Most country album release parties are held in Nashville, closed to the public and attended by music industry folks who’ve likely received advance copies of the record. But Sara Evans decided to do something a little different this time. For the release of her seventh studio album, Slow Me Down, she took the party to her newly-adopted hometown of Birmingham, Ala. Not only was the event open to the public – all of the money from ticket sales went to charity. Held at the 1300-capacity venue Iron City, Sara’s party raised over $40,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and Alabama Forever.
During her set, Sara and her band performed past hits including “Born to Fly” and “Suds In The Bucket,” as well as new songs from Slow Me Down. She also played cuts from the new record as radio personality Buzz Brainard interviewed her for a SIRIUS/XM special.
In the middle of the show, Sara was surprised by Birmingham’s Mayor, the honorable Mayor William Bell. Bell presented her with a key to the city in recognition of her charity work. While her husband and children watched the concert from the balcony, Sara entertained her fans and friends and expressed her gratitude to the packed house. Judging from the audience response, she is now one of Birmingham’s favorite residents.
To quote Sara’s 2005 hit, the city has been “A Real Fine Place To Start” – or more accurately, a place to start over. After her divorce from Craig Schelske in 2007, Sara married former University of Alabama quarterback/current radio sportscaster Jay Barker in 2008. They blended their families – Jay has four children and Sara has three – and Sara moved from Nashville to Birmingham. Sitting in her dressing room before the show, Sara recalls the day she made the decision to leave Music City. Continue Reading