Saturday, April 6, 2013


Yipes, I have a new favourite acoustic duo.  B.C's husband and wife duo have it all, and by all, I mean all.  They sing beautifully, alone and in harmony, play tremendously, write brilliant material, cover great, obscure traditional numbers, and to top it all off, Jason Romero is one of the world's best banjo-makers.
The duo perform in the old-time roots style, either two guitars or guitar and banjo, in close, rich harmony with mountain twang.  Their own material has a sadness and a beauty, and is infused with wonderful authenticity.  They know that the key to making timeless songs is to find the universal, ancient themes, that focus on life's hard and unfair moments.  Pharis in particular has written five songs here on her own that break my heart.  The opening number here, Sad Old Song, which is actually a pretty, infectious mid-tempo number, puts us in the middle of a performance:  "And the whole room dies down when you sing out a sad song/One little voice to carry the room along."  And oh man, she has that voice.
Jason's songs are more uptempo usually, and showcase his deft fingering.  The title cut is pure Jimmy Rodgers, with better playing and singing.  His work on the old traditionals, such as Wild Bill Jones, are as authentic as possible, a complete understanding of the high lonesome sound.  It also sounds like these two have been singing together for decades, but they only met in 2007, after both establishing themselves as talented performers.  It's the best union since Gillian Welch met Dave Rawlings, and just as musically fruitful.  Vintage roots at its finest.

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