"Sometimes talking on the phone is easier, but we always make time," Evans tells PEOPLE of Ballerini, whom he wed in 2017

By Brianne Tracy
April 07, 2019 08:20 PM
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The “Kiss Somebody” singer hit the red carpet for Sunday night’s show in Las Vegas without his usual plus one — fellow country star Kelsea Ballerini, his wife since December 2017 — and explained to PEOPLE that their careers take them in different directions “all the time.”

“Unfortunately we get used to it a little bit, but I’m thankful for the country music family to be here tonight,” Evans said. “I feel like I just get to hang out with my mates.”

When Evans, 33, and Ballerini, 25 — who is currently gearing up for her upcoming Miss Me More tour — have to spend time apart because of work, he said they rely on the same easy solution to keep in touch.

“FaceTime is the best — you can see each other,” he said. “It’s kind of great but also frustrating at the same time because you’re so close but so far.”

He added: “Sometimes talking on the phone is easier, but we always make time. I’ll see her tomorrow.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.

MORGAN EVANS (1)
From left: Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini

In March, Evans wrapped his tour dates with Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of country duo Dan + Shay — who are nominated for six awards at Sunday’s show and are set to perform “Keeping Score” with Kelly Clarkson (whom Ballerini coincidentally finished touring with recently).

“They’re joining forces tonight so I think that might be the highlight,” Evans told PEOPLE, while adding that he’s so happy for the moment that Dan + Shay are having right now.

“We’ve been on the road, and I’ve been able to see and feel the energy firsthand,” he said. “It’s really exciting to be around.”

“They’re just the best guys as well, and I consider them great friends,” he continued. “When you see your friends experience success like that, it’s a great feeling. They’re ridiculously nice, and Shay is a ridiculously good singer so good on ya’ boys.”

54th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
Morgan Evans
| Credit: John Shearer/WireImage

Next, Evans will join Rascal Flatts on tour.

“It’s definitely going to be one of those shows that takes you down memory lane with ‘What Hurts the Most‘ and ‘Bless the Broken Road,’ ” he said. “They’re some of the greatest songs of all time.”

RELATED VIDEO: ACM Awards 2019: Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton Lead Nominations

The 54th Academy of Country Music Awards are broadcasting live from Las Vegas on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.