Ashton Shepherd: Lookin’ Forward

In 2008, Ashton Shepherd balanced family life with her launch as country’s hottest young female traditionalist. Now she’s ready for year two.

In her first year as a major-labor recording artist, Ashton Shepherd impressed a lot of people, fans and critics alike. She recently stopped by CW to talk about some fond memories of that whirlwind 2008 year . . . and what she’s hoping for as she begins work on her sophomore CD.

For more from Ashton, check out the March 23 issue of Country Weekly.

CW
I don’t think I’ve ever asked you, who are your all-time favorite female country singers?
AS
For me, especially, ’cause I’m a singer/songwriter . . . Dolly Parton. And Loretta Lynn, of course. And bein’ born in the late ’80s, I was born in 1986, radio was very male dominant. And it always sort of had been. But even then, who stood out for me was Patty Loveless. Those voices that you didn’t hear and don’t hear very much. And Reba was huge during that time. You just don’t find voices like that. I’ve not met Dolly, I’ve not met Loretta, but I have met Reba and Patty. And that’s just been great.
CW
What did you learn from being on the road with Sugarland late last year . . . or how did your approach to entertaining change, if it did, being in front of those larger audiences night after night?
AS
You know those people are there, first and foremost, to see Sugarland. But, I was so surprised . . . I was sort of under the impression—not because of anything anybody ever said or because I felt negative or bad about it—but I normally thought, bein’ the first act on a big tour like that, you wouldn’t have a lot of people listenin’ or payin’ attention. They’re findin’ their seats, eatin’ nachos or whatever. And I found that wasn’t the case. People were gettin’ there and they were wantin’ to hear the whole show. It was so great for me. They knew the words to the singles. Some people knew the words to other songs. I was just like, “Wow, this is the greatest thing.” It was such a change from when you do play a fair or a festival, which was great too, but to be able to know that those people specifically came there for that. And know that they were there to see me and Kellie Pickler and Sugarland. It was just so great to stare out and go, “Wow! All these faces are here to see us!” That’s awesome. And, especially with the economy the way it is today, they have to spend hard-earned money. It was just so wonderful to see people come out and enjoy themselves that much and sing my songs back to me.
CW
Does [3-year-old son] James like havin’ the cameras around?
AS
He loves it. He’s a little jealous and protective of me. I won’t ever forget, when I had my first photo shoot and I went to get my make-up done and my make-up guy Neil comes up and says, “Okay, I’m gonna work on your eyebrows.” And he’s fixin’ my eyebrows and my eyelashes. And James looked at him and he was like, “Stop it!” And he started cryin’. He did not like him bein’ near Mama or doin’ anything to Mama. He’s over that now. He actually walks around now and if he does something on my hair, he says he’s bein’ like Neil. So he knows about it now. He’s not so afraid of anything.
CW
After a year on the road . . . do you think it would be a huge challenge to have another child anytime in the next few years as your career’s really taking off?
AS
You know what? I think everybody’s got a different perspective on that. My personal take on it is, I already have one child that I take on the road and that I manage. The Good Lord’s blessed me with bein’ able to do that, and if we were to have another child, I’d just look at it as a blessing. The think about it is, you could so easily say, “Well, is this the right time or is this gonna be hard on me?” And a part of me thinks it’s such a blessing to get to have children, ’cause there’s so many people who can’t, that I feel guilty to plan around it, if that makes sense. I feel guilty to go, “What do I have goin’ on in the next three months? What’s gonna be goin’ on next year?” I don’t know. Only the Good Lord knows that. I just pray about things, and of course, you want to be smart. You don’t want to have a child at a time when you are extra, extra busy. Because, for me, I would be worried about the safety of my child and bein’ pregnant and bein’ under stress. So, you have to weigh those things. But I don’t think it would be a hard thing, because I’ve already got the most busy-body little thing that’s ever graced two feet. He’s never still, he’s completely rambunctious. [laughs]
And I look at him at three and think, “I thought it was harder when he was littler. But I don’t really know which one was harder. Because he’s so busy and into everything now . . . and from birth to a year old, you feed ’em, you change ’em and all that. But they can’t get up and do anything either! [laughs]
I think you just let things like that come when they may and pray about it.

For more from Ashton, check out the March 23 issue of Country Weekly.

Comments