Playing: Friday January 25, 7:30 pm at the ArtSpace (with the Daniel Lapp Trio)
Sample Song: “Where is the Gamblin’ Man?”
Coming from a thousand miles and a border apart, Pharis and Jason Romero met in 2007 at an old-time fiddle jam. Both had been playing music for decades – Pharis her whole life – and both were drawn to early country, old time, blues, and bluegrass. In 2010 they moved their home and the J. Romero Banjo Company north to Pharis’ hometown, the small interior B.C. town of Horsefly. In this wilderness hamlet they build their finely crafted banjos, and write and sing old time country – the songs and tunes, new and old, they adore.
Writing songs about ageless characters, hard living, loss and love, Pharis’ songs have been played on radios around the world, and she was called a “historical treasure” by the BC Folklore Society. On stage from a very young age with her family’s country music band, she was a co-founder of the western Canadian outfit Outlaw Social, an award-winning and innovative roots-folk band that released two celebrated albums from 2005 to 2009.
Jason was a fixture on the Arcata, CA bluegrass and old-time scene, and is “one of the best old-time banjos players I’ve ever heard ” (hearthmusic.com). He’s fluent in banjo styles from early fingerstyle to clawhammer to bluegrass, and when not playing banjo, his resophonic and acoustic guitar playing is a distinct texture, melodic and percussive.
Jason and Pharis played with the Haints Old Time Stringband, with fiddler Erynn Marshall and mandolinist/guitarist/songwriter Carl Jones. Releasing their debut recording, Shout Monah, in 2009, SingOut magazine said “This is a very special recording, one that [we]’ll return to time and again. “They play and sing superbly” (fRoots), and Shout Monah was named one of the best banjo releases of 2009 (Banjo Newsletter).
In 2010 Jason and Pharis went on to release their concept recording Back Up and Push. This instrumental album of fiddle tunes by nineteen celebrated west coast old-time fiddlers with guitar and banjo back-up earned them the accolade “old-time duo of Canada” (Penguin Eggs).
2011 brought the release of their first duo album, A Passing Glimpse. A beautiful collection of songs lovingly sourced from old recordings or written by Pharis, it’s an album of acoustic & National guitars, fingerstyle and clawhammer banjo, and plenty of powerful duet singing. Independent Music Award winner for Best Americana Album, A Passing Glimpse hit #1 on the North American Folk DJ playlists, and continues to attract audiences and radio play globally.
Aside from building and performing, they also spend much of their year teaching at music camps and workshops including BC Bluegrass Workshops, Fiddle Tunes, Voiceworks, Fiddle Works, 108 Mile Bluegrass Camp, Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop, and others.
Pharis & Jason Romero
CALL: (250) 620-0592
MAIL: Box 124, Horsefly, BC, V0L 1L0 Canada