How High Valley’s Small Town Upbringing Influenced ‘Dear Life’

The past couple of years have been a banner period for brother duo High Valley. Comprised of brothers Curtis and Brad Rempel, they put together a trio of gold-selling singles in their native Canada that led to their being signed to the roster Atlantic / Warner Music Nashville. Since then, the brothers have gotten a taste of all things America, and so far – they love what they have seen…and tasted!

“We’ve done a lot of band work over the years, and we knew that when we signed a record deal, that meant that we were going to be travelling all across America in a brand new bus,” said the duo’s Brad excitedly. “Man, that was so much fun. We got to see so many cities, and met so many great people. We would get to hear ourselves on the radio a lot of the time while we were doing it, and we also got to go to so many great restaurants. It was a really neat experience,” he says with a sense of wonder in his voice.

Growing up in tiny Blumenort, Alberta offered the guys a different growing up experience than one in the south – like a lot of Country artist, Curtis says. “We grew up in Northern Alberta in a farm town that was very far north,” he admits. “The airport that we would fly out of is in Edmonton, Alberta, and our hometown is about five hundred miles north of that. We would farm with our dad, and play a lot of hockey, and all the stereotypical northern things that you would likely imagine.”

The duo’s debut album is out today. But, their music has already seen the light of day in the states via the soundtrack of EA Sports’ Madden NFL 17, a fact that continues to amaze Curtis. “That was incredible news to hear, something fat from what I thought was going to happen. We had a Super Nintendo growing up, and played a lot of hockey. That was back in 1997, and that’s the most recent gaming system that we’ve had any experience with. We can’t believe it.”

“Make You Mine” is one of the songs that the band has already had success with north of the border, as the duo collaborated with longtime influence Ricky Skaggs on the Canadian version of the song. Brad talked about how the song came together. “We had just gotten off the road, and were headed toward the studio where I was writing that day with my buddy and producer, I told him that he had been playing ‘I’ll Fly Away’ every day since we were old enough to talk, pretty much. Somehow, people don’t get sick of hearing it, and we don’t get sick of playing it. I said we needed to write something that was that simple and straight-forward. At the time we wrote it, there was a lot of ‘Bro-Country’ language in the lyrics, and we just wanted to write something that was like what we grew up on – all the old-fashioned bluegrass lyrics. So, we did that, and it was so simple.”

As it turned out, the song was a perfect fit for High Valley’s family harmony. “A lot of times you record a song, and it takes a while for you to figure out how to play it live. ‘Make You Mine’ was like breathing,” said Brad. “We recorded it, introduced it on stage, and everyone knew it. We ended up creating this fan club because we had no label or management at the time. We ended up sending out all our demos out to the fans, asking them what our next single should be. They chose ‘Make You Mine,’ and one thing led to another.”

One song that Brad is very excited for the public to hear is the inspirational “Don’t Stop,” which he co-wrote with Seth Mosley, and Ben Stennis. “That one is very important to me,” he says. We all took our wives and kids to Pensacola Beach. We wrote that on the trip, and that was just us channeling what we believe and hope for our kids. Ben sent us the hook. – it’s something that his mom still tells him to this day. He’s been in Nashville for ten years, and in that time, he’s gone from being like everyone else to having the Jason Aldean / Kelsea Ballerini duet, and he’s got six songs on our CD, and the new Ronnie Dunn single. If you want to see someone who is on fire, he’s it. He said his mom would call him the whole time, saying ‘Don’t Stop.’ We loved the idea, and my sister wants us to sing it at our oldest nephew’s graduation ceremony, Hopefully, it will inspire a lot of people just like that.”

High Valley’s Dear Life is available for purchase now.

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