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Ashton Shepherd 

Sounds So Good (MCA Nashville)

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Unlike other barely-old-enough-to-drink country singers, 21-year-old Ashton Shepherd has bigger problems than what to wear on prom night. "I've got a cold beer in my right hand/In my left, I've got my wedding band," she starts off her debut album, and that pretty much sets the tone for this booze-soaked stroll through domestic doubt. Shepherd is a married mom from Alabama, so when she sings "I got a baby at home, a to-do list a mile long" in "I Ain't Dead Yet," even her rich drawl sounds like it's being pulled in a dozen different directions. Take that, Taylor! Shepherd co-wrote all but one of the songs on Sounds So Good, which weighs the frazzled life of a woman whose idea of bliss is "the sound of a cooler slushin' on the bed of your truck." By day, she's a devoted housewife. But after the sun goes down, watch out — because Mama's on the prowl.

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