The Cousins Project
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”.
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 music producer, recording engineer, songwriter and performer based in Vermont. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered and fully off-the-grid.
After her first self-produced release, In The Earth’s Fading Light (2005), was designated “Best Vermont Album of the Year” by the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, Kristina completed the next phase of her audio engineering education by earning a production certificate at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Since then she’s engineered & produced over 15 albums for herself and clients, many of those released on her own indie label: Thunder Ridge Records.
Kristina’s solo album Wyoming Territory (2013), was supported in its development by the Ucross Foundation & Brush Creek artist residencies of Wyoming. Her recent albums include two collaborative projects, Beautiful Blood (2013) with Steve, and Raven (2011) co-produced with Grammy-nominated pianist Philip Aaberg of Montana.
"This certainly is not the voice of a bubblegum pop chanteuse. Stykos now delivers strong songs, with a mature, seemingly all-knowing vocal style." - Art Edelstein, arts reviewer, Barre-Montpelier Times Argus