I knew I heard all kinds of bluegrass influences in High Valley‘s debut single, “Make You Mine.” And now I understand why.
The duo’s brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel were on Today on Tuesday (Jan. 10) with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, and I immediately downloaded the song and tried to find out more about these new-to-Nashville guys (They’d already had success in Canada and have been a staple on the Canadian country charts for the past few years, but since releasing their U.S. debut album Dear Life, the brothers are kind of everywhere).
And in an interview with industry publication Country Aircheck, Brad talked about what the music influences were like up in Canada.
Ricky Skaggs was the king in their house, according to Brad. “Every memory I have as a young kid is of learning his songs,” Rempel said.
And if Skaggs was their king, it sounds like Alison Krauss was their queen. Brad recalled catching her show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville but not actually watching it. “It’s the only concert that I closed my eyes for the entire show and didn’t care what they were doing onstage visually, as long as I could hear how amazing it sounded,” he said.
Other major players in his mind were Diamond Rio, for making sure you could have bluegrass harmonies and instruments in country music, and Dierks Bentley, for mixing really upbeat rocking stuff with bluegrass stuff.
He also described Miranda Lambert‘s “The House That Built Me” as one that summarizes every feeling a great country song should give you.
But Rempel seems to revel in every genre, and has yet to meet a song he doesn’t like. He even admits to liking the insanely catchy music of pop band One Direction. And he adds, “I enjoy opera for what it is. I enjoy rap for what it is. There’s something about every kind of music I can enjoy.”