and the actual words themselves resonate with the realities of everyday life.

Sara Evans is one of country’s iconic modern singers and her music has resonated on country radio, at concert halls and amphitheaters, and in fans’ personal playlists. And the music she’s made to date is authentically her. But where Born To Fly narrowed the crowd of voices around her, Words is distinctively Sara Evans. For a woman who always tackled the music her own way, the new album is 100% her own.

It’s a big reason that the album is titled Words. The songs generate a number of words – flexible, commanding, sassy, daring, loving, hopeful, resilient – that all embody parts of Evans’ inimitable persona.

“Songs are a combination of words and melodies, and it’s the words that matter most to me,” she says. “When we go into these pitch meetings, people always ask, ‘What are you looking for? Are you OK with doing something that’s a little more pop?’ I always tell them, ‘Just play me great lyrics.’ That’s what I’m looking for.”

Her adaptability is clear from the outset of Words. The rippling mandolin and bold fiddle in the opening “Long Way Down” hint at bluegrass. The moody second track, “Marquee Sign,” segues into pop-leaning territory with jagged keyboard sounds and thick harmonies, including her 14 year-old daughter, Olivia. The third song, “Diving In Deep,” employs rolling bass and buoyant percussion to establish an island feel.

There’s plenty more variety along the way: the light reggae approach to “Rain And Fire,” the Celtic undercurrent in “I Need A River” and the motherly parental ballad “Letting You Go,” written for son Avery, who’s just months away from leaving the nest.

Evans co-wrote three of the album’s 14 songs, instinctively picking material along the way that matches her world view. Thirteen additional females racked up writing credits on the project, including Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Pistol Annies’ Ashley Monroe, The Isaacs’ Sonya Isaacs, Hillary Lindsey (“Blue Ain’t Your Color”), Caitlyn Smith (“Wasting All These Tears”), Heather Morgan (“Beat Of The Music”) and Liz Hengber (“For My Broken Heart”).

Words closes with an acoustic revision of “A Little Bit Stronger,” her pensive, heartbreak anthem that spent two weeks at #1.

What Evans does want to do is represent the full panorama of her artistic vision. By handpicking the team around her and making self-expression the priority of her work, she’s found songs that continue to connect her to the emotional core of her audience, and to adhere to that Born To Fly embrace of risk and adventure. That theme is a big part of Words, particularly in “Letting You Go,” as she encourages her son to find his own path, singing “You were also born to fly away” at its motherly apex.

“We were crying when we wrote it,” she says. “That’s so sad, and it’s so full-circle. We couldn’t even sing it all the way through to get a work tape because we were crying so hard.”

The tears come from the separation that accompanies children growing into adulthood, but they’re also a result of knowing that his path – like her own – will have its hardships. That’s where the music part comes into play on Words. There’s an arc to the album, and in particular to the sonic evolution of “I Need A River,” that hints at the resilience that’s key to a successful life. Trusting in their ability to bounce back is what enables people to take their biggest – and, sometimes, most rewarding – risks.

“I don’t use that word a lot, resilient, but I would say that’s the best way to define me as a person,” Evans says. “I feel so blessed, but at the same time, there’s blood, sweat and tears in every single thing that I’ve gotten in this life. I have gone out and just really, really sold it, and I’m still doing that to this day.”

Doing it her way. As a mom. As a record company entrepreneur. And, mostly, as a distinct artist still excited about her unique journey. 

Sara Evans Gears Up For Words - Out July 21

Sara Evans is gearing up for her highly anticipated new album, Words, out July 21. Check out Entertainment Tonight for an online exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of Words. Tomorrow, USA Today and The Tennessean will offer a first listen to the full album before its release while Taste of Country will roll out an exclusive cover story with Sara and an in-depth look at the inspiration behind Words. For more great stories behind the project, tune into Sirius XM and catch “Y2Kountry Presents A Sara Evans Album Premier!” starting Friday, July 21 at 11am eastern. Visit for additional airdates and times.

Fans can catch Sara on the road this week with shows July 20 in Tulsa, OK and an album launch date concert on July 21 at Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth, TX. From there, she will travel to New York City for appearances on July 24 with AOLPaste, and Facebook where she will be #FBArtistoftheDay. On July 25, tune in to see Sara perform on nationally-syndicated talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan”! She will wrap the whirlwind week with shows in Ohio (July 28) and Michigan (July 29).

Words, which includes the “sleek” lead single “Marquee Sign,” is available for pre-order now at and releases everywhere on July 21 via Sara’s own Born To Fly Records. The 14-song collection features fourteen separate female songwriters, including powerhouses Ashley Monroe, Caitlyn Smith, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott, Liz Hengber, Sonya Isaacs and more. The album marks a creative reunion for Evans, pairing her with frequent co-producer Mark Bright (2005’s Real Fine Place, 2014’s Slow Me Down) while Tracy Gershon and Craig Dunn provide A&R direction.

