IDENTICAL musician twins are celebrating after achieving national recognition - just six months after releasing their debut EP.

Country music duo Cinder Hill, from Middlewich, were finalists for the prestigious title of duo of the year in the UK Country Music Awards.

Katie and Hayley Mogford, 36, say they were thrilled to have been nominated alongside some of the best performers in Britain.

"It was a real surprise to get shortlisted," said Katie. "We only released our debut EP- in February. Although we've been playing our own music in pubs and clubs on local mic nights, for a lot of people this is the first thing they have seen from us.

"Unfortunately we didn't win our first award but we had a brilliant time. It was quite cool, they showed our music video on a big screen. We'd like to thank everyone who supported us."

The award went to top British country duo The Shires who supported Shania Twain on tour.

Cinder Hill were honoured to present the artist of the year award to Hannah Johnson and the Broken Hearts.

The sisters were delighted that their first EP Fairytales reached number three on iTunes in country music on the day it was released.

The first song they ever wrote Know When It Is Wrong is being released as their second single on September 28.

The sisters have a lifelong love of country music and craft their own songs from topics close to their hearts.

"We write about real experiences based on true life," said Katie. "Country music is all about storytelling."

Their own unique close bond, they believe, strengthens their music.

"We love performing together," said Katie. "One thing people comment on is our harmonies. Being a twin, we have really close harmonies, it is a mesh of two voices.

"We are very involved in each other's lives. We've got so much in common, we like the same things, it makes it really easy. Sharing experiences brings you closer together."

The sisters both work full time.

Katie is a sign language interpreter and Hayley is a primary school teacher.

Their big dream is to perform in America.

"We love America," added Katie. "We go as tourists, we'd love to perform there. Nashville is another place we'd love to go.

"It is great that country music is finally becoming more accessible. There are so many more UK country festivals and country music is getting more radio play.

"There is a great country music community. It is really growing.

"Country music has been so underrated for such a long time it is great that more people are now getting involved."

Cinder Hill will be on stage at the Cheshire County Sports Club in Chester at 9.30pm on Saturday, September 22.

The duo is also performing at Wolverhampton Country Songwriters Night on Saturday, September 29.