For Sara Evans, life is all about smart scheduling.
The Missouri native may be best known as a country singer — her eighth album, "Slow Me Down," was released in March — but she makes time for other creative, philanthropic and family endeavors.
Like, being the first country artist to compete on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
"Music is, and always will be, my true artistic love. But I do love being creative in general," says the platinum-selling singer.
So, Evans juggles careers as a musician and an author — she has written three books with co-writer Rachel Hauck — and blogger. She has a lifestyle blog, "A Real Fine Place," with her sister-in-law Kaelin Evans.
In 2012, she launched the Rock the South music festival with her husband Jay Baker, which drew 50,000 people and raised money for Children's Hospital of Birmingham and Alabama Forever, a nonprofit that helps rebuild areas in Alabama struck by devastating tornados.
"I have a calendar book that I take with me everywhere. I'd be lost without it. I have all of the work stuff in there, from show and songwriting appointments to all of the family obligations," she says.
Evans is currently in the midst of a national tour that stops Thursday at the outdoor Pavilion at Tachi Palace. Nashville singer Dustin Lynch opens.
The Bee caught up with Evans to talk about her career in music.
Tell us about the new album.
"Slow Me Down" is probably my favorite overall album that I've ever released. From the first song to the last, there isn't one throwaway. We definitely incorporated some fresh new sounds, but stayed true to that Sara Evans sound that had come to define my music.
I've never had a true duet on one of my albums before.
"Slow Me Down" has three amazing collaborations — with Isaac Slade of the Fray, Gavin DeGraw and Vince Gill.
Their incredible voices brought those songs to a higher level than I could have ever imagined.
I put so much time and thought into the sequencing of the album, too, and designed it so you could put it in and hit play and just let it play through and have a true album experience from beginning to end.
There was a time when country music seemed to be dominated by women and women have always had a strong place in the industry.
Can you talk some about that legacy and maybe where you see yourself (or your career) in that context?
I never take any success for granted and am so grateful for everything that has happened to me throughout my career. I would hope that my legacy in country music would be that of an artist who consistently picked great songs that stood the test of time. Songs that spoke to people and made them feel something.
Is there a secret to your longevity?
I've always tried to look at the big pictures with my career. To stay true to who I am as an artist and not chase trends of what everyone else is singing about at the moment. If you pick great songs and sing them with conviction and believe what you're singing, it resonates with people.
Sara Evans and special guest Dustin Lynch, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at Tachi Palace outdoor pavilion, 17225 Jersey Ave., Lemoore. Tickets are $25-$95. (866)- 4PALACE, www.tachipalace.com
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6479, email@example.com or @joshuatehee on Twitter and Instagram. Read his blog at Fresnobeehive.com