A home concert in Parson is bringing some world class folk music to the area with Jason and Pharis Romero on Feb. 13.
In the tiny hamlet of Horsefly, B.C. – population 700 – lives a pair of musicians with a pair of extraordinary claims to fame. Jason Romero is widely considered to be one of the greatest banjo-builders in the world, with a client list that includes Jerry Douglas and Ricky Skaggs. He and his wife, Pharis – an alumnus of the highly-regarded old-time act Outlaw Social – also happen to have a vintage roots duo that’s experiencing a meteoric ascent in the folk world.
After collecting a 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year and a 2012 Independent Music Award for Americana Album of the Year for their duo debut, A Passing Glimpse, Pharis and Jason Romero are heading back on the road to launch the album’s follow-up, Long Gone Out West Blues.
And it turns out the Romeros are as uncommonly-skilled at song-writing as they are at banjo-building. Where A Passing Glimpse consisted mostly of traditional numbers, Long Gone is mostly originals – eight out of 13 tracks to be precise — but it’s hard to tell. With their glorious homespun melodies and mournful harmonies, songs like “Come on Home,” the title track, and “Lonely Home Blues” sound like the kind of things folks have been singing for generations. In fact, it’s hard to pick out those songs from the ones people have actually been singing for generations — like Walter Scott’s “Across the Bridge,” Billy Baskette’s “Waiting for the Evening Mail,” and the rollicking traditional song “Wild Bill Jones.”
The album was recorded in Horsefly, using mobile gear trucked in by the duo’s Portland-based co-producer, Ivan Rosenberg. As with all the Romeros’ work, the music was played on beautiful vintage or hand-built instruments such as pre-war Martin guitars and Jason’s hand-crafted banjos and resophonic guitars.
Ticket information to the show is available at pharisandjason.com.