Sara Evans loves Christmas. And so what better way to show it than share her favorite holiday tunes with the world?
Evans’ new collection At Christmas includes nine covers and one original tune, the title track, which is an upbeat song that perfectly recounts the songstress’ own life as it talks about being with friends and family for the holidays.
According to Evans, she plans to spend this Christmas with her husband (former NFL player and current radio host Jay Barker), her three children and his four kids at their home in Birmingham, Ala.
“Snow doesn’t really get to us by Christmas time,” Evans tells Radio.com. “If we’re going to get snow, it usually gets to us by late January, early February. But Christmas in Birmingham is still gorgeous. Alabama is so beautiful.”
The album, her first Christmas collection, is a good mixture of religious “reason for the season” songs as well as the winter-themed and tales of Santa tunes such as “Winter Wonderland,” “Run Run Rudolph” and “12 Days of Christmas.” On the latter, Evans enlisted her daughters Olivia (11) and Audrey (9) to join her, creating a fun family sing-along that will pleasantly surprise you: her girls can sing!
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Go Tell it On the Mountain” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” are songs that Evans has previously released over the past 15 years that made it onto At Christmas. Each was newly remixed, Evans says, in order to “make them fit in with the new songs on the album.”
During our conversation, Evans spoke with Radio.com about At Christmas as well as how she plans to spend the holidays. And we couldn’t resist asking about her recent stint on ABC’s Nashville playing—you guessed it—Sara Evans.
Radio.com: Was it tough to get into the holiday spirit while recording this?
Sara Evans: My record label asked me to do one, sort of last minute. We went in the studio in August. I did my vocals here in Birmingham [Alabama], and they recorded the tracks in Nashville without me. I was on the phone, giving guidance and direction. My producer and I talked a ton about what we wanted it to sound like, which was just Sara Evans music, but Christmas songs.
Doing my vocals, it wasn’t hard to get in the spirit at all. As soon as I hear the songs, I instantly feel a connection to them, no matter what the time of year it is. It’s so nostalgic, and what better thing to put on your radio and listen to but songs that talk about the birth of Christ?
You have a good mixture of traditional Christmas songs and fun holiday songs on this album, was that important to you to even it out?
We all know what the true meaning of Christmas is, and through that we’ve all celebrated Christmas with presents and with Rudolph and Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. I don’t get caught up on, ‘Oh, you can’t mention Santa Claus because that’s sacrilegious.’ That’s silly. I don’t think anybody in their right mind really replaces Jesus with Santa Claus. It’s a fun thing and it’s for children. I wanted to sing a mixture of religious and non-religious Christmas songs and songs that were my favorites.