The new video for “A Wanderer I’ll Stay” from Pharis And Jason Romero is the perfect introduction to their latest album, intimate and authentic. Released today, A Wanderer I’ll Stay has that feeling of a record made with great intention. Running the J. Romero Banjo Company by day, serving custom banjo clients around world including Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, and Martin Simpson, the album was recorded in the Romero’s home workshop in Horsefly, BC by David Travers-Smith (The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth Moody, Oh Susanna). This is the first of their recordings to bring in other musicians: Josh Rabie, John Hurd and Brent Morton traveled to this remote part of BC to record fiddle, bass and drums, and Marc Jenkins’ pedal steel was layered on from a studio in Victoria, BC.
Some cuts on A Wanderer I’ll Stay have their origins deeply rooted in the past. “The Dying Soldier” is a civil war-era ballad from banjoist Buell Kazee, “It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie” is from a 78rpm of old-time crooner Riley Puckett, “Cocaine Blues” was the first cocaine-related song recorded, and “Goodbye Old Paint” came from a 1942 Alan Lomax recording of Texas cowboy Jess Milton.
But the real focus of the album is the original songs. The past year has seen Pharis writing some of her best and most varied songs, including the title track “A Wanderer I’ll Stay”. Pharis and Jason also write striking songs together on this record, with “New Lonesome Blues” presenting as a vintage revival-feeling banjo tune with an impassioned pleading refrain, and they sing in duet to tell the life story of a local man who was eaten by a bear in “Ballad of Old William”.
The duo’s previous catalogue includes Long Gone Out West Blues (2013) and Passing Glimpse (2011) which have both been nominated and won multiple prizes from The Canadian Folk Music Awards, The Western Canadian Music Awards, and The Independent Music Awards. Pharis And Jason will join up with CBC’s Vinyl Cafe Tour in Grande Prairie, AB on March 4 and continue on throughout Western Canada for the next month and a half.
PHARIS AND JASON ROMERO TOUR DATES:
VINYL CAFE TOUR
Mar 4 – Grande Prairie, AB – Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre
Mar 5 – Fort St. John, BC – North Peace Cultural Centre
Mar 6 – Dawson Creek, BC – Unchagah Hall
Mar 8 – Prince George, BC – CN Centre
WESTERN CANADA TOUR
Mar 13 – Vernon, BC – Vernon Elks Hall
Mar 14 – Calgary, CB – Bow Valley Music Club
Mar 15 – Canmore, AB – House Concert
Mar 17 – Fernie, BC – Clawhammer Press Gallery
Mar 18 – Nelson, BC – Old Church House Concert
Mar 19 – Castlegar, BC – House Concert
Mar 20 – Grand Forks, BC – 257 Market St.
Mar 21 – Ashcroft, BC – TBD
Apr 10 – Vancouver, BC – St. James Hall
Apr 12 – Victoria, BC – Oak Bay United Church
*** More Tour Dates To Be Announced Soon ***