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Long Gone Out West Blues

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The folk duo Pharis & Jason Romero fill Long Gone Out West Blues with a musical virtuosity and old-fashioned charm that often brings Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to mind. This gifted married couple has an affinity for pre–World War II tunes, as well as a knack for crafting wry, poignant original material. Pharis’ plaintive Appalachian-accented alto is complemented by Jason’s fluent guitar, banjo, and harmony vocals. Long Gone Out West Blues paints a collective portrait of heartbroken lovers, footloose wanderers, and hard-pressed characters of all stripes, with “Sad Old Song,” “I Want to Be Lucky," and “The Little Things Are Hardest in the End” standing out for their vivid, finely etched imagery and haunting melodies. There’s an Ian Tyson–meets–Gram Parsons country quality to be found in song like “Across the Bridge.” The Romeros’ originals are complemented by well-chosen vintage covers like “It Just Suits Me” (a gospel tune from the Georgia Sea Islands) and “Waiting for the Evening Mail” (by pioneering country artist Riley Puckett). Instrumental showcases like “Sally Goodin” let Jason’s banjo speak as eloquently as the duo’s road-weary but resolute lyrics.

Long Gone Out West Blues, Pharis & Jason Romero
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