Sara Evans' new album, Copy That, is the singer's very first covers album, which means Evans had a whole lot of songs to choose from when considering what to include. "I'm super excited, but it is my first covers album, which is even more fun because I've been waiting to do a covers record my whole life," Evans told PopCulture.com exclusively. "Growing up on stage in cover bands and my fans have been asking for a covers album forever. Hopefully they'll love all the songs that we chose."
The 49-year-old shared that she ultimately whittled down what could potentially be hundreds of songs to 13 unexpected selections by a combination of Googling and remembering some of her own favorites from years past. "It's mostly just me just racking my brain and Googling best hits of the '70s," she revealed. "Then it was just so fun because it's like, 'Oh my gosh. Oh yeah, I forgot about that.' When you remember songs that you haven't listened to in a long time. 'My Sharona' was one that just happened to be on in the car the day that I was going to first production meeting with [producer] Jarrad [K]. I was like, 'Well, that's going on the list,' because I had not heard that song in years. I cranked the radio, and it made me so happy."
"I want it to be really, really surprising," she said. "There are a few songs on there that you would predict, but hopefully most of them... You would never predict that Sara Evans would cover that song." Some of the songs featured include Dexys Midnight Runners's "Come on Eileen," The Wallflowers' "6th Avenue Heartache" and John Mayer's "All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye" as well as country standards like Patsy Cline's "She's Got You," which Evans calls "the crown jewel" of the project. "It's so pristine and sophisticated and just exceeded all of our expectations," she gushed. "I mean we were just like, 'Oh my gosh.' That one is one of my favorites."
Evans' fans will be already be familiar with several of the tracks on Copy That including Chicago's "Hard To Say I'm Sorry," which ends with an outro that mixes in Earth, Wind & Fire's "September," a brief but shining moment on an album full of them. "The Chicago song, 'Hard To Say I'm Sorry,' is just a classic," Evans said. "Everybody knows that song, and it's such a huge, huge song. We've been doing that in our shows for the last two years. I was really, really excited to give that to the fans on an album."
While some covers albums purposefully reimagine their source material, Evans and her team wanted to stay "absolutely true" to the original versions. "I just thought these songs are great and they're great for a reason," she explained. "That's because of what they did at the time they recorded them, all the vocals they put on and all the parts. That's why I named the album Copy That because we really did copy these songs, but they obviously... A lot of them are male songs done by a female, and so that's different to begin with. Then, obviously, they sound new and modern, but we really tried to pay honor to exactly what they did."
That homage is also evident in the cover art and accompanying images for Copy That, which find Evans in full-on throwback mode, donning a pair of wigs and vintage clothing. "We had a blast," she said of the shoot. "I mean that was like playing dress up, and my hairstyle, Debbie Dover, made those wigs. She made the blonde wig and then she did the long brunette wig. I just became these other characters, because why not? Really, if I ever wanted to do that, that was the time to do it, on a covers record, because I'm playing the part. The cover in the blonde wig is just... I think it's so perfect because it's like, 'Who's that girl, and what is she thinking about as she's looking in the mirror?'" You can stream Copy That here.