Beautiful Blood

by The Cousins Project

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    Another stellar full color package design by artist Rachel Mello, with digipack & 16 page booklet with lyrics by the Cousins Project and photos. Cover image by John Churchman of Brickhouse Studio, Jericho VT.

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Steve and I are second cousins … but didn’t know that until a few years ago. We lived parallel lives as songwriters, producers, and independent artists unbeknownst to the other: he in Boston and Brooklyn, and I in Vermont.

In 2006 we met by chance when Steve was playing a gig up here in the Green Mountains with his buddy Bow Thayer. As the band line-up was announced from the festival stage I heard my Italian middle name go flying by and took another squint at the musicians. Who was this “Steve Mayone” feller? When the band took a break, I nervously approached the Mediterranean looking guy who looked a little like my brother. “Is it possible we’re related?” I said.

Soon we were chatting away, trying to figure it out and in short order we discovered that our grandparents had been 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.

As Steve likes to say, “making the album has been a way get to know each other, musically and personally”. It is a joyful celebration of our newfound connection, extended family and not-so distant immigrant roots - and an appreciative nod to our lucky stars.

- Kristina Stykos


released January 1, 2013

Produced by Kristina Stykos
Recorded by Kristina Stykos at Pepperbox Studio (Chelsea VT) and by Steve Mayone at Proofbox Studio (Somerville MA).
Mixed by Kristina Stykos with Steve Mayone
Mastered by Oscar Zambrano, Zampol Productions, NYC
Package Design by Rachel Mello

© 2013 Thunder Ridge Records
Cover photo by John Churchman
Additional photos by Michael Millard, Steve Mayone and Kristina Stykos



all rights reserved


Kristina Stykos Chelsea, Vermont

Kristina is a music producer, recording engineer, songwriter, performer and landscape gardener based in Vermont. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered. She has engineered & produced over 20 albums for herself and clients. Her songwriting and composing have been supported by the Ucross Foundation and Brush Creek Artist Residency in Wyoming. ... more

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Track Name: Rescue Me
Rescue Me

oh I don’t expect you to always read my mind
please don’t feel abandoned when I leave this world behind
there are certain places that you’re not allowed
oh baby I still love you when I am hiding out

i know your good intentions its only ‘cause you care
when you are looking for me and can’t find me anywhere
the world has worn me out you know its not your fault
‘cause I don’t expect you to know my every thought

I’m drifting down the pavement I’m lost inside a crowd
my head is in the mountains beneath the silent clouds
I’ve left no trail behind me but I can see your lights
oh baby I don’t want you to rescue me tonight

to rescue me tonight
to rescue me tonight
Track Name: Backway to Victory
Backway to Victory

it’s a cold and wintry day my love have we lost our way
sun’s up but it’s coming down there’s darkness on my mind
where the road and the tangled rivers rise no shelter baby now
maybe it’s a fatal flaw thinking we can see at all
beyond this valley, beyond the sky

why, why do we cry, why do we care, oh baby why
the sugar moon’s up, I reckon, we could sure use the light
on the back way to Victory tonight

it’s a wild land and we’ve run aground on the shores of paradise
night glows with heaven’s fire and a thousand questions
thrown down by a sliver of moon and the wind swept four directions
but don’t lay down baby let’s go we’ve got to trust what we already know
And find a path through our creation

the geese go swiftly wing to cloud how simple then to fly
and never have a need to feel a lover’s warmth or comfort
or walk alone in the fields reaching out from a broken life
but we’ll divine us a northern branch by god while there’s still a chance
we’ll make our run toward salvation
Track Name: South of the Chelsea Line
South of the Chelsea Line

if you’re riding the road tonight
south of the Chelsea line
chances are the moon is bright

windows down and the air’s rushing
in south of the Chelsea rim
silver rain soaking your skin

how did we make this
what drives this love so strong
I have been waiting
yes I have been waiting so long

if you’re stayng with friends tonight
south of the Chelsea line
i just hope that they treat you right

’cause every window and every floor
south of my Chelsea door
is a place where I’ll come to shore

how did we make this
what drives this love so strong
I have been waiting
yes I have been waiting so long

if you’re coming up north tonight
from south of the Chelsea line
every fire will be shining bright

where will we take this
i can’t believe its wrong
to reach beyond our dreams
far beyond
Track Name: Safe Passage
Safe Passage