Family is at the forefront of Words as daughter Olivia Evans (14) sings on “Marquee Sign” and Sara’s siblings Matt Evans, Lesley Evans Lyons and Ashley Evans Simpson provide harmonies on “Night Light.” In “Letting You Go,” Sara pours out her heart for son and oldest child Avery as he prepares to embark on his senior year of high school.

Sara Evans Reveals Song Stack For New Album, Words, Due July 21

Sara Evans fans don't have to wait any longer to hear new music from the multi-platinum country star's highly anticipated upcoming album, Words. Starting today, those who pre-order the upcoming album at iTunes will be rewarded with instant downloads of lead single “Marquee Sign” and title track, “Words.”  Pre-order the album now at and receive songs “Long Way Down” (6/30), “I Don’t Trust Myself” (7/7) and “Diving In Deep” (7/14) in the coming weeks.

Words is scheduled to release July 21 on Sara’s own Born To Fly Records. The 14-song collection features fourteen separate female songwriters, including powerhouses Ashley Monroe, Caitlyn Smith, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott, Liz Hengber, Sonya Isaacs and more. The album marks a creative reunion for Evans, pairing her with frequent co-producer Mark Bright (2005’s Real Fine Place, 2014’s Slow Me Down) while Tracy Gershon and Craig Dunn provide A&R direction.

Family is at the forefront of Words as daughter Olivia Evans (14) sings on “Marquee Sign” and Sara’s siblings Matt Evans, Lesley Evans Lyons and Ashley Evans Simpson provide harmonies on “Night Light.” In “Letting You Go,” Sara pours out her heart for son and oldest child Avery as he prepares to embark on his senior year of high school.

Sara Evans – Words:

1. Long Way Down (Tammy Rodgers / Liz Hengber / Jerry Salley)

2. Marquee Sign (Sara Evans / Jimmy Robbins / Heather Morgan)

3. Diving in Deep (Gordie Sampson / Hillary Lindsey / Steve McEwan)

4. All the Love You Left Me (Ben West / Hillary Lindsey / Gordie Sampson)

5. Like the Way You Love Me (Sara Evans / April Geesbreght / Jason Massey)

6. Rain and Fire (Claude Kelley / Charles Harmon)

7. Night Light (Daniel Tashian / Jaida Dreyer)

8. I Need a River (Marcus Hummon / Darrell Scott / Sonya Isaacs)

9. I Don't Trust Myself (Caitlyn Smith / Gordie Sampson / Steve McEwan)

10. Make Room at the Bottom (Ashley Monroe / Brett James)

11. Words (David Hodges / Jake Scott / Jimmy Robbins)

12. I Want You (Shane Stevens / Victoria Monet)

13. Letting You Go (Sara Evans / Emily Shackelton / Victoria Banks)

14. A Little Bit Stronger - Acoustic (Hillary Scott / Hillary Lindsey / Luke Laird)

Limited-edition, fan packages are also available for pre-order at Pricing starts at $11.99 and include a variety of bundles ranging from a signed CD or vinyl version of Words, a Sara Evans t-shirt, journal, mug or acoustic guitar.

Sara Evans Lights Up Country Radio with New Single, “Marquee Sign”

Country Music star and entrepreneur Sara Evans is lighting up country radio with her new single — “Marquee Sign.” With lyrics and haunting vocals that allude to the warning signs of love gone wrong, Sara Evans’ “Marquee Sign” is available now at

If you woulda been lit up like a marquee sign

Coulda saved myself some wasted time

From the minute I found you…

Written by Sara with Jimmy Robbins and Heather Morgan, “Marquee Sign” is the first single from Evans’ upcoming album Words, due July 21 on her own Born To Fly Records. The multi-platinum entertainer enlists her daughter, Olivia Evans, to add her own unique vocal style to the song.

“Having Olivia sing on ‘Marquee Sign’ is such a special moment for me, not only as a mom but also as a fan,” said Sara. “I was so impressed when she went in the vocal booth and started singing these really cool parts and ad-libs at the end of the song! My fans have watched her grow up on the road with me and I can’t wait for them to hear her on this song.”

Words features fourteen separate female songwriters, including powerhouses Ashley Monroe, Caitlyn Smith, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott, Liz Hengber, Sonya Isaacs and three songs co-written by Sara. The record marks a creative reunion for Evans, pairing her with frequent co-producer Mark Bright (2005’s Real Fine Place, 2014’s Slow Me Down) while Tracy Gershon and Craig Dunn provide A&R direction.

Limited-edition Words fan packages are available for pre-order at Pricing starts at $11.99 and include a variety of bundles ranging from a signed CD or vinyl version of Words, a Sara Evans t-shirt, journal, mug or acoustic guitar.

Additional details about Sara’s new album Words will be revealed in the coming weeks. Fans can catch up with Sara on the road with dates booked throughout the year. For more details, check out