Order 3 or more physical items and get 1¢ shipping
Kristina Stykos | Horse Thief

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Lucinda Williams Nancy Wilson Patti Smith

Album Links
Kristina's Website

More Artists From
United States - Vermont

Other Genres You Will Love
Folk: Folk-Rock Folk: Folk-Jazz Moods: Solo Female Artist
There are no items in your wishlist.

Horse Thief

by Kristina Stykos

One of Vermont's off-road treasures, producer-singer & songwriter Kristina Stykos's 6th solo album features hard-bitten rural tale telling, humor & unsentimental grace supported by a team of roots-rock and jazz inflected local luminaries.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Horse Thief
4:15 $0.99
clip
2. It's Over
4:12 $0.99
clip
3. Heart in the Wreckage
4:29 $0.99
clip
4. Me, Myself and Moi
2:40 $0.99
clip
5. It's a Mystery
4:01 $0.99
clip
6. By the Minute
4:10 $0.99
clip
7. Let It Run
4:30 $0.99
clip
8. You'll Never Love Me
4:08 $0.99
clip
9. Talk to Me
3:58 $0.99
clip
10. When You Love Someone
4:34 $0.99
clip
11. Human of Peace
5:18 $0.99
clip
12. As If Tears Could Say
4:48 $0.99
clip
13. Remembering
3:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
------------------------
ALBUM CREDITS
------------------------

Horse Thief © 2015 Thunder Ridge Records/thunderridgerecords.com
All songs by Kristina Stykos © 2014 Kristina Stykos/BMI/Horse Thief Publishing/kristinastykos.com
Produced, recorded and mixed by Kristina Stykos at Pepperbox Studio, Chelsea, VT/ pepperboxstudio.com
Mastered by Fred Kevorkian/Avatar Studios, NYC/kevorkianmastering.com
Package design & layout by Darryl Garland/red-garland.com
Portraits of Kristina by Jack Rowell/jackrowell.com
“The Approaching Storm” by John Churchman/brickhousestudios.com

-----------------
ALBUM TRACK LIST
-----------------
1. Horse Thief
Kristina Stykos: vocal, guitar, keyboard
Bow Thayer: bojotars, background vocal
Patrick Ross: fiddle
Alex Abraham: bass
Matt Musty: drums

2. It’s Over
Kristina Stykos: vocal, guitars, mandolin, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

3. Heart in the Wreckage
Kristina Stykos: vocal, keyboard, guitars
Jeff Berlin: drums

4. Me, Myself and Moi
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

5. It’ a Mystery
Kristina Stykos: vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass
Neal Massa: piano
Nikki Matheson: background vocals
Matt Musty: drums

6. By the Minute
Kristina Stykos: vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, banjo, bass
Steve Mayone: electric guitars
Jeff Berlin: drums

7. Let It Run
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitars, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums


8. You’ll Never Love Me
Kristina Stykos: vocal, acoustic guitar, mandola, keyboard
Steve Mayone: electric guitars, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

9. Talk to Me
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitar, bass
Neal Massa: piano
Matt Musty: drums

10. When You Love Someone
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitars, mandola, keyboard, bass
Jeff Berlin: drums

11. Human of Peace
Kristina Stykos: vocals, guitars, keyboard, bass
Nikki Matheson: background vocals
Matt Musty: drums

12. As If Tears Could Say
Kristina Stykos: vocal, piano, guitars

13. Remembering
Kristina Stykos: piano, banjo, guitar

---------------
ALBUM REVIEW
---------------

Kristina Stykos, Horse Thief
Album review by Dan Bolles, Seven Days
August 19, 2015

Contrary to what L.L.Bean might have you believe, rural life is not all horse-drawn sleighs, crackling fires and double-knit sweater vests. Especially for those who purposefully live in the most remote nether regions of the state, the idyllic splendor and serene isolation of the Green Mountains comes at a terrific cost. It's a hardscrabble existence marked as much by backbreaking labor and frostbitten fingers as by beauty and solitude.

Having lived off the grid in northern Vermont for decades, songwriter Kristina Stykos knows this well. That delicate balance between the harsh and the heavenly has characterized her music, both sonically and thematically, dating back to the early 1980s. But it has never emerged as so fundamental to Stykos' writing, playing and singing as it does on her latest record, Horse Thief.

Setting aside specifics for the moment, there is a hard-earned, rough-hewn quality to every nook and cranny of the record. It emerges most obviously in Stykos' weary vocal rasp, which sounds something like Iris DeMent after a half bottle of Jack Daniels and a few Marlboros. It's evident in subtler ways, too. Self-produced and recorded at her own Pepperbox Studio in Chelsea, Horse Thief is perhaps the most vibrant-sounding record in Stykos' voluminous canon. But that bright sheen obscures the tumult embedded in her unflinching songwriting and stormy arrangements.

On the opening title track, Bow Thayer's bojotar — that's half banjo, half resonator guitar — slithers around Stykos' moody acoustic arpeggios. Meanwhile, Patrick Ross' simmering fiddle lurks in the background, waiting to strike. The effect is ominous, crafting a perfect framework for Stykos' rustic tale.

"It's Over" is a late-night confessional, presented like a one-way conversation between Stykos and the dying embers of a fire. Here, she ruminates with smirking honesty on a fading love, finding bitter irony in the notion that time, which should serve as a foundation for love, is precisely the thing that drives the wedge deeper. "Now, the remnants of my face / Can't make him feel that way / It's all that I was hoping for /
It's all that's given way," she sings, her words dripping with lament.

