Pharis and Jason Romero- Roll On My Friend (Independent): The two-time Juno-winning folk duo from BC releases a new (and fifth) album, Bet On Love, today (May 15).
To come up with a video for one of its focus tracks, Roll On My Friend, the pair held an online video contest, inviting fans to create their own video for it. 60 entries came in from around the globe, with Mark Reuten contributing the winning entry and earning a coveted Romero gourd banjo for his effort.
“We were blown away by the response,” says Pharis in a press release. "The timing of the contest - in a cosmic collision - couldn’t have been more perfect. The video contest became creative lockdown therapy. Choosing a winning video was nearly impossible. But in the end, we were drawn again and again to a journey of a family canoeing up to northern Canada in the 1960s, following their adventure in a way that was engaging, beautiful, and perfectly reminiscent of the spirit of the song”.
The tune itself is gentle and typically unadorned folk, featuring crisp banjo and guitar picking and sweet vocal harmonies.
Bet On Love was recorded in the couple's banjo shop outside the small northern town of Horsefly, British Columbia, with the help of producer Marc Jenkins (who produced their Juno-winning 2018 record Sweet Old Religion), and its songs reflect the couple's rustic yet busy lifestyle. Aside from their creation of music, Pharis and Jason work on their bustling boutique banjo business while raising two young children.
As well as the two Junos, Pharis and Jason Romero have won multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards, toured extensively, performed on A Prairie Home Companion and CBC's The Vinyl Cafe, and become genuine stars on the international folk music stage.
Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat