High Valley - Way Back
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Way Back (Self-released, 2022)

High Valley

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

If there's one thing that the Canadian outfit High Valley knows how to do is to stay in their lane. The Rempel brothers duo is now down to one after Curtis amicably split from the band. The band is known for its unique bluegrass-infused contemporary country, and their sixth album bounces along playfully from start to finish. Thematically, the brief 37-minute, 13-song collection checks many of the country music boxes.

The title track is a banjo-driven nostalgia anthem about simple pleasures. Appreciation of the time you have left is the focus of the clever "Run Outta Somedays."

The production is glossy and light. True to form, they are somehow able to pull off a deft touch on a bro country song whose title begs for a raucous three minutes. Instead, "Country Music Girls and Trucks" gets an assist from Granger Smith and sounds like it is more suitable for the adult contemporary format. By contrast, "All My Lovin" has plenty of twang and the most country sounding in the collection. A duet featuring Christian artist Anne Wilson on "Somebody Tell That Girl" tows the slow tempo line, delivering solid vocals with a gospel feel. Known for their infusion of bluegrass, there is more gloss than grass as is most of its discography.

The band has excellent pickers, and it feels like they really should be allowed to cut loose in more of a feature role.

CDs by High Valley

Way Back, 2022 Grew Up on That EP, 2020 Dear Life, 2016

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