Brad and Curtis Rempel, the duo that is High Valley, broke onto the country scene in 2007 and since that time have earned numerous awards in Canada. In addition to their Canadian fans, the duo have been gaining a following all over the world, including the US with their music being championed on Sirius XM's The Highway. Their third album, County Line, which was released October 14th, incorporates country, bluegrass and pop into a sound uniquely theirs. Brad recently took the time to chat about the album, their upcoming headlining tour and more.
How has the transition from a trio to a duo been?
It’s been good. You know, Bryan wanted to stay up north and we both moved to Nashville four and a half years ago and are forging ahead with the music. It’s great to be in Music City.
You released a terrific new album, Country Line, on October 14th. You co-wrote songs on the record with Fred Wilhelm, Ben Stennis and Deric Ruttan among others. How did you chose which songs would be included on the record?
We actually let the fans chose. We sent about fifty demos to the fans-I still cannot believe that we have a fan base-and let them pick what they thought were the best ten. It was a really cool way to have them involved with the record.
One of the songs, “Make You Mine,” features your musical hero, Ricky Skaggs. How did working with him come about?
We grew up listening to Ricky Skaggs, playing him over and over again. We never ever got sick of his music. He was with us when we made our Grand Ole Opry debut and when we asked him to be on the record, he agreed.
Since you have collaborated with your musical hero, is there anyone else you would want to work with?
Everyone keeps asking us that because Ricky Skaggs is our number one. I’d love to collaborate with Taylor Swift, I think that would be absolutely amazing.
Here in the states, The Highway has been very supportive of your music. They are currently playing “County Line” and it has been doing very well.
They have been and have been playing the heck out of County Line., which I think is near the Top 20 on their countdown. It has been pretty cool to see that response in the US. We are definitely thrilled with it.
In Canada, you have had multiple CCMA and JUNO nominations, is success in the states important?
Honestly, we don’t wake up and think about which country one of our songs gets played in. We have been to India, Africa and Central America and we love making music all over world. With the pop influence on bluegrass and country, we are hoping to tour Europe and Australia too. We want our music to be heard in every country.
One thing recently that was really cool was a girl in Ireland tweeted us a photo of her autographed copy of the record. Ireland! Social media has been really important in spreading the word and having people find out about our music.
We know you have a bluegrass influence, who do you draw on from pop and country?
We are huge country fans, but we also like to listen to One Republic, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. I think country follows pop and Seth Mosley [Billboard Producer of the Year], who produced our record, really brought it all out in our record. For 26 year old guy, he just killed it with the pop grooves on the album. We had sort of a ying and yang where we pulled bluegrass and he pulled pop. It was a meaningful tug of war and the end result is what we like to call popgrass.
On October 31st, you will begin your first headlining tour, The County Line Tour. What can fans expect?
We have been in rehearsals and are getting ready to kick thing off. It is our first headlining tour and man are we pumped. Fans can expect all of the hits and the brand new songs form the record. We love mixing bluegrass with pop, so fans can expect some Top 40 bluegrass covers too.
In your downtime, what have you been listening to?
I really like “Rude” by Magic and “Cool Kids” by Echosmith. It’s funny because we flew to Africa recently and every time the plane landed, “Rude” was playing. It was kind of the theme of landing the airplane.
Watch the "County Line" Video here
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