Husband-and-wife tandem Pharis & Jason Romero have emerged as players on the Americana/folk scene in recent years and their profile figures to raise even more with the release of “A Wanderer I’ll Stay,” their third album as a duet. Armed with piercingly lovely vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars and homemade banjos, the Romeros build on the success of 2013’s acclaimed “Long Gone Out West Blues” LP.
“A Wanderer I’ll Stay” is a mix of first rate originals — including a pair of terrific instrumentals in “Backstep Indi” and “Old September” — and Pharris & Jason’s take on some of their favorite traditional folk tunes. Their takes on “Goodbye Old Paint,” “Cocaine Blues” and “The Dying Soldier” are especially impressive.
The Romeros shine brightest on their own stuff, however, and the album soars highest on keepers such as the title track, “Ballad of Old Bill,” personal favorite “Lonesome & I’m Going Back Home” and “Poor Boy.” They’ve been nominated for a handful of awards in their native Canada in recent years and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until American audiences follow suit. (Jeffrey Sisk)