The Shires, who formed in 2013, are a UK country pop duo composed of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. They hail from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Ben sings vocals and plays guitar and Bedford native Crissie Rhodes shares lead vocals. The duo fittingly took the band name in order to maintain an English identity and take a small part of England back to America. "Shire" is the original term for what is usually known now as a English county. After playing hardly half a dozen shows together The Shires caught the attention of Decca Records who signed them in the UK and they secured a contract with American based record label Universal Music Group Nashville thus becoming the first ever UK country act to be signed to a major Nashville label.