Video: Pharis & Jason Romero “Souvenir”

Pharis & Jason Romero
Photo Credit: Patrick King

If you could imagine the soundtrack for restoring an old barn by hand in British Columbia, it would sound an awful lot like ‘Souvenir’ by Pharis & Jason Romero.  The much lauded duo, who have won multiple Juno and Canadian Folk Awards, recorded their new album in that restored barn featuring seven banjos that Jason hand built himself.  The sound of chiming acoustic guitar and soft gut string banjo begins the video as work boots tap in time on a wooden floor.  The husband and wife team are seated in what looks to be a well-preserved mercantile shop from the early 20th century as they blend their voices in harmony.

Pharis reveals ‘Souvenir’ came together on the final day of recording, “The banjo and guitar vibe changed as soon as we sat down to play it. Jason retuned the banjo and switched from clawhammer to a rhythmic fingerstyle; I slowed the guitar down and played heavy on the downbeat. A couple takes in, and the song sat where you hear it now,” she shares with us. “The words are about how experiences in life become souvenirs of times, places and people. It’s about keeping yourself centred as you carry them. In other words, the souvenirs don’t become you – you are at the core of them, and you are gold.”

The new album ‘Tell ‘Em You Were Gold’, including ‘Souvenir’ will be released worldwide by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings on June 17th.

About Ed Donnelly 52 Articles
Ed Donnelly is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer and record producer from Los Angeles. He has worked with Willie Nelson, Crowded House, Marc Cohn, Jools Holland, Matchbox Twenty, The Cult, BoyHaunt, Gladys Knight, Trent Summar and The West Coast Mob, Smashing Pumpkins, Del McCoury, OK Go, Exodus, Molly Leach, Tom Morello, O.A.R., Madness, The Crystal Method, DrunkHungry, Deadmau5, Zac Brown, CrysP Tyger, Bighead Todd and the Monsters, Jake Shimabukuro, Barenaked Ladies, Tsar, Killola and more. Donnelly regularly performs with Nathan Jacques as well as Little Silver Hearts and records with GhostsDream. Little known fact: He previously held Top Secret Security Clearance with the U.S. Department of State and Q Clearance from the Department of Energy. He currently runs The Barber’s Basement Recording Studio in Highland Park and is a partner in The Atmos at Lemontree Studio.

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