Ashton Shepherd 'Where Country Goes' Humphead/MCA

A vocalist who was hailed as something of a traditionalist after her previous debut album continues in that vein, with the caution that this is from Music Row and not on the Heart Of Texas label. Given that and with Shepherd's pronounced twang she portrays a sassy woman prepared to make herself heard. Songs like Look It Up offer a lesson in semantics to a errant partner. Where Country Grows is as much about accepting Jesus as it is about the musical form as heard on the radio. I'm Just A Woman is a common enough if cliched view from the female perspective that men are ...   well, not women. Buddy Cannon's production is robust with enough fiddle, banjo and steel to let you know that you're not just listening to pop music in disguise. Beer On A Boat is kind of de rigueur for most country album these days listing as does a way for good ol' boys and girls to their down time. Religion is again the subject of Tryin' To Go to Church, one of those Saturday Night, Sunday Morning type of songs but one where Shepherd's tongue is firmly in her cheek. That All Leads To One Thing again admonishes her man and figures the place that all the things listed in the song lead to a ring on the kitchen table and a relationship left behind. The closing track Rory's Radio is about how the songs heard on a transistor were the soundtrack to growing up and those songs and times are not forgotten. Whether these songs will have the same effect in years to come remains to be seen but for now Ashton Shepherd second album gives here a pretty good stab at getting to that place.