Review: High Valley Bring Bluegrass to Country Jam 2016
High Valley had much to celebrate at Country Jam 2016 in Grand Junction, Colo. This week, the Canadian duo's foot-stomping new single "Make You Mine" makes its debut on the U.S. country charts.
Thrilled by the news, during their nearly hour-long set on Saturday afternoon (June 18), brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel said they were happy to be in Colorado to celebrate the occasion with thousands of country music fans in attendance who sang along to their new single much to their delight. The band frequently could be seen taking in the crowd incredulously as they pointed at themselves on a giant screen on the left side of the stage.
"We're two brothers from the middle of nowhere on a farm," Brad said, admiring themselves on the big screen. "We've been doing this since we were little kids. This is what we've dreamed of for as long as we could dream."
Their versatile set blended country and bluegrass and showcased the band's musicianship as they alternated frequently from mandolin to banjo and dobro. Temperatures nearing 100 degrees didn't slow them down for a moment, either, as both Brad and Curtis ran around the stage, frequently urging fans to clap and sing along.
Songs like the energetic banjo driven "She's With Me" highlighted the band's mainstream country appeal while their cover of John Michael Montgomery's "Be My Baby Tonight" and bluegrass standard "I'll Fly Away" demonstrated where they came from.
Additional highlights included the poignant "The Only Way He Knew How," which the duo dedicated to their father who mortgaged his farm so his sons could fly to Nashville and make their first album. Singing the song together with keyboard as the only accompaniment, the song showcased the brothers' spot-on harmonies.
Closing their set with the lively "County Line" which segued into a cover of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishin' In the Dark," High Valley had Country Jam patrons on their feet in the 98-degree heat — a feat that is an impressive one for a band just breaking into the U.S. country scene.
Country Jam runs through Sunday (June 19) in Grand Junction, Colo.