Pharis and Jason Romero’s love story started with a beat.
“Playing music together was the first thing we ever did. We met in 2007 at an old-time fiddle jam and we played music together before we even had a conversation,” she said.
They were married two and a half months later.
“We just knew,” she said. “We live at home and live out rurally and get firewood and run the gardens and stuff together and then write music together as well. I think we just were compatible right from the get go.”
Now the duo have four albums together and two children, 3 and 5, who travel the world with their musical parents.
“We love old cowboy songs and we love songs about wanderers and people who are roaming around all over the planet having adventures,” she said. “I have this kind of inextinguishable joy in roaming and wandering and exploring.”
It’s a paradox, she said, because as much as she craves travelling, she relishes the quiet community life in Horsefly, B.C.
“The best thing about living in small towns is that you need to leave in order to really appreciate sometimes how truly special they really are. Me anyways. I like to go out and adventure and then I like to have this as my home base,” she said.
Her music allows her to have the best of both worlds, with the couple’s banjo-making business keeping them occupied at home and their shows propelling them abroad.
“It’s all an adventure. Every time you turn around you’re seeing an ancient Viking settlement that’s 6,000 years old in the Shetlands, and then the next time you turn around you’re looking at an old Roman wall in London, and then you’re riding on a pony through some hills in the Netherlands, and it’s fantastic,” she said.
Pharis and Jason, who have won two Junos for their songs, enjoy listening to music from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s and bringing the old-time flavour to their new tunes.
“We really love early roots and blues and folk music, really old, old scratchy stuff,” she said. “All the banjos that we bring with us on the road are ones that Jason has made, and a lot of our music is formed around that idea that we can make instruments to suit the tones and textures that we can imagine in our heads when we’re writing songs.”
The pair will be performing at Pynelogs Art Gallery and Cultural Centre on Thursday, October 24th.
Tickets are $25 and are available at www.columbiavalleyarts.com/love-live-tickets/