31 | 2016 | TRADITIONAL ROOTS | Pharis and Jason Romero | | The JUNO Awards

Hometown: Horsefly, British Columbia

You’ll hear it immediately, but what makes Canadian folk singers Pharis and Jason Romero so different from the many other young roots musicians plying their trade today is that this music doesn’t just inspire them, it haunts them. Pharis and Jason are compelled to explore the back roads of American roots music, driven to push deeper into the tradition to try and get at the cold, remorseless universal truths these old songs hide.

They’re not dilettantes trolling through back catalogues; they’re psychonauts exploring the lost landscapes of American thought and creating handmade acoustic roots music so original and intelligent that they’re almost mapping a new country.

Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion heard this immediately when they played his show, and invited them back on the spot for a second appearance. Major media outlets like NPR Music, who said “their chemistry is undeniable,” and The Huffington Post, who praised their “powerful close-harmony singing” have also been singing Pharis and Jason’s praises, and it’s not due to any legerdemain from a fancy publicist; it’s purely because the music they make as a husband-and-wife duo is deeply honest, pure and affecting.