God Driven is what Ashton said the song title would be if it were a song about her.
As you listen to Ashton’s music and follow her on Facebook etc. it is very apparent she has some solid southern roots! For the “traditionalist country music” fans her CD should ignite some excitement and I encourage you all to jump on board with your support. Ashton is just a normal girl that has a job where she gets to sing. She has been a home body since she was a little girl; she loves the comfort of being at home in a regular routine. When “I hang up my artist hat I’m ready to get home.” That comfort, that familiarity is what she misses the most when she goes on tour. Ashton is married with 2 kids. Her family is her priority. Ashton and Roland (her husband) met when “wildest story ever, my youngest brother brought him, my husband, his brother and several other people home from the local Honky Tonk bar in Coffeeville, AL and woke me up at 3 in the morning at my mommy and daddy’s house and told me to ‘please (emphasis on please) come play for these people I brought ‘em from the bar.’” She got up and played a few songs for them. Although physically they met that night they “actually connected through music. They had their pickin shed and they were looking for a lead singer, so that is why my brother brought them home.” She and Roland became friends in the fullest sense of the word made friends with each other’s families “I was eating gravy & biscuits at his mama’s house.” That friendship grew into what is now a strong stable marriage. Rolland is her biggest supporter.
Being a home grown country girl shows in her music and her songwriting. Her album “This Is America” was written entirely by her (3 of them co-written with her brother in law). “On this record I just felt It was my time to be who I am a little more. Time to push that button of I believe in who I am as a songwriter and kind of make that leap.” Although her 2nd album she cut, she feels Universal kind of put the brakes on some of what she was about, Ashton feels it was a good stepping stone to get her to where she is now. Working with other Nashville writers allowed her to come full circle with who she is. “That is what this record is to me, it is who I am today, it is what we went through. Like This Is America I wrote out of my own emotions.” You can hear the passion the belief in her words as she was speaking “about being an American that wondered what the world I was going to do, I didn’t have a record deal anymore, and that had been my life since I was 20 years old.” Giggling she went on to talk about how really the only other thing she had ever done was work in a gas station and sell collards from her families road side farm, oh yeah and working for a small finance company in the back of a furniture store when she was 17. Although Ashton mainly listens to traditional country music “but randomly I like to go back and listen to stuff I did in high school. Sometimes when I want to get that young again feeling I download” she laughed as she continued “me and my little boy and girl listened to and download on my phone Ace of Base and Spice Girls. Me and my sisters loved” heavy emphasis on loved “I’m talking about eat, breathe, sleep Spice Girls posters all over the walls.”
Ashton’s new single “17 Again” transpired from “does this have to be this bull through gotta do this, gotta do that mentality. Is there a way to get back to looking forward to Friday night football games again but as an grown up? I wanted to feel like I used to feel. I knew that girl was in there somewhere.” She wrote it when she was depressed and looking back on a less stressful time and is surprised at how uplifting the song actually turned out. Part of the reason it was chosen for a single is the reaction is has gotten from people Ashton has shared it with, like Josh Turner, who told her it was his favorite song on the CD.
Ashton’s newest CD is wonderful – it is honest – true country music – and to think it pretty much all started in a pickin shed.
I’ll leave you with some of Ashton’s words as parting thoughts …. “We can all persevere - we can all do this through the good Lord - we can make it - we can put our heads together- we’re all Americans at the end of the day.
Oh yeah ~~ Ashton has her own cooking show “Cookin’ Country” on the Foodie Network Online EWave TV (http://foodies.ewave.tv/).
Ashton's Web site ~ http://www.ashtonshepherd.com/
Ashtons' Twitter: ~ https://twitter.com/ashton_shepherd ~ @ashton_shepherd
Ashton on FB ~ https://www.facebook.com/AshtonShepherd
Ashton on iTunes ~ https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ashton-shepherd/id263825618
Written by Nickie Techmanski ~ @Acologal