Kiya Heartwood

Kiya Heartwood

 Austin, Texas, USA

Award winning American singer-songwriter Kiya Heartwood delivers "soulful confessions, political broadside and a wicked groove." Kiya Heartwood ( Stealin Horses, Wishing Chair ) is "an award-winning American singer-songwriter who writes smart, funny and poignant songs about the famous and not-so-famous legends of America". Kiya's music " serves up a lively batch of original songs that follow on to two of the oldest traditions of folk music: storytelling and political broadside."-Dirty Linen


Kiya Heartwood is an internationally touring singer/songwriter.The Kiya Heartwood Band is Kiya on songs, lead vocal and guitar,Sarah Stollak on fiddle and Jay Dee Hicks on Percussion.Kiya is formerly half of the folk duo Wishing Chair and the lead singer and songwriter for the Arista rock band, Stealin Horses. Kiya is currently touring her latest CD, Palo Duro and her international one woman show, Song Tales from the American Edge. Kiya has performed throughout the US, Europe and Canada from arena shows with Stealin Horses to festivals, concert halls, colleges, clubs and house concerts as a solo performer and with The Kiya Heartwood BandStealin Horses and Wishing Chair.


2017 Nominee Just Plain Folks Best Singer Songwriter Album for Bold Swimmer.
2017 Nominee Just Plain Folks Best Singer Songwriter Song Lights of Austin.
2017 Nominee Just Plain Folks Best Political Song for Change ( Is Gonna Come).
2014 Best of the Fest Frontera Fest for Song Tales from the American Edge
2012 Kerrville Folk Festival Ballad Tree 
2010 Pride in the Arts Favorite Group ( Wishing Chair) 
2010 Pride in the Arts Best CD (WIshing Chair Stand Up 8)
2008 Jane Schliessman Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women's Music
2006 BEST New Folk Album, Underdog, JP Folks
2006 BEST Roots Song, Sue Mundy, JP Folks
2006 2nd Place Best New Folk Song, Sidewalks, JP Folks
2006 Finalist Kerrville Music to Life Public Domain Foundation Political Songwriting Contest
2003 Finalist Kerrville Public Domain Foundation Contest 2003 Winner Best Overall/Best Mellow Song, South Florida Folk Festival
2003 Runner Up Best Folk Song, Northern California Songwriters Association
2002 Finalist Falcon Ridge, Emerging Artist
2002 Best of, This Way Out, OutWords,
2002 Best New Folk Song, JP Folks
2001 Best Folk Album Runner Up
1988 Billboard AOR #32 Turnaround ( Stealin Horses)
1988 Billboard top 200 Albums Stealin Horses, Stealin Horses Arista Records.


Bold Swimmer

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

Bold Swimmer Kiya Heartwood

Now the hungry ghosts are waiting

at my table for a feast.

They like the way my visions taste.

My dreams are oh so sweet.

But we must walk like giants.

We must take the stand.

I will be a bold swimmer

reaching for the promiseland.

I drove across this country

sleeping at the wheel.

Searching for a better map

and mysteries revealed.

And the wind blew down the canyons.

The sermons never ceased.

I must be my own salvation.

I must be my only priest.

Times may change

and traitors reign.

Their stories always

stay the same.

The blood that’s spilt

is never quite their fault.

And when we see the damage done,

the friendships lost, the smoking guns

Will we just turn away?

Will we just turn away?

I was standing at the crossroads.

I was there to make a deal.

The offer was most generous

All sleek and cold as steel

But I burned down my ambition.

I turned on my own greed.

I have everything I want here.

I have everything I need.

Now my love and I are waiting

at the table for a feast.

I like the way my visions taste.

My dreams are oh so sweet.

And we will walk like giants.

We will take a stand.

I will be a bold swimmer

reaching for the promiseland.

I will be a bold swimmer

reaching for the promiseland.

Change ( Is Gonna Come)

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

CHANGE ( is Gonna Come)

Words and music by Kiya Heartwood

V.1 I was so broken. I was feeling so down.

Torture and hatred, murder all around.

I asked myself will we ever get free?

Then I started to call off the wars within me.


Change. Change is gonna come.

V.2 Now, if you got money then you do as you please.

You keep us all hungry . Down on our knees.

