Common Ground Artist Spotlight: High Valley
On Wednesday night of next week's Common Ground Music Festival, music fans will be treated to a mix of country, folk, rock, and edgy Western style with headliners like Kevin Costner & Modern West, Casey James, and Canadian country trio High Valley.
Hailing from Alberta, Canada, High Valley is made up of brothers Brad, Bryan, and Curtis Rempel. Just last month they released their third album, Love Is a Long Road, and they'll be supporting that album at this year's Common Ground Music Festival.
Be sure to catch them on the Auto Value Main Stage Wednesday, July 11th.
We spoke with Brad, Bryan, and Curtis about the new album, the country music scene in Canada, and what fans should expect from them at Common Ground.
STEFANIE POHL: You're three brothers - was music always a part of your lives growing up? Who or what encouraged you?
HIGH VALLEY: It was always a part of our lives. We grew up on a farm and had three sisters that were older than us, and they were already singing all of the time with our parents in church, so we grew up hearing the harmonies and watching our families play music. Dad played bass and mom played a horrible 12-string guitar. They definitely encouraged us as well.
SP: Where does the name "High Valley" come from?
HV: (Brad) I grew up doing a fake radio show. Mom and dad bought me a little tape recorder and we'd do this fake radio show all of the time. I'd introduce the band and news and do weather and sports, and the band was always called High Valley. So fifteen years ago, when we started, the name just stuck.
SP: Who were and are your musical influences? Do you have any favorite artists?
HV: Definitely Ricky Skaggs was a huge influence - one our of first tours we got to do was with him. Also, growing up on a lot of bluegrass and three-part harmony. Scaggs has been awesome. Most recently we toured with Emerson Drive which is really cool as well.
SP: You just released your third album (Love Is a Long Road) last month - how has your music evolved with each album?
HV: The music is representing us better than it has before. Musically, the sound that's on our most-recent record has this acoustic vibe with rock and drum beats. Our producer describes it really well. He says it's like rockin' country with a little bit of grease on it. There are a lot more original tunes on it - some songs that'll make you cry, but there's a lot of songs that'll make you roll the windows down and crank 'em up. We're excited to play them live for the folks in Lansing.
SP: Tell us about the country music scene in Canada. Many might assume that country music isn't very big there.
HV: You'd be surprised, because we're from a providence called Alberta, and it's home of the Calgary Stampede, which the biggest outdoor rodeo in the world. There's a lot of ranchers and cowboys out there. We're from a small town - everyone listens to country radio. When we started touring in Texas, we noticed a similarity between us and ranchers there. It's been an easy adjustment coming to the U.S. and touring. There are a lot of similarities for sure.
SP: What are some of your favorite songs to perform live?
HV: Probably a song call "On the Combine." It was one first bigger hits and the video got a lot of action on YouTube. Everytime we get to play it live, it's cool to see how people either grew up on the farm, or they grew up in the city and are fascinated by the lifestyle.
Check it out here:
SP: Common Ground is next week - what should fans expect from the show?
HV: Everytime we play a show we always want people to hear what High Valley is about and that's always been family, because we're brothers, and farming and faith. You're always going to hear that in our music. We do a lot of three-part harmony and we like to have a lot of fun as well. Telling stories but also making people laugh and loosen up and have a great time. We're really excited to crank out the three-part harmony and hopefully melt some faces off as well.
Thanks to Brad, Bryan, and Curtis Rempel of High Valley. You can see them perform Wednesday, July 11 at the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing's Adado Riverfront Park. CLICK HERE for show and ticket information.
Check out their official music video for "Have I Told You I Love You Lately", off of their new album Love Is a Long Road.