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Interview: Down Home with Ashton Shepherd

Ashton Shepherd knows “Where Country Grows.”

Critics and fans alike have been drawn to Ashton Shepherd whose traditional country music strikes a chord with Americans everywhere. She captures the life of those who live very differently than the ones depicted on reality shows and in magazines in the lyrics of her songs.

Ashton is a working mother – she has a son, James, who is five, and another one the way due this fall– she works on her farm when she’s not touring and sells the results of her labor from a makeshift vegetable stand out of the back of a truck. She’s also become a business woman who has learned to make the best decisions for her career and life.

I had the chance to talk with Ashton about her upbringing, her music, and what really makes her tick.

CMP: I read on your bio that Buddy Cannon played a big part in helping you get to Nashville. Is he the only person that contributed to your coming to Nashville? Could you elaborate a little more on that experience and if anyone else helped you in that transition?

Ashton: Shelby Kennedy took me under his wing. He took interest in my vocal and songwriting abilities. I was taken over to Universal Music Group after I had met Buddy through Clay Bradley at Sony, and I was offered full deal at Universal.

CMP: Is there anyone in your family who encouraged and influenced you the most musically?

Ashton: Parents were hugely supportive and all of family including aunts and older brothers who grew up listening to traditional country. I grew up with a lot of encouragement.

CMP: Are there any songs on this sophomore project that mean more to you than others? Which ones? Why?

Ashton: I’m Just a Woman is very personal, it says how I really feel. It’s a relief to hear it. It has sort of a double meaning.

Rory’s Radio- is an extremely true circumstance. My brother’s best friend was Rory. This song is about riding around in a car with them and listening to his radio.

CMP: Was there ever any doubt in your mind that music was the career you wanted for yourself?

Ashton: A little fear of what record deal and all consisted of. Wanted family and music and was unsure of how that would work.

CMP: Who is Ashton Shepherd behind the scenes?

Ashton: A real down to earth person. Just feel like we’re all people. People are people. We all have a bottom line and it doesn’t matter what your career is. I’ve had to learn a lot and change my circumstances with the career but ultimately I’m just a grounded person.

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