What the Press Says

“Krist is trying to see the big picture through the immediacy of small lives. She’s a poet with almost no peers… and a tune smith with startling abilities.

Thom Jurek, Detroit Metro Times

… her talent as a songwriter equals -if not surpasses- her vocal gifts.She has an uncanny way of cutting to the heart of a topic and providing the listened with food for thought.

Bob Darden, Billboard Magazine

“With breathtaking vocal leaps she makes should searching more fun than it has a right to be.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Social satire, spiritual longing, and mischievous fun. Do we like her music? O yeah!”

Image Journal

“Her songs are literature: intelligent, insightful, moving and compassionate. Add to that insistent rhythms and a quirky grace… an artist of style and significance.”

David Tamulevich, Tamulevich Artists Agency

“She’s Fucking Awesome.”

Matt Watroba, Radio DJ, WKAR

Review of Curious

Jan Krist is coming into her own as a singer/songwriter on the level of Bruce Cockburn and Pierce Pettis. While many others might have given up during the two-decade journey she’s been on toward greater recognition, she tells us to “never say never, forever is a long, long time.” Her fluid voice leads the intelligent arrangements over a wide sweep of topics. This is a celebration of grace, forgiveness, playfulness, intensity and intimacy; a celebration of recovery from bad choices and the growing strength to successfully resist making the same bad ones again; a celebration of our youth-oriented culture’s greatest enemy, time. “Time changes everything…everything but truth.” — Linda Stonehocker

Review of When Planets Collide

Lansing State Journal, Lansing Michigan
March 17, 2005

‘Planets’ earns a place in songwriting galaxy
By Chris Rietz

Rochester’s Jan Krist has issued six albums since 1992. But her seventh – the new“When Planets Collide”- is the first she’s produced and released herself.

A veteran performer who’s never made a bad record, Krist is widely admired in a world of acoustic songwriters, yet still seems oddly under-appreciated.

Perhaps the reason is she’s always found herself with the Christian Contemporary Music genre, where she’s consistently filed. It’s an unfortunate distraction.

“Planets” is not of a boutique pop style record, Christian or any other. And insofar as Jan Krist’s songs are governed by a Christian view of thing , it only serves to broaden their sense of mystery, rather than narrow it-and it shines a brighter light on how painfully, intractably human we are.

Yearning for redemption is not only a Christian theme, but a universal one. If pop culture is uneasy with the idea of poetry, it loves a good song, and here Krist has found her art. She’s a lyricist of the first order, and her penetrating intelligent lyrics are models of lean,powerful songcraft.

Planets “ has no real low points, but of it’s 11 songs-all hers- check out the comic undertones of “Rodeo” or “Ain’t Life Grand”, or her original vision of eternity in “ Special Place in Heaven”, where the struggle over the TV remote is reconciled forever.

Nothing ventured, Nothing Gained” and the aching “ Where the Lost seek the Lost” are two of Planet’s finest lyrics, about winnowing the divine from the disposable. Let’s not be strangers anymore” is the albums “hit single”, a touching treatment of our chronic alienation and loneliness. It also features the CD’s most singable melodic hook.

Her’s is something of a small voice, not wide of range, but Jan Krist’s singing is always warm and sure footed, under scoring both the humor and the high seriousness of the songs with her understated style.

Chris Rietz works at Elderly Instruments in Lansing.

His reviews appear every week in What’s On. Contact him at crietz@lansing.gannett.com

Review of Outpost of the Counterculture

Detroit News and Free Press
Sunday Nov 18 2001
Brian McCullum, Free Press Pop Music Critic
Outpost of the Counterculture, Jan Krist

With her 1996 album, “Curious”. Jan Krist became a darling of the folk and contemporary Christian fields, unveiling for a broad audience the soothing voice and poetic pen she had wielded in Michigan coffeehouses for 15 years.

Krist developed a compilation album in 1999 gathering material from previous efforts, but “Outpost of the Counterculture” marks her first new full length disc in five years. Fans will appreciate the batch of tunes from the Royal Oak mother of three. “Outpost” is a gorgeous album-intimate and radiant, delicate, but alive.It’s all about subtlety, a record where fiddle rides gently into the back of the mix or a discerning metaphor nestles unobtrusively into a lyric.

Though occasionally embracing a jazzier feel ( “Waiting for the cosmic shoe to fall”), Krist mostly sticks to the simple, successful acoustic blueprint that defined her earlier work. Her vocals, close mic-ed, she often sounds like a folksier Suzanne Vega , delivering modern hymns like “Thank You”, and “Bent and Broken Reeds” and even turning in a sublime rendering of Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch over me”.

The title track is a wry, six minute inspection of her home town: ” Valhalla of the Harley and the stealth rocket bike/ Queen bee of the Gothic things that go bump in suburban nights.” You sense a maternal concern about the fate of Royal Oak and perhaps, by extension, contemporary life; sharp eyed but cautious, Krist wants to tell it all with a sort of timeless grace.

Fan Review of Love Big, Us Small

Great old and new songs!
(5 out of 5 stars)
“I am one of the few lucky people who have Jan Krist’s first album Decapitated Society which is no longer in print. Lucky for you, Jan has put out Love Big, Us Small. It’s packed with 18 songs, 7 from Decapitated Society, 8 from Wing and a Prayer (also out of print), and 3 new songs. Jan’s songs are very personal, and I often find my feelings spoken through them. I consider this album my personal favorite and think it would be well worth your time.

  • Northern Spirit Radio Interview: http://northernspiritradio.org/episode/extra-ordinary-folks