When you’re putting together your list of the best duos in folk and roots music, it will probably include names like Johnny & June, Emmylou & Gram, and Gillian & David. Well, here’s another for your short list: Pharis & Jason Romero. The couple from Horsefly, British Columbia (pop. 1000, in the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains) writes and sings modern day folk ballads – tales of wandering, loneliness and “local characters” with an independent spirit – that will challenge you to identify which are original compositions and which come from long-forgotten songbooks off a dusty shelf. All this deftly played on vintage and newly handcrafted instruments (Pharis plays a c. 1943 Gibson J-45; Jason plays his J. Romero banjo #10250, a gourd banjo and a c.1934 Gibson L-00) and sung with sublime vocal harmonies that blend and intertwine effortlessly. Seriously. What more could you ask for?
On the heels of their acclaimed 2013 release, ‘Long Gone Out West Blues,‘ Pharis & Jason are now set to release ‘A Wanderer I’ll Stay.’ It’s their third album together as duo, and once again they deliver. The new 12-song collection was recorded at their rural home studio – where they also build finely crafted custom made banjos in their J. Romero Banjo Co. shop – and was co-produced by David Travers-Smith (The Wailin’ Jennys, Jayme Stone, Oh Susanna, Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite of Everything).
‘A Wanderer I’ll Stay’ will be released in the U.S. on Thursday, March 12 and you can stream the album in its entirety until then in the player below.