Saturday, April 29, 2017

HIGH VALLEY-Love Is A Long Road (2012)


Me having gotten into the country music spirit again while still being in the spirit of sharing good tunes equates to me serving up another fulfilled wish from the requests list. The Canadian trio (currently a duo, as sources tell me) that calls itself HIGH VALLEY is a group whose music I'd long been curious about until "Love Is A Long Road" became my listening companion on this quiet and rainy Saturday morning. Now I can say with absolution that I hold HIGH VALLEY in high regards, a terrific new addition to my collection of country artists and a band I expect to include in future music rotations. Hearing their engaging, collective voices on the lively opener, "Let It Be Me", got me all saddled up and eager to advance on the next stop along the road, the album's down-to-earth title track, where the songwriter hopes that the journey of love is for eternity with no twists, turns, roadblocks or other obstacles getting in the way. It was when I got to the third track, "Have I Told You I Love You Lately?" (the title momentarily had me thinking about my beloved Rod Stewart cover of "Have I Told You Lately?) that these guys really started to capture my attention. This is a good, solid song—so tender and charming and very real—and one that makes you wonder when was the last time that you yourself told your significant other that you loved them? The pure country spirit first steps up on the guitar-driven story about the good old days being gone and time flying by on "Not That Long Ago", arises a few stops afterwards on the slow, sad tune of regret and lost chances on "Never Took Her Dancing", then a third and fourth time with "Dirt Rich" (a fun song telling a feel-good story of how a lifetime of hard work allows them to live in luxury; ' thank the Lord we're dirt rich is the line from the chorus that makes me laugh) and the beautiful acoustic guitar-driven number, "Porches" (an excellent place to hear the trio's collective voices, I must point out), which talks about how these covered shelters attached to the front of or the rear of our homes are often the settings for life's most fondest memories. Even higher praises for the song entitled "Love You For A Long Time". I really like the sound to this one—the somber tonality and that 'galloping' country rhythm accompanying the lively pop/rock—and the earnest words delivered in the chorus about loving the woman until his last living breath. Then there's the heart-warmer, "Home Sweet You" (another title that makes me think about a classic golden oldie; this time, LYNYRD SKYNYRD's "Sweet Home Alabama") that does indeed feel like I was home sweet home. And on that note, I'll conclude by saying that listening to this album made me feel right at home while at home, and I look forward to having HIGH VALLEY as my music companions further down the road:

1. Let It Be Me
2. Love Is A Long Road
3. Have I Told You I Love You Lately?
4. Not That Long Ago
5. Trying To Believe
6. Love You For A Long Time
7. Never Took Her Dancing
8. Home Sweet You
9. Right Here Beside Her
10. Dirt Rich
11. Porches

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