The Cariboo’s very own, JUNO-award winning husband and wife musical duo of Pharis and Jason Romero are starting 2020 off with a bang.
The musicians are in the midst of preparing a brand new album, going on tour and they are also hosting a house concert on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Pharis and Jason are longtime residents of Horsefly where they live happily with their children, making custom banjos and music. Pharis said they’re lucky enough to get to record music and go on tour every now and again in Canada and around the world.
After winning their second JUNO award last year, Pharis said she and Jason are still working on their craft and just finished recording their latest album. She said that they had up some “wonderful friends from Vancouver and Victoria” who helped turn their banjo workshop into a recording studio for an old fashioned recording session, without headphones, just playing live. Pharis remarked they recorded a bunch of new songs as she’s been writing them like crazy in recent years.
“We’re calling ourselves fairly off-the-beaten-path musicians because we’re choosing things that may be feeling a little bit unconventional … we’re really trying to find that balance in life between a connection with our community and the amazing natural world that we are such an integral part of but we’re also going out and enjoying spreading the joy of music,” Pharis said. “We’re always looking for that balance so that’s what a lot of this record is the sound of, that feeling as we’re adventuring through life trying to figure out where that balance is and how that balance feels.”
The music itself is all folk early-root sounding music played on all acoustic instruments with Pharis and Jason’s classic duet style combined with the quality songwriting they’ve become known for. Pharis said the Cariboo can expect this new album, Bet on Love, in May of 2020, with new singles and music videos coming out in March.
After doing a brief tour stop in North Vancouver and then Vancouver Island over the weekend of Jan. 18, Pharis said she and Jason are now getting ready for the latest in their series of house concerts they periodically host in the Horsefly area. Pharis said they tend to host them whenever musician friends of theirs are coming up through the Cariboo and are looking for somewhere to play.
They also have found, she said, that they quite enjoy playing in a house concert setting and the experience of re-arranging their house to suit a 60-person concert venue. Pharis said their living room, where they usually host these performances, is something like a cross between a church and a barn, acoustics-wise.
“It’s a chance to come and experience a musician that you may be used to seeing up on the stage, where you got that sort of distance between yourself and the musician. A house concert is such an amazing chance to come and be right up close and intimate with the musician, you get to feel you’re a part of the musician because you’re right there with it,” Pharis said.
In addition to themselves, the Romeros will be hosting a musician who, in Pharis’ opinion, is a real Canadian treasure amongst songwriter and singers, David Francey. A former construction worker of many years who would write songs in his spare time, Pharis said Francey started playing music professionally purely out of a passion to share his work with others and it’s “paid off in dividends.” His songs and stories will captivate listeners hearts while his down to earth personality is extremely inviting, she said.
In addition to himself Francey will be accompanied by a guitarist, Pharis said, for an evening of song, beautiful singing, accompaniment and stories. As Francey usually plays big concerts, Pharis said this a very unique opportunity she does not want the community to miss out on.
Tickets are available only through Pharis by calling her at 250-620-0592 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a ticket for $25 each.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m. split up into two, 45 minute sessions. Directions to the Romero’s home will be provided by Pharis to those who reserve tickets.
“House concerts are just great community builders where it’s a chance for you to connect with the people who live in your area. It’s a chance to sit and be quiet and be still, to fully embrace the moment, and music does that so wonderfully.”