Before they became The Shires, singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes had met a series of dead-ends – now they’re the UK’s most successful country music export, with four top 10 albums and hundreds of thousands of tickets sold around the world.
The fact that Nashville has embraced The Shires with open arms – from a record deal to a history-making award from the American Country Music Association – is testament to the duo’s authenticity. Debut single “Nashville Grey Skies,” a playful song about Britain needing its own country scene, caught the attention of broadcasting legend Bob Harris in 2014.
Achieving a place on the BBC Radio 2 A list, its soaring harmonies and uplifting sound offered an early glimpse at the alchemy that transpires when Earle and Rhodes join forces. Career milestones followed like pieces of a jigsaw fitting into place: supporting slots with Little Big Town, The Corrs, and Carrie Underwood (during her Cry Pretty UK tour), playing C2C Festival, a sold-out headline tour and the release of their spectacular debut album,Brave,which became the first-ever top 10 album by a UK country music act.
Another three top 10 albums followed: 2016’sMy Universe(featuring fan-favourite “Daddy’s Little Girl”, about Rhodes’s late father), 2018’sAccidentally on Purpose,and 2020’sGood Years,each one soaring to No 3 in the UK.
As it did for so many, 2020 brought fresh challenges. In between the bread-baking and home-schooling, he found himself in his home studio, rediscovering some of the songwriter identity he’d lost amid so many fruitful collaborations over the years. The result is immediately apparent onTen Year Plan– The Shires’ fifth album, and one of the most enthralling, soul-stirring country albums of 2022.
Doors: 19:00 Performance Starts: 19:30 Tickets: From £29 Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult
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