The Shires spoke to ITV Meridian reporter Natalie Boare as they go on tour across the South
The UK's biggest country music export The Shires have described having Ed Sheeran write a song for them as 'amazing.'
The duo were sent 'a demo of him playing a guitar' with a song he had written for them which they say was 'just incredible.'
The Shires have been speaking to ITV Meridian reporter Natalie Boare ahead of their show at The Anvil in Basingstoke.
The band are made up of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. Ben sings vocals, plays piano and guitar, while Crissie shares lead vocals.
They formed in 2013, and released their debut album in 2015. They became the first UK country act to chart in the Top 10 in the UK.
Ben said: "We had a night out in Nashville with Ed Sheeran years ago after his show and he is so humble and so normal and after that night out he sent us this song called 'Stay the Night'.
The duo head on tour across the region ahead of celebrating 10 years of performing together.
They say they think the growth in popularity for country music over here is down to its "stories and honesty" and the fact you can get any type of music wherever you are with streaming now.
The duo said they are so glad to be back performing again after the pandemic stopped shows.
And one artist they would love to perform with would be one of the most famous country artists of all time - Dolly Parton.
Ben and Crissie write most of their own songs but their latest single 'Cut Me Loose' came about after they wandered into a bar in Nashville.
Crissie said: "We were out in Nashville writing at the time and Ben just so happened to go into this bar ... and this songwriter was playing this song and Ben just went up to her and said I love this song can we have it for our next album. "
The Shires are headed on tour to Folkestone, Weymouth, Brighton, Oxford and Guildford.
And they are approaching their 10th anniversary as The Shires.
Asked what they had planned, Crissie said she will 'probably have her hands full' as she is expecting twins in October.