Artist Biography "The Shires" who formed in 2013, are an English country pop duo composed of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Gudgin – who performs as Crissie Rhodes. They hail from the neighbouring counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Ben sings vocals and plays guitar and Shefford, Bedfordshire native Crissie Rhodes shares lead vocals. The duo fittingly took the band name in order to maintain a British identity and take a small part of the England back to the United States. "Shire" is the original term for what is usually now known as an 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 record label Universal Music Group Nashville thus becoming the first ever English country act to be signed to a major Nashville label.