When you think of Country music, you often refer to someone like Dolly Parton. However, over recent years, the genre has begun to adopt new forms which has lead to the rise of artists such as Brett Eldredge & Carrie Underwood.
But here come The Shires. They have started to make waves up and down the UK, with songs such as “Friday Nigh”t & “Nashville Grey Skies”. This upcoming popular duo consists of Ben Earle & Crissie Rhodes who have been working on their highly anticipated debut album “Brave”.
With each journey comes a beginning. The Shires’ journey began on one fateful day back in May 2013. Ben was searching for a girl who could sing country and sing it well. He put a status up on Facebook and by chance he was put in touch with Crissie through a mutual friend. The very next day they were singing together and bonded through their love of Country Music. But what led to their passion for the genre?
Crissie growing up from a young age listened to artists such as Alison Krauss, who at the time she didn’t think was considered country. “I never realised it was kind of Country Music” Her counterpart Ben took inspiration from a famous US country trio known as Lady Antebellum who have had such hits as “Need You Now” “I had never heard of anything like it, it was everything I had wanted to do as a songwriter and as a singer”
Eight months later The Shires signed to the famous music label Decca Records, who boast country acts such as Greg Allman. They then went onward to Nashville to record their latest album “Brave”. There they spent the next few days recording in Music City. They were amazed at how their music was coming along. Ben said, “I remember the first time we heard the band playing our songs. They played through our songs and it was really really special.”
The next leg of their journey took them into the world of live performances. The duo went on to perform at the 2014 Country 2 Country Music Festival, which stops off annually in the UK. The festival celebrates the ever evolving world of Country Music. This year The Shires will be taking one of the headlining spots at C2C in March. Which Crissie mentions: “It will be crazy to be in the main Auditorium of the O2”. Along with their presence at the festival, the duo will also venture on their album tour in April, which sees them play numerous venues in cities up & down the entirety of the UK. In such locations as Glasgow, Doncaster & Blackburn.
Will The Shires be the next breakthrough? Into the heavily dominated American country scene. Only time will tell. But The Shire’s are rising, and they’re rising fast.
I had the pleasure of interviewing The Shires on the 19th of February 2015.
Please note: the interview was initially recorded at Siren FM in Lincoln. The interview aired on February 21st, 2015.