Pharis and Jason
Pharis and Jason Romero are pure craftspeople and top-notch musicians. They’ve won four Juno awards and seven Canadian Folk Music Awards, connecting with audiences through their music, lifestyle, and the sense of joy and ease that comes from this small-town renaissance couple. They live in the wilderness town of Horsefly, British Columbia where they write songs, learn old music, and work as renowned banjo builders J. Romero Banjos.
Their newest record Tell ‘Em You Were Gold was released on venerable folk label Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in June 2022. Made in an old barn Pharis & Jason spent years slowly restoring, and recorded in six days by a wood stove under northern lights, it’s a testament to the musical value and significance of their work. It’s built around the beauty of their banjos and the pair’s deep psychic and artistic connection, with conviction and delicacy – and stunning singing. They play their own songs with the traditional music they have always sung, weaving guests John Reischman, Grace Forrest, Trent Freeman, Patrick Metzger and Marc Jenkins on mandolin, fiddle, bass and pedal steel between the duo and solo pieces. Their songs seem to come from easy and forthright places about traveling and rural life, but in their openness the songs are deeply moving and give the listener space for a unique and personal experience. There’s time to become absorbed in Jason’s solo banjo meditations, to move with the deep pulse of their guitar playing, to reflect on life’s beauty and knottiness, and to let the songs lift you into a state of well-being. They frequently bring out a desire to play banjo, to sing with another person, and to dig up the oldest, scratchiest record you can find and write a song just like it.