That the things we build and that build us up are also the things most likely to cause us to crumble is a central concern on Horse Thief. Some variant of that theme runs through tender tracks such as "Heart in the Wreckage" and "By the Minute," as well as fiery outings including "Let It Run" and "Talk to Me." And it's driven home, albeit wordlessly, on the elegiac instrumental closer "Remembering."

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.

- Dan Bolles

-----------------
ARTIST BIO
-----------------

Kristina Stykos is a music producer, recording engineer, songwriter, radio host and performer based in Vermont. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered and fully off-the-grid. She founded a record label, Thunder Ridge Records, in 2005 to release her own material and has since produced over 20 albums for herself and clients. Kristina was recently awarded the “Best Songwriter of 2013” designation from one of Vermont’s major daily newspapers, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, for her newest release Wyoming Territory. This album was supported in its development by the Ucross Foundation & Brush Creek artist residencies of Wyoming. 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. Her recent albums include two collaborative projects, Beautiful Blood (2013) with singer-songwriter Steve Mayone of Boston, and Raven (2011) co-produced with Grammy-nominated pianist Philip Aaberg of Montana. Her newest solo album is Horse Thief (2015).




Read more...

Reviews


to write a review

Simon Brooks

Greatness in many forms
What feels like a million years ago, but was in fact 2005, I had this crazy idea to record a CD of stories. I had no idea how to do it and wanted to do it right. I asked a few friends, some of whom said: 'do it yourself, you can do that', but I wanted to set the bar high and have no regrets about what I put out as my first foray into the retail world of CDs – while it lasts!

A friend of mine, Rick Barrows told me about Kristina Stykos who going digital and was a recording engineer. I got in contact with her and the rest, as they say, is history. My first CD is still one of my favourites. Kristina did a brilliant job. Recently Kristina released her own fifth, to my knowledge, CD called Horse Thief. I had Ms. Stykos' first CD, In the Earth's Fading Light (2005) and could not quite get into it. I saw and heard a great songwriter and performer, but for me, there was something missing that I could not put my finger on. Whatever it was, is here in bucketfuls on Horse Thief.

Kristina's songwriting skills, both musically and lyrically are top notch. Her word choices are flawless. The sadness in some of the songs (some heart wrenching) is deep, her lyrics are powerful, have meaning and grit behind them. There is humour too. And bounce! I listen to so much music and these days it is hard to find a great beat and tune, catchy as all heck and good lyrics. It seems that either the words are, quite bluntly, shite and the music is good, or the other way around, or it's all crap. But not here. Oh, no, not here. I grew up listening to master song writers from Paul Simon to Elvis Costello, and Stykos hits the mark on Horse Thief, totally!

The album opens with the crackingly good title track resplendent with slide guitar, passionate fiddle and thumping bass and drums, and of course Kristina's voice. I have to say something about her voice. It is all hers. Some voices out there in the ether sound the same as many others, and but a few stand out. As you wind through the songs on Horse Thief you will hear slight traces of Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith and a hint of Marianne Faithful, but it is all Ms. Stykos. Her voice is like a V12 engine, just idling, or cruising along some boardwalk with the wind blowing in your hair. I have not seen Kristina playing live, but will try to, as I want to hear her belt out some song and see what that V12 voice can do!

Photos of Kristina Stykos by Jack Rowell

The second track keeps up the high standard of work (which flows with ease through the whole album) and the music here is complimented with keyboards which I wish there was a little more of. But that's just me – I love the sound Kristina uses on the song and in You'll Never Love Me. The third song, Me, Myself, Moi could have seemed a little out of place, but it is perfectly at home on Horse Thief. For some reason, with no reason, this is one of my favourite tracks. The lyrics are very clever in an unpretentious way. Although a tradition approach to a sort of patter song in it's feel, it is a very topical song with references to our modern digital world:
"I need a 12 step, two step /Quarter sawn fix /Or a savvy zen seduction /I need clickable buttons /And a 1-5 list of simple tips /And how-to instructions." Love it! These are very different lyrics to It's Over where Kristina sings:
"...I threw down my stars /and shouted at the night" - powerful stuff. As If Tears Could Say is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard.

The album jogs along taking you through country, city, and rural Vermont life. This is a great album. Unpretentious, clever, witty, intelligent. Kristina has great insight. The music, played by Stykos (acoustic guitar, banjo, bass, mandola, mandolin and keyboards as well as vocals) is backed up by some great musicians: Bow Thayer, Patrick Ross (the brilliant fiddle in Horse Thief), Alex Abraham, Neal Massa, Steve Mayone, backing vocals on a couple of tracks by Nikki Matheson, and drummers Matt Musty and Jeff Berlin.

The packaging is a treat. I loved album covers when we all used to buy vinyl and some LPs I only bought because of the covers. This might have been one of those albums. The photography throughout the tri-gate digipack and booklet (yes, there is a booklet inside with all the lyrics and players so you can read along!) is stunning and, I think, captures all of Kristina.

I would love to hear an album of Stykos' with more work like the title track. Story songs of floods, old timers, bank robberies, or maple syrup thieves maybe! This album is about love, betrayal and loss, and redemption and done in such a way it is uplifting. I did not want the album to end and when there were some longer pauses after some of the tracks I hoped for more and got it. The 13 titles ends with an instrumental called Remembering and is the perfect ending on a perfect album, like a sigh in the night.

Package designed by Darryl Garland/red-garland.com

Kristina Stykos is a musician and recording engineer/producer. Her websites are:-
For her music: http://www.kristinastykos.com/
and her studio, Pepperbox Studios, which is totally off the grid: http://pepperboxstudio.com/
Read more...