the museum of americana

a literary review

#7-11 Four Songs from Beautiful Blood by The Cousins Project (Steve Mayone and Kristina Stykos)

 


 

 

 

 
 

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Steve Mayone and Kristina Stykos are second cousins… but they didn’t know that until a few years ago. They lived parallel lives: songwriters, producers, independent artists. In 2006 they met by chance when Steve (who lives in Brooklyn) was playing a gig in Vermont (where Kristina lives) with his buddy Bow Thayer. Upon hearing Steve’s last name announced from the stage, Kristina introduced herself and they discovered their grandparents were siblings. In the first half of the 20th century, the Mayone family were busy brick makers, shipping bricks down the Hudson river where they were used to build such iconic structures in New York City as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Then the company collapsed, and families scattered.

Making up for lost time, Steve and Kristina began playing music together, resulting in their new album Beautiful Blood. Recorded in their home studios (Kristina’s Pepperbox Studio and Steve’s Proofbox Studio), Beautiful Blood combines their different styles into one voice: Americana, folk/rock, ballads, blues, all woven into a single tapestry. With years of writing, performing and production experience under their belts, the making of Beautiful Blood was a joyful culmination of professional compatibility and family time. As Steve said “making the album was a way to spend time together and get to know each other, musically and personally”. Learn more about the collaboration at http://TheCousinsProject.wordpress.com.

Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., Steve Mayone is a songwriter and performer. As a writer, he’s had his songs and instrumentals placed in independent films and tv shows, most recently Alexender Poe’s “Ex-girlfriends” and YOMYOMF’s network show “BFF’s”. Steve’s four solo CD’s have garnered excellent reviews: Americana UK says “Mayone ties up all of Americana, folk, classic and roots-rock, effortlessly flowing from one to the next and never at a loss for interest.” As a performer, Steve plays up and down the Northeast as a solo perfomer and accompanist, sharing the stage with Levon Helm, Donald Fagan, Kate Taylor and Clare Burson.

Kristina Stykos is a songwriter, musician, producer and recording engineer. She runs Pepperbox Studios, specializing in acoustic music, located at the end of a dirt road in Chelsea, Vermont. Kristina has released two solo albums: In The Earth’s Fading Light – voted “Best Vermont Album of 2005″ by the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus; and Raven – praised as a “triumph” with “big time production skills that please the ear at every turn” by No Depression and featuring Grammy nominated pianist Phil Aaberg. As a producer, she has created albums for fellow Vermont artists Bow Thayer, Robert Resnick, Wagtail and Erin McDermott, to name a few. As an artist, No Depression has said of her: “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 Kristina Stykos.”

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