Seeking safe passage to your heart
will winds blow me asunder and tear me apart
searching for a way to land upon the shore
how will I find you when I don’t know you anymore

you were running out my door nearly half insane
I raced into the gray, followed you to lake champlain
spinning through the midnight - my thoughts like empty miles
darker than the water, I was thinking of your smile

Seeking safe passage to your heart
will the ocean pull me under and tear me apart
searching for a way to make your love my own
but how will I find you when I don’t know you anymore

passing through the straights, praying to the fates
you let go of my heart - i hope its not too late
i know there's blue sky somewhere on a distant shore
as I felt myself sinking the rain began to pour

headlong into chaos, a rolling raging green
black clouds off the bow darker than my dreams
the sky is filled with thunder - I’ve fallen far below
as I sank into the water I wanted you to know

Seeking safe passage to your heart
will the ocean pull me under and tear me apart
I’m just searching for a way to land on your shore
how will I find you when I don’t know you anymore
Track Name: Stealing Away
Stealing Away

I’m stealing away ‘cause the river is high
Gone get me a boat and sail to the sky
Gonna get me a rigger and fly to the sun
Gonna leave all my worries and have me some fun

I’m stealing away under threatening skies
The water is falling right into my eyes
Gonna get me a compass and a barrel of wine
Gonna laugh at the rain and have a good time

I’m stealing away ‘cause the sky’s about to fall
Roving gangs of kids are ready to brawl
Strange things are happening in my neighborhood
Gonna steal away while the stealing is good

I’m stealing away ‘cause the earth’s about to crack
The banks of the river can’t hold the water back
The mud is rising to the tops of my wheels
I’m stealing away with the devil at my heels

Well I’m stealing away to a place in the sun
Gonna rest my head on a pillow of mud
I aint hurtin’ nobody, nobody’s doing me harm
I’m stealing away into my saviors arms
I’m stealing away into my saviors arms

I’m stealing away on the rising tide
Gonna get me some wings and let my spirit fly
Gonna find me a home to rest my weary bones
I’m stealing away, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
I’m stealing away, aint nobody doin’ me harm
I’m stealing away into my saviors arms
Track Name: Sugar

she was a spring rain on the cigarette studded pavement
she was a zydeco in the arms of a tatooed stranger
she was lost and Jesus would have loved her
if he’d a known all the secrets she hold

she was a looker paying hard for a little bit of comfort
she was a late night cheek to cheek with the neon signs
just a fantasy in a subway window frame
don’t make her wrong just adrift and full of shame

sugar, saying it don’t make it so
sugar, do it quick and then let go
sugar, call it love or what you know
sugar, alive but never not broken

she was a daddy’s girl but daddy was a no good cuss
she tried to make it right but her choices just weren’t good enough
she caught a rough ride just to see where it would go
too young to hide or to know what she don’t know

she coulda been a free bird flying across a great divide
damned if she do but you know she do all right
wasn’t here to fly while she had so much fight in her
always looking up but with the luck of a sinner
Track Name: Beautiful Blood
Beautiful Blood

Standing sentry on the hill
was our grandfather Will
armed with powder fresh to kill
and no fear in his eyes

He rushed the southern flank
led the troops and broke the rank
forced them back to the bank
of the riverside

Medals pinned to his lapel
one for heaven, two for hell
a tear for every man that fell
face down in the mud

He would sit us on his knee
and tell his stories of bravery
but in his minds eye all he could see
was so much beautiful blood

Laying sentry on the hill
the lonely bones of Will
a flower pot for us to fill
and our beautiful blood
Track Name: Trouble and Truth
Trouble and Truth

It’s in the emptiness of the light
The holy turning of day to night
Slipping quietly through the trees
Bringing my lonely heart to its knees

You only ask me to love and to live
If I could only believe – I could give
If I could feel then I’d surely try
To reinvent this and make it fly

It’s a strange bliss
Finally got you on the line
Been starving for connection
And running out of time
It’s a cruel twist
Rising up like the rain
Bringing trouble and truth
To my heart again

Now I’m a crow bending in flight
Heading for things that’s just out of sight
Sharpening my wings on the clouds and the rain
Flying faster than a spinning weather vane

Now I’m a sparrow chasing the breeze
Raking the wind for the things that it needs
But things slide through your hands even when you’re good
You do what you do and you did what you could


