Pharis & Jason Romero

Singing vibrant duets, writing deadly songs, playing handmade banjos and loving old acoustic guitars, Pharis & Jason Romero have a classic story. When some scratchy old records and a custom banjo led to their meeting in 2007, they quickly knew they were in for the long haul. They’ve since released five records – three as a duo – and toured across North America and the UK. They’ve won a Juno award, been featured on NPR Music, CBC, BBC, and Folk Alley, and have performed on A Prairie Home Companion and CBC’s The Vinyl Cafe. They are passionate teachers and believers in many things folk, and their heart-breakingly harmonic live show is an ever-evolving and never-ending quest for good songs and beautiful sounds.

Jim & Lynda McLennan

Jim and Lynda began fly fishing together in the 1970s. Married since 1977, they have operated McLennan Fly Fishing full time since 2004, and in that time have taught thousands of people the fine art of fly fishing. Jim was one of the first fly-fishing guides on Alberta’s Bow River, and is a well-known outdoor writer and speaker. He is the author of four books on fly fishing and is the managing editor of Fly Fusion magazine. Jim is also co-host, along with Derek Bird, of Fly Fusion Television, a series broadcast on the World Fishing Network.

Lynda was a founding director of Casting For Life, a fly-fishing retreat for breast cancer survivors, and has been teaching fly fishing in various formats since the 1980s. She is a skilled photographer whose work appears in magazines, books, and on numerous websites.

Both Jim and Lynda are musicians as well, and Gillbilly will showcase this dynamic duo in both of their professional capacities. What a treat to have them!


Chris Coole

Chris is one of Canada’s most highly regarded acoustic musicians. He cut his teeth busking on the streets of Toronto for ten years (!!) and is a foundational part of The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Canada’s Bluegrass royalty. More recently he has been supporting David Francey on tour as a multi-instrumentalist, and playing with his old-time trio The Lonesome Ace Stringband. Chris has performed in Fernie several times over the past 4 years as a solo act, with the Foggy Hogtown Boys, and most recently with the Stringband. We’re extremely excited to welcome Chris back for some fishing and picking. Below is a video of Chris performing one of our favourites; his original song ‘Old Dog’.


Ben Winship

Back for his second year also, Ben has such a heart for Gillbilly, we couldn’t NOT have him. Having recorded two full albums of fishing songs, Ben loves the river and singin’ about it. A versatile player, singer & songwriter, Ben spends his time playing mandolin, octave mando, and guitar with a variety of other musicians such as Eli West, John Lowell, and Brian Wicklund. Ben has also been playing octave mando with the critically acclaimed group The New Reeltime Travellers. Here’s a video of Ben sitting in boat, singing one of his great fishing (but is it really about fishing?) tunes.