It’s no secret High Valley’s music contains some not-so-subtle religious references. But it does so without offering lectures on the subject. It’s a nice balance. In a phone interview yesterday, Curtis said, “That’s exactly our goal. We don’t want to force any message down anybody’s throat. Everybody’s gotta make their own decisions.” He adds, “Our goal is to be authentic artists and we’re gonna sing about what we believe in and what our values are.” Curtis makes the point, “We base our lifestyle completely around who Jesus was. He’s our ultimate role model.”

Brad and Curtis grew up in an Alberta Mennonite community and religion was and is a major part of their lives. Even their new single, “Grew Up On That” (the title track of High Valley’s next EP due out early next month), has some of those references like “bow your head” and mentions a little white church. Brother Brad is one of the song’s writers and Curtis notes, “I love the line ‘Ricky Skaggs on the vinyl, King James on the Bible.’”

Like other musicians, Curtis is spending more time at home these days than he ever has before. While acknowledging “it’s a crazy time,” he’s also with his fellow musicians in not knowing when he’s going to get paid next. Most musicians make the bulk of their income touring, performing in concert and getting a few extra bucks from selling their merchandise. That revenue has dried up for most during this Coronavirus crisis. That point was made minutes before our conversation. High Valley’s appearance (along with many others) at this June’s CMAMusicfest in Nashville was cancelled.

So, I had to ask. I wondered how Curtis’ faith is sustaining him during these trying times.

Noting, “I don’t think life’s easy for anybody,” Curtis remembered the recent tornado devastation that hit Nashville before the virus pandemic soon followed it. “Nobody is completely safe anywhere at any given time. And I’m aware of that. And I’m not terrified because I believe that God’s going to take care of me.”

Personally, Curtis said, “I believe that God will never give me an experience that’s beyond what I can handle. And that being said, there are experiences that I can’t handle on my own, but I know that I can always speak with God whenever I want, whenever I need to, and ask Him to help me emotionally get through any situation. And He’s done that for my entire life.”

Religion is many different things to many different people. It can and does sustain and comfort some people through difficult times. Music, although not necessarily a replacement for religion, can also sustain and comfort some people. High Valley is in the unique situation of embracing both and in the very unique, sustaining and comforting position of sharing both.

You can listen to the entire, unedited interview below. (Note: it’s common in radio to edit out awkward pauses, “dead air” as we call it. I’ve left them in because silence can sometimes create a dramatic effect, but it can also show someone is giving careful, deliberate and meaningful thought before they speak.)