THEY have come a long way from being discovered at a pub in Bedfordshire, but The Shires are loving every moment of it.

With their third record Accidentally on Purpose already getting a great reception among fans and critics, the duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes are seeing their stock rise and their star shine brighter than ever.

Having conquered both sides of the Atlantic the pairing have embarked on an extensive UK tour to promote the new record and will finish things off in Basingstoke on Sunday, 10 June.

“We will be in a celebratory mood, so it might be a bit of a messy night after that,” Rhodes told The Gazette.

Having played a sold-out show at the Anvil two years ago, The Shires return with a new sense of confidence to them and having more fun.

Their sound has embraced a more pop element to it rather than the traditional country sound which put the two on the musical map to start with.

Earle added: “We have been having so much fun recently and that has reflected in the album, we wanted to step things up and make them a bit more poppier. But we were able to retain who we are as The Shires

“My little son River who is two is now dancing along to the new tracks which he wasn’t doing to the older stuff.”

Rhodes said that more people are embracing country music, whether that be in the traditional sense or the music with a more modern twist to it.

She added: “To see the outpour of people who are loving the genre here (in the UK) is cool, like you don’t have to be a closet country fan anymore.

“We have all these new songs and we throw them out into the atmosphere and people relate to them in their own way.”

When talking to the pair there is a sense of fun in everything they say and even when it comes to their new music that word seems to be the common denominator.

There is even a fun story as to who maybe on of the most famous names in the world – Ed Sheeran – am to write the song ‘Stay The Night’ for the pair.

“We got invited to an after show party that he (Sheeran) was throwing in Nashville,” explains Earle.

“I was just mingling and I look over and there is this girl on her head drinking beer and I think to myself ‘that looks like Crissie’ when I looked closer it was Crissie.”

Rhodes added: “I had alcohol confident so I just went up to him (Sheeran) and said what’s going on here Ed and he said a ceg stand, so I thought I’d give it a go.

“So you could say it was my drinking antics that gave us the opportunity to work with Ed Sheeran.”

The Shires will appear at the Anvil on Sunday, 10 June. For more information and tickets visit