concert previews Sam Phillips, Eszter Balint
Sunday, June 20, 2004, at Iota, Arlington, VA

Listening to A Boot and a Shoe, you’d never know that Sam Phillips once recorded Christian music. Her latest is a collection of mellow torch songs that rely as much on her charmingly acerbic voice as on her slightly off-kilter rhythms. In “Reflecting Light,” her vocals fight to keep up with her guitar and backing string quartet—an effect somewhat like trying to walk with, say, one boot and one shoe. Opening for Phillips is Eszter Balint, whose IMDb résumé is longer than her discography. (You might recognize her as leading lady Eva in Jim Jarmusch’s 1983 Stranger Than Paradise.) Balint’s vocals are as reminiscent of Luscious Jackson as they are of Cat Power, and her music strikes a balance between twangy folk and quirky rock. Phillips and Balint perform at 8:30 p.m. at Iota Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $18. (703) 522-8340. (Catherine Lewis)

.: Originally published: Washington City Paper City Lights June 18-24, 2004.
.: Items mentioned above on A Boot and A Shoe (Sam Phillips, 2004); Mud (Eszter Balint, 2004).