I’ve been climbing not sure why
It’s a rickety ladder goes a little too high
But up on the roof there you don’t wear a skirt
And you pledge your allegiance to the sky and the dirt
Track Name: Come Around
Come Around

Come down my love, reach though the night
Look out your window and follow the light
Put down your work - it’s the end of the week
Come down to Tunbridge and celebrate with me

Come around, come around, come around to my sky
Everyone is dancing except you and I
Come around, come around, I’m ready to fly
Come down off the mountain tonight

Dress me in rain, as pure as the sky
Moonbeams of silver and diamond fireflies
Spin me around with your lips to my ear
Come down from Chelsea all your friends are here

Come around, come around, come around to my side
Everyone is waltzing under soft moonlight
Come around, come around, let’s give it a try
Come down off the mountain tonight

Show me your moves and all of your turns
Show me your fire and how you’ve been burned
Bring me your joy and all of your blues
Drive down the valley, I’m waiting for you

Come around, come around, to the fairgrounds lights
Follow the music to the cars parked outside
Come around, come around I’ve got a surprise
Kiss me by the willow tonight
Come down off the mountain tonight
Track Name: Wasteland

the hills are blue just like I’m feeling
pretty fish in the river but I can’t see them
why did you love me - i’m sure that i don’t know

i feel the heat of the summer’s night
just like I felt it then in the cabin’s light
we drank so deep a water cold as ice

and in that final hour the answer may be found
falling from the golden heights of summer’s crown
the glacial streams careening, rejoining in one cry
of all that’s come and gone its love
that’s passed you by

it should have been a warm rain on fertile ground
should have been laughter and drinks all around
how such good fortune could make someone so cruel

a single candle’s flame - the fire of believing
or was it carelessness or was I dreaming
to think a simple act of trust could make me such a fool

and in that final hour the answer may be found
emptied from your pockets onto the ground
i won’t be there to meet you or make you feel alive
of all that’s come and gone its love
that passed you by

you took the best years - there’s a difference you know
between a woman’s life and a stone you throw
one in a million stars in the sky tonight
Track Name: Deep, Deep Baby
Deep Deep Baby

Deep deep baby that’s the way I feel
When I’m losing out to depression
When I go down, broken right down
When I fill myself with oppression
Oh my word, it’s a cold cold world
When the only love is anger
Dangerous times to be alive
When even life is a stranger

It’s a plague, it’s a lie
Let the thunder shake the sky
Fight like hell the misery
Don’t fall in the deep deep baby

Deep deep baby that’s the way I feel
When I talk but never listen
When I keep running, driving and humming
No sense of what’s missing
Oh my word, it’s a lonely world
When love is only the senses
I’ll give you - if you give me too
– if you can pass my defenses

Deep deep baby, that’s the way I feel
When I’m using ammunition
When I go round, shootin you down
Like I got a holy mission
Oh my word, it’s a senseless world
When the only love is destruction
Pray for a vision to show me the way
- from my own corruption
Track Name: Jealous Girl
Jealous Girl

I’m a jealous girl with a fearful heart
Who’s that you’re talking to
Oh your tender love tears me apart
Why do these women follow you

You have so many friends caught in your sway
I’m afraid that one will take you away
I’m pretty pitiful and I can’t relax
Do you want to dance

I get paranoid and insecure
Who’s that on the telephone
I can hear you laugh from the other room
Why can’t I leave you alone

Because every now and then
An ex from Vermont knew you when you were a debutante
I wish I didn’t care cause I’m caught in your trance
Do you want to dance


Who’s that on your cell phone you seem so at ease
Like she knows how to make you weak in the knees
You put a spell on me and I don’t stand a chance
I’ll surely ruin this romance
Do you want to dance
Do you want to dance
Track Name: Mess of Love
Mess of Love

It doesn’t really matter what you think of me
It doesn’t really matter now we’re through
I’ve got nothing to be sorry for
But then again - I trusted you

I’ve got no reason - no inclination
To continue this charade
We were ecstatic and now it’s painful
To take a look at what we made

We made a mess of love
We made a mess of love

It doesn’t really matter that you lied to me
It’s not a crime to be a fool
Maybe I was just a little naïve
Maybe you were a little cruel

I only wish I’d stopped to notice
That you despise what you desire
Your twisted justice and delusions
And the awful vows that you require

We made a mess of love
When push came to shove
Cursed by the stars above
We made a mess of love, yes we did