Three Chords and the Truth (Sara Evans album)

Last updated
Three Chords and The Truth
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1, 1997
Genre Country, Honky Tonk
Label RCA Nashville
Producer Pete Anderson
Sara Evans chronology
Three Chords and The Truth
No Place That Far
Singles from Three Chords and the Truth
  1. "True Lies"
    Released: April 7, 1997 [1]
  2. "Three Chords and The Truth"
    Released: July 6, 1997 [2]
  3. "Shame About That"
    Released: December 2, 1997 [3]

Three Chords and The Truth is the debut studio album by American country music artist Sara Evans. The album's title comes from Harlan Howard, a country music songwriter to whom this quote is widely attributed. It also was an improvised lyric in U2's version of the Bob Dylan song "All Along the Watchtower," released on the Rattle and Hum album. The album was released in July 1997 via RCA Records Nashville and it produced three singles: "True Lies", the title track, and "Shame About That". Even though all three singles charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, none of them reached the Top 40, making this Evans' only album to not produce any Top 40 hits.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music and blues.

Sara Evans American country singer and songwriter

Sara Lynn Evans is an American country music singer and songwriter.

Harlan Perry Howard was an American songwriter, principally in country music. In a career spanning six decades, Howard wrote a large number of popular and enduring songs, recorded by a variety of different artists. Howard was married to country singer Jan Howard.



Sara Evans' first album consists of mostly traditional country. It was hailed by critics as one of the best albums of the year and made the critics top ten of the year lists for The Washington Post , Billboard , Dallas Morning News , and Country Music People . The album itself as brought prestige and was nominated for many awards such as an Academy of Country Music Nomination for "Top New Female Vocalist." The video for the title track directed by Susan Johnson was nominated for "Country Video of the Year" by the 1998 Music Video Production Association and for "Best New Clip" at the 1997 Billboard Music Video Awards. In addition, Evans was named one of Country America's "Ten To Watch In 1998/Top 10 New Stars Of 1998."

<i>The Washington Post</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., with a particular emphasis on national politics and the federal government. It has the largest circulation in the Washington metropolitan area. Its slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" began appearing on its masthead in 2017. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Academy of Country Music organization

The Academy of Country Music(ACM) was founded in 1964 in Los Angeles, California as the Country & Western Music Academy. Among the founders were Eddie Miller, Tommy Wiggins, and Mickey and Chris Christensen. They wanted to promote country music in the western 13 states with the support of artists based on the West Coast. Artists such as Johnny Bond, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller and others influenced them. A board of directors was formed to govern the academy in 1965.

Three of the songs on this album are covers: "Imagine That" was originally recorded by Patsy Cline; "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" by Buck Owens; and "Walk out Backwards" by Bill Anderson.

Patsy Cline American country music singer

Patsy Cline was an American country music singer and part of the Nashville sound during the late 1950s and early 1960s. She successfully "crossed over" to pop music and was one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century. She died at age 30 in the crash of a private airplane.

Buck Owens Alvis Edgar Owens Jr., American musician, singer, songwriter and band leader, 21 number 1 hits, Billboard magazine country music with Buckaroos

Alvis Edgar Owens Jr., professionally known as Buck Owens, was an American musician, singer, songwriter and band leader who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band the Buckaroos. They pioneered what came to be called the Bakersfield sound, named after Bakersfield, California, the city Owens called home and from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call American music.

Bill Anderson (singer) American country music singer and songwriter

James William Anderson III, known as Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, is an American country music singer, songwriter and television personality. He has been a member in long standing of the weekly Grand Ole Opry radio program and stage performance in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1961. He has released more than 40 studio albums and has reached No. 1 on the country charts seven times: "Mama Sang a Song" (1962), "Still" (1963), "I Get the Fever" (1966), "For Loving You", "My Life " (1969), "World of Make Believe" (1973), and "Sometimes". Twenty-nine more of his singles have reached the top ten.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]
New CountryStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Giving it 3 out of 5 stars, Daniel Cooper of New Country magazine praised the inclusion of material from Melba Montgomery, Buck Owens, and Bill Anderson, and the "honky tonk kick" of Pete Anderson's production. He thought that the album "references the country past without ever sounding unfriendly to 90's country radio" and that Evans had a "clear and strong" voice, but criticized the "abstraction" of the songs that Evans wrote. [5] James Chrispell of Allmusic rated the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying that "This disc rings out with an air of originality helped along by great tunes and solid backup musicianship." [4]

Melba Montgomery American musician

Melba Montgomery is an American country music singer. She is best known for duet hit recordings in the 1960s with country music singer George Jones and later Charlie Louvin.

Pete Anderson American musician

Pete Anderson is an American guitarist, music producer, arranger and songwriter.

Track listing

1."True Lies" Al Anderson, Sara Evans, Sharon Rice 2:34
2."Shame About That"Evans, Jamie O'Hara 2:02
3."Three Chords and the Truth"Evans, Ron Harbin, Aimee Mayo 3:59
4."If You Ever Want My Lovin'"Evans, Melba Montgomery, Billy Yates 2:32
5."Imagine That" Justin Tubb 3:20
6."Even Now"Evans, Harbin, Ed Hill 2:24
7."I Don't Wanna See the Light"Evans, Bill Rice, S. Rice3:32
8."I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" Harlan Howard, Buck Owens 2:24
9."Unopened" Leslie Satcher 3:16
10."Walk Out Backwards" Bill Anderson 2:39
11."The Week the River Raged" John Bettis, Evans, Jim Rushing3:58
Total length:33:13


From Three Chords and the Truth liner notes. [6]

Backing vocalist singer who provides vocal harmony with the lead vocalist or other backing vocalists

Backing vocalists or backup singers are singers who provide vocal harmony with the lead vocalist or other backing vocalists. In some cases, a backing vocalist may sing alone as a lead-in to the main vocalist's entry or to sing a counter-melody. Backing vocalists are used in a broad range of popular music, traditional music and world music styles.

Electric guitar electrified guitar; fretted stringed instrument with a neck and body that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

Bajo sexto Mexican string instrument

Bajo sexto is a Mexican string instrument with 12 strings in 6 double courses. A closely related instrument is the bajo quinto which has 10 strings in 5 double courses.

Record producer individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Chart performance


Chart (1997)Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums56


YearSinglePeak positions
US Country
1997"True Lies"59
"Three Chords and the Truth"44
1998"Shame About That"48

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  1. True Lies by Sara Evans | CMT
  2. Three Chords and The Truth [Cassette Single] by Sara Evans | CMT
  3. Shame About That by Sara Evans | CMT
  4. 1 2 Chrispell, James. "Three Chords and the Truth review". Allmusic . Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  5. 1 2 Cooper, Daniel (July 1997). "Reviews: Sara Evans — Three Chords and the Truth". New Country. 4 (8): 56–57.
  6. Three Chords and the Truth (CD booklet). Sara Evans. RCA Records. 1997. 07863-66995-2.
  7. "Sara Evans Chart History: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2018.