Pharis & Jason Romero

Long Gone Out West Blues

by David Maine

7 June 2013

cover art

Pharis & Jason Romero

Long Gone Out West Blues

US: 5 Feb 2013
UK: Import

Canadian folk duo Pharis and Jason Romero released their debut album Back Up and Push in 2010, followed by 2011’s A Passing Glimpse. Now comes Long Gone Out West Blues, an album that placed emphasis squarely on the pair’s sweetly harmonized vocals and clean, skillful fingerpicking. Instrumentation is minimal here; this is a singin’-and-strummin’ record from start to finish, with guitar and banjo encompassing the whole of the sonic palette. Fortunately, the musicianship is up to the task, and songs like “Lonely Home Blues” and the title track have enough bounce to canter along at a satisfying clip. A handful of traditional tunes like “Sally Goodin” and “Wild Bill Jones” (a song covered by everybody from Peter Rowan to Alison Krauss, among many others) serve to leaven the originals. Some of these, like “Come On Home”, are compelling, but others, like the languid “The Little Things Are Hardest in the End”, fall on the wrong side of the mellow/dull divide. Such missteps are few, though. Overall, this is a satisfying, if somewhat sedate, slice of Canadian Americana.

Long Gone Out West Blues



We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

Call for Essays on Topics in Culture; Present, Past and the Speculative Future

// Announcements

"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…

READ the article