"Horse Thief is an examination
of love and aging inspired and informed by
a lifetime spent both battling and embracing
the harshness and isolation of rural Vermont.
Like love, Stykos' unforgiving wilds both require
and return strength. But they will also,
like love and time, exact that very
strength from you. It is a complex idea,
brilliantly explored on the songwriter's latest,
and likely greatest, record."
was inspired by Kristina's trip out west to
Wyoming and a month-long artist residency.
Much of the album she recorded on portable
recording equipment, there in the Ucross
Foundation composer's studio. Final overdubs
were added back in Vermont. You can almost
hear the lonesome miles of highway rolling
through the black marshes of Northern Minnesota
and on into the plains of South Dakota.
This Americana style album has both
stripped down acoustics & amped up roots rock,
featuring Kristina's vocals, mandolin & guitar,
with support from drummer Jeff Berlin,
fiddler Patrick Ross, and other well loved
"She long ago earned her reputation
as one of the state’s finest lyricists.
But never has she sounded so focused or refined,
combining the straightforward prose of
a blue-collar bard with deeply poetic sensitivity.
Indeed, many of the record’s most compelling moments
are those that find Stykos alone with her guitar..."
Dan Bolles, music editor, Seven Days
"Somewhat of a dark fantasy adventure. I honestly think
it's one of your strongest collections of songs,
filled with bittersweet tales of regret and heartache
set to melodic, warm, and elegant music..."
Robert Redmond, County Wexford, Ireland
features a collaboration between veteran east coast
songwriter-producers Kristina Stykos & Steve Mayone
[a.k.a. The Cousins Project], in which they explore
topics of love, jealousy, existential angst &
the wild unpredictability of nature.
Both pull out the stops on this lush album,
taking turns singing and collectively playing
acoustic, resonator & electric guitars, banjo,
lap steel, uke, and mandolin - an Americana, folk-rock
extravaganza! With help from Jeff Berlin on drums,
Patrick Ross on fiddle and other renowned
"They have very distinct and different voices
but they are both playing Americana, folk and blues
with a calm intensity that really is both attractive
and irresistible. Their styles are different
but complementary & when they sing together
the harmonies are completely natural. I have reviewed
both of them at various times, very positively,
and hearing this album they actually sound as though
they were the missing link of each others’ sound
even though you would not have
thought it at the time..."
Andy Snipper, Music-news.com
"Your work is superb. This latest collection of
early songs is beautiful and powerful.
Your ability to describe your feelings
and perceptions with attention to detail
is great journalism and your turning these
observations into lyrics is artful and inspiring.
The musical compositions are beautiful
and your performance displays qualities and abilities
I wasn't aware of...
Its a sizable amount of material too. Its clearly
the work of a special artist devoted to
mining the moment for peace and love
and a sense of wholeness.. Everyday the artist
wakes up and starts knocking on doors of awareness,
compelled to paint pictures of animals
on a cave's walls hoping to become them..
this album is a particular favorite."
Harry Becker, Northampton, MA
"It’s not often that the poetry of words
can be so well matched with its counterpart in sound
and no one does this better than producer
and musician Kristina Stycos. On her latest CD
Raven there are some hard edges to decipher
but it is the human spirit’s will to embrace
The Journey that triumphs on this CD.
Grammy nominated pianist Phillip Aaberg joins
her and together they forge their own path."
Spencer Lewis, Quartz Records
in the New Americana landscape.
"Throughout the record, Stykos uses her
considerable skill as a poet like that
of a painter: she draws the listener in and
captivates with a canvas of vivid imagery.
Her glorious, trance-like guitar riffs and
Aaberg’s spacey synthesizer work underscore
her words, like sunlight refracted through old glass
of deep but vibrant colors ... Raven swirls
with a depth and warmth that makes it
stand out from the myriad acoustic releases
in Vermont each year. It makes me want to duct-tape
my old Dynaco A-25 speakers to my head so
I can hear every snap and ring. In more ways
than one, Raven is a treat for the ears..."
Robert Resnik, host of All the Traditions
Vermont Public Radio
"If Kristina Stykos’ new album
'In the Earth’s Fading Light' was on vinyl
I’d have already worn it out. Luckily,
it’s a compact disk and should be good for a
long time to come. Ever since I received a copy
over a month ago it has been spinning in my
car’s CD player. “Fading Light” is perhaps
the best new album I have heard this year
by anyone, and I’m a heavy consumer of music.
Bruce Springsteen may have gotten all the hype
for this latest effort “Devils and Dust”,
but for my money Stykos has written far better
songs, delivered them with wonderful style,
and can play the pants off of the King
of Asbury Park.”
Art Edelstein, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus