Ashton Shepherd, ‘Where Country Grows’ – Song Review
The title track to Ashton Shepherd's new album 'Where Country Grows' -- in stores July 12 -- isn't as sassy as her Top 20 hit 'Look It Up,' but it's every bit as genuine. The 24-year-old singer from Coffeeville, Ala. has yet to release a song that sounds contrived or made for radio. Yet somehow she's only scratched the surface of the country music world's conscious.
'Where Country Grows' is probably the least dynamic of all of her singles, but the story should resonate with a larger audience to become her highest charting hit to date. The first verse includes gratuitous mentions of honeysuckle and long drives with the windows rolled down. That seems to be a prerequisite these days. It's a slow-starter, that begins to gain momentum at the chorus.
"It's in the hearts of those who know what life's all about / It's laying your head on your pillow and falling asleep proud / You bow your head to Jesus, 'cause he's where it all comes from / And you know he'll forgive you for the wrong you've done / It's in the earth and the church and the words that we speak slow / That's where country grows," Shepherd sings.
The second verse brings a few images that are unique to Shepherd's pen. "Have you ever seen a young boy open up the door for an old lady walkin' in slow / Or a shoe polish heart on a second hand car saying "Shelly loves Billy" on the window / Have you ever heard a mama cry saying goodbye / But she knows her soldiers gotta go / Oh that's where country grows." When she finally gets to it, the "mama crying" lyric feels like a punch in the stomach - in a good way. Only in country music can we celebrate and look forward to a good cry. 'Where Country Grows' isn't a weeper, but it is an understated stop-and-thinker. Hopefully a song with less attitude is what it will take to get listeners to stop and think about this under-exposed new artist.
Listen to Ashton Shepherd, 'Where Country Grows'