The duo’s lyrics are prayerful, teaching without being preachy. If that’s not enough, Joan Zen’s powerful pipes invite one to have a “Lis-ZEN.”
A chanteuse of the first order, with a voice that's full of character and conviction and playfulness and soul.
But be careful not to equate Joan Zen’s lyrics with such sweetness. Deborah Hicks has the vocal power to do the most belting and the most woeful range, akin to Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, while sounding off in the sweaty style of Janis Joplin. The power of her voice and the messages in her lyrics combine to echo a new sort of "Strange Fruit."
Joan Zen was voted BEST MUSICIAN in the Ravalli Republic’s Annual Reader’s Poll 10 years of the last 13 years 2006-2014 and 2018!
“Bitterrooters have selected Joan Zen as their favorite musician in the Valley. Whether she and husband, Jason Hicks, are singing at intimate affairs, community fundraising events or to capacity crowds, Joan Zen has been wooing Bitterroot music fans for years now. Zen’s music is more than a singular experience. It’s an opportunity to forge change to make the Bitterroot Valley a better place to live for all of us.” – Ravalli Republic, 2010