CD review: Ashton Shepherd "Where Country Grows"
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Ashton Shepherd “Where Country Grows” (MCA Nashville)
Alabama chanteuse Ashton Shepherd blooms as a singer and songwriter with “Where Country Grows,” her vibrant second album.
The follow-up to her acclaimed 2008 debut “Sounds So Good” again sets Shepherd apart from other contemporary country songbirds warbling radio-ready hits these days. Like Texas native and Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert, she flaunts her distinctive twang, convincingly conveys both sassiness and sentimentality and roots her music in old-school country. While she isn’t as well-honed a songwriter as Lambert, Shepherd is a powerhouse singer, with a vast, soulful voice and a knack for intriguing turns of phrase.
The Leroy, Ala., resident shows off her Southern drawl, smoky vocals and feisty attitude on the album-opening kiss-off “Look It Up,” sharply penned by Robert Ellis Orrall and Lambert’s Pistol Annies bandmate Angaleena Presley. It segues naturally into “I’m Good,” a quietly earnest getting-over-him ballad Shepherd co-wrote with Dean Dillon and Dale Dotson.
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