San & Emily Slomovits
These, though, are friends who can draw from a substantial repertoire. Innocent When You Dream includes the centuries-old Scottish and Irish traditional "The Parting Glass," Townes Van Zandt's mournful ballad "Flyin' Shoes," and the popular nueva cancion anthem "Gracias a la Vida." Their cover of the latter song, written by the Chilean folk musician Violeta Parra, is crisp and invigorating, and Emily's sparkling soprano vocals evoke Joan Baez (who herself covered the song decades ago). The charming melody is accentuated by Emily's violin, San's guitar and vocal accompaniment, and upright bass played by the skillful Jacob Warren, Emily's Steiner classmate since elementary school. San and Emily also venture into pop and jazz, with renditions of "Moon River" and "Take Five," and their live performance offers a range of surprises, from "O Sole Mio" to Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5, a nod to San and Laz's birthplace, Budapest.
It seems that another Slomovits trait is the ability to create enchanting vocal harmonies, evidenced by San and Emily's stunning duet version of the English folk ballad "The Water Is Wide." Their entwined voices transform the album's title track, a Tom Waits barroom ballad, from gruff, beer-stained wretchedness to pretty melancholy.
San and Emily Slomovits perform at the Ark on August 10 (see Nightspots) with Laz Slomovits, bassist Warren, and pianist Brian Brill.