Sara Evans has been wondering if she is awake or dreaming. She has been recording a cover of one of her favorite songs, the 1979 Doobie Brothers Classic “What A Fool Believes”. The dream part? She is recording it with the Doobie Brothers, well, at least most of them. Evans has been in the studio with original members Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and John McFee and Michael McDonald, who did the original lead vocals on “What A Fool Believes”. Evans has worked with McDonald before; he provided back up with his unmistakable voice on Evan’s ‘Caged” from her 2005 album Real Fine Place.
The updated version will appear on a duet album that will feature country updates of Doobie Brothers songs, much along the lines of Lionel Richie’s 2012 smash hit Tuskegee. The Doobie Brothers update will feature Brad Paisley, Chris Young, the Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Vince Gill and Love and Theft, along with Evans. The duet album does not have an official title or release date, but Evans jumped on board quickly:
“I’m pinching myself. Is this really happening? I can’t wait to hear it. I haven’t heard it yet. Sometimes I’ll think things through before I answer questions or requests like that, but I immediately wrote back, ‘Yes, of course. I love the Doobie Brothers!'”
Evans has been busy in the studio; she released her eighth studio album, Slow Me Down on March 11, 2014. The follow up to Stronger has been in the works for about three years. The single “A Little Bit Stronger” from that album has become a girl power anthem, and garnered Evans tons of accolades, so it made sense that she would take her time on the next album.
Sara also makes sure to spend a lot of time with her family, and seems to have put the scandal of her first marriage and subsequent divorce behind her. Evans was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, and was doing nicely with her professional dance partner Tony Dovolani, when she announced on October 12, 2006 that she would be leaving the show. The news that she had filed for divorce from Craig Schelske, her husband of 13 years, with whom she had three children, followed quickly. The divorce would be the stuff that tabloids dreams are made of, with Evans accusing her husband of having an affair with their nanny, Alison Clinton Lee, as well as numerous others. Schelske counter-sued, and accused Evans of also carrying on many affairs, naming country superstar Kenny Chesney as one of Evans’ flings. The two settled their nastiness and were divorced almost a year later, in September 2007.
Now happily married to former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, Evans tries to balance being a mom and a pop-country singer, much in the way she tries to balance pop and country influences in her music. Slow Me Down blends traditional country, contemporary country, and lush, slick string production; a little bit of everything…art imitates life for Sara Evans.