The last time I caught up with Sara Evans, we mostly talked about her new song “Slow Me Down.” But there was some other new music she wanted to talk about. Actually, it was a 40-year-old song that felt new all over again.
I’d asked Evans what music she was listening to right now, thinking it would be a playlist of her country contemporaries. But she told me it was Marty Robbins, the country singer and NASCAR driver who had nearly 20 No. 1 hits throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. She said sometimes she’ll just hear something and have to go download it.
“For instance, on Breaking Bad, on the finale, they played this Marty Robbins song … ‘El Paso,’” she said. “And they played it during this really stressful, bad scene. And it made me think of Marty Robbins and remember his music, so I downloaded his entire Greatest Hits album.”
Since there about nine Marty Robbins greatest hits albums, I don’t know which one she bought. Maybe Biggest Hits, the title of the compilation that fell out of a glove compartment during the Breaking Bad episode.
That particular song is one of Robbins’ most well-known, about how “out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl,” from his Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album. And there was much talk after that finale aired about how perfect the song was because of the main character Walter White’s deadly affair with his true love, crystal meth.
But Evans wasn’t buying it because of all that. She just loved the song and loved Robbins singing. She usually just downloads songs based on whatever mood she’s in.
“There’s no agenda with me,” she said. “There’s no one genre that I listen to. I hear a song that I love, and I just go buy it.”
When she’s not in a music mood, Evans turns on talk radio. Specifically, Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s advice show on Sirius XM.
“I just love listening to those calls,” she said. “Some are hysterical, some are really sad. I think when I get in the car to drive, it helps me to zone out more to just listen to talk.”