Canadian country duo High Valley breaks out in U.S. with Top 30 single, major label debut album
Canadian country music duo High Valley is currently enjoying breakout success in the U.S. as new album, Dear Life, marks the group’s fifth studio release and major label debut via Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville. The 11-track set was produced by Seth Mosley and Mike “X” O'Connor and features two songs from the duo's previous album—a 2014 project titled, County Line. One of the songs, ‘Make You Mine,’ currently ranks No. 21 on the Billboard and Mediabase country airplay charts. It also peaked at No. 29 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. ‘Make You Mine’ was a Top 5 Canada Country single in December 2014 prior to being re-issued in the U.S. last February.
Brad Rempel, who makes up one-half of High Valley with brother Curtis Rempel, says he knew exactly what he wanted when he sat down to write ‘Make You Mine’ with Mosley and Ben Stennis. He tells TheBoot.com the goal was to create something “simple” and “catchy” like Hank Williams’ ‘I’ll Fly Away.’ “It’s just so simple; everybody knows it,” says the singer-songwriter and guitarist. The song also enabled the duo to fulfill a dream of collaborating with Ricky Skaggs.
“People have been asking us forever who we wanted to collaborate with, and we always said Ricky Skaggs,” adds Curtis Rempel. The iconic country and bluegrass artist lends his voice to ‘Make You Mine,’ and Rempel admits it “kind of blows our mind” that it happened. “Now we’ve gotta come up with some new dream collaboration,” he says.
“We use ‘Make You Mine’ as the bullseye,” Brad Rempel tells TheBoot.com about selecting songs for Dear Life. “It’s like these more extreme bluegrass songs are on the outside of the target, and the extreme pop songs are on the outside on the other side of the target, but ‘Make You Mine’ is the bullseye,” he says. High Valley features ‘Make You Mine’ at the very end of their live sets. The brothers admit they save the “huge-energy moment” for last so they can end on a high note.
High Valley released three albums as a trio before brother Bryan Rempel lift the act in early 2014. All three grew up on a farm in the small, rural community of La Crete, AB, where they graduated high school before leaving for Nashville in 2001. In October 2015, High Valley signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and Warner Music Nashville and began work on Dear Life as their major label debut. The track ‘Every Week's Got A Friday’ was released in Canada as the album's lead single, reaching No. 8 on the Canada Country chart. ‘Make You Mine’ was offered as the first U.S. single from the album.
‘Young Forever’ was released in both countries as the first promotional single from Dear Life. Other tracks made available as single releases include ‘Long Way Home,’ ‘She's With Me,’ ‘Memory Makin’,’ ‘I Be U Be,’ and the title track. High Energy is currently on the road opening for Martina McBride’s Love Unleashed Tour, which wraps up Dec. 10 in Biloxi, Mississippi. A 2017 headlining tour gets underway Feb. 4 in Amsterdam, followed by five dates in the U.K. (Feb. 7-11) and a return home to Canada (April 25-May 4) with fellow Canadian country crooner Dean Brody.
Watch High Valley in the official music video for ‘Make You Mine’ from the Canadian country duo’s fifth studio album, Dear Life.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Brad and Curtis Rempel make up the Canadian pop country duo called High Valley. The brothers grew up on a farm in rural La Crete, Alberta, and were originally a trio with another brother, Bryan, who recorded three albums with the band.
* The group played church camps and other local venues, eventually finding work opening for country acts that came through the area. The three brothers maintained the schedule while still in school and holding down part-time jobs.
* High Valley began playing and recording around Nashville in 2001. Debut album, Broken Borders, arrived in 2007 and earned the band the Album of the Year award at the GMA Canada Covenant Awards, while the single ‘Back to You’ was named Country Song of the Year.
* The group's eponymous second studio album was released in 2010, and High Valley won five more Covenant Awards in 2011 including Artist of the Year and Group of the Year. In 2012, third studio album, Love Is a Long Road, was issued via Open Road Recordings. The single ‘Love You For A Long Time’ is the band’s first appearance (No. 56) on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
* In 2014, the album County Line introduced High Valley as a duo, featuring the Top 10 Canadian country hits ‘Rescue You,’ ‘County Line,’ ‘She's with Me,’ and ‘Make You Mine.’ In October 2015, High Valley signed to Atlantic Records Nashville and ‘Make You Mine’ became a Top 30 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart as the lead single from new album, Dear Life.