The Shires sign to BMG

L to R: Jamie Nelson (BMG), Ben Earle (The Shires), Crissie Rhodes (The Shires), Alistair Norbury (BMG), Steve Morton (Union Artists) Photo credit: Joe Waghorn



UK country phenomenon The Shires have chosen BMG to release their next album.

The duo’s first three albums not only garnered near universal critical acclaim, but all three reached the Top 10 Official UK Albums Chart, an unprecedented feat for home-grown country artists.

The Shires consist of outstanding singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. Their second album, My Universe, was the fastest-selling UK country album of all time.

They have won multiple awards from the British Country Music Association including Album Of The Year, Entertainer Of The Year and Duo Of The Year. In 2017 the Nashville-based Country Music Association honored The Shires with its Global Artist Award. The duo combines clear Nashville influences with a distinctive UK lyrical approach.

Now they will release their fourth album through BMG with the US release handled by BMG’s Nashville label Broken Bow Records.

BMG President Repertoire & Marketing UK Alistair Norbury said, “The Shires have been a gamechanger for country music in the UK. We are incredibly excited that they have turned to BMG to help them take their career on to the next level.”

Key to BMG securing the deal, said Norbury, was a joint approach by the BMG UK team and their Nashville-based colleagues from Broken Bow, led by Jon Loba, BMG EVP Nashville.

Said Norbury, “The dilemma for UK-based country artists is that traditional UK labels have zero leverage in Nashville. The terrific strength of BMG is working directly with my peer and colleague Jon Loba and get a total US buy-in to The Shires and for Crissie and Ben to meet the Nashville team prior to signing the deal. Building on what they have achieved in the UK is just part of the plan. What we can achieve internationally is the real opportunity”.

Speaking from Nashville, Jon Loba said, “We are incredibly excited to be working with The Shires. Their distinctive British sensibility brings something genuinely new to country music.”

The new album will be A&Rd by Jamie Nelson (Director of A&R UK) and follows his current run of Top 10 albums with Richard Hawley, Aled Jones & Russell Watson and Kylie.

Ben and Crissie of The Shires said, “We are both so excited to be working with Alistair, Jamie and the BMG team. Their vision and excitement for our music, not just in the U.K. but also internationally is infectious! Broken Bow’s involvement, for us is the ‘Nashville’ icing on the cake and we cannot wait to get started.”

BMG acquired Nashville-based independent Broken Bow Records in 2017, in its biggest single investment in a record label. Broken Bow’s roster includes a string of Number One country artists including Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Jimmie Allen and Granger Smith.

Source BMG

June 18, 2019 1:44pm ET by Pressparty  

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