Your sweatshops and bailouts. Your ad lie campaigns.

But I know change is coming.

Yes, we said change.



In our United States of isolation

Station to creation

on this sacred ground.

We talk Mom, apple pie,

Do or die,

A hole in the Sky

Buys another round.

An articulation

and a reclamation

of the Declaration’s what we need.

To attack and recant

Counteract and replant

hypocrisy and greed.

You see the stories we were sold,

Freedom good as gold,

We may be down but never out.

Sex, race and gender

We are all contenders

To stop

hate, prejudice and doubt.

Hope leads the way

Watch the children play

working for a better day

better pay and more say

See our colors sway.

In all the gods we pray.


V.3 We are crossing your borders.

We are out in your streets.

When we walk in our power

Our lives are so sweet. They say,

“Things will get better near Heaven’s gate.”

But our lives are precious and we cannot wait.

Cross the Line

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

CROSS THE LINE Words and music by Kiya Heartwood

V.1 Hold so tight honey, I can’t breathe

I got something that you want to see.

You say, Baby, just follow me.”

I crossed the line, yeah.

I crossed the line, yeah.

V.2 Teach me the secrets things that you know.

The hard lessons take it good and slow.

Tell me baby, how far can we go?

Cross the line, yeah.

Cross the line, yeah.


White blindfold and a cigarette.

A full surrender and no regrets.

We lit a cannon with no safety net.

We crossed the line, yeah.

We crossed the line, yeah.

V.3 I keep a record of our many sins.

Out in the moonlight where the fun begins.

Open up baby, let me in.

Cross the line, yeah.

Cross the line, yeah.

V.4Tried to be good, all sugar and spice

I played it fair yeah, I tried to be nice.

When I met you went from good to bad.

It was the best time that I ever had.



V.5 I know you’re wicked with a checkered past.

That why I gave you that all access pass.

We’re an e ticket honey, built to last.

We crossed the line, yeah.

We crossed the line, yeah.

Lights of Austin

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

The Lights of Austin Words and music by Kiya Heartwood

Laura Nero in the dark.

Waiting for my life to start.

Trading kisses for a spark

to light my desperation.


The shoes don’t fit.

The too tight clothes.

I was always the last to know.

I gathered up my chances

And I took to the road.


Twenty three with 6th St dreams.

The Amps were loud.

Our souls were clean.

We sang out strong.

We made a scene.

We knew our destination.


We made the cut.

We wore the clothes.

We put on a real good show

We spent all our chances.

Till we ran out of road.


Now the Texas stars keep shining.

And the moon holds up the sky.

I will drive till I see

the lights of Austin.

Till I lay me down by your side.


From what you say you did your best.

School, a husband, house and deck

Like the laundry, clean and pressed

But somehow you broke free.


The wrong fit.

The wrong clothes.

It took all you had to go.

You were running out of chances.

You were running out of road.



So breathe in slow and hold me tight.

Stories for 10,000 nights.

If we get it wrong.

we’ll make it right.

That how it’s has to be.


I love you fierce.

I love you best.

You can hold these words up to the test.

We can hold our heads up high.

I’m never sorry.


I will drive till I see

the lights of Austin.

Till I lay me down by your side.

Hold On

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

Hold On Words and music by Kiya Heartwood

I can’t go back

and I can’t move on.

I've lost my faith and

I don't belong.

I keep calling out

but I'm losing ground.

I know I need help.

Oh, I'm slipping down.


Hold, Hold On.

Hold On.


The wheels have turned

and I've split my skin.

I must find the strength

to start again.

Can you still see

the best in me?

With our heads held high

we'll jump and fly.



Frozen Rivers melting towards the sea.

A thousand forces pushing on.

Everything that’s brought this down to me.

Keeps asking me to go on.

The Living Tree

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

In the picture of the champions of 1921
I see the kindness and the power
in the women I come from.
But I feel the wind blow through me.
I’m afraid I’m not that strong.
Can you help me find a way to carry on?
You can feel their expectations,
Father, Mother, Son
And you wonder if you’ve made it.
Was there more you could have done?
And those of us who know
We weren’t meant to matter much.
They told us with their eyes and in their touch.
How do you change your( our) fortune?
Rewrite your(our) destiny?
Reach deep inside your(our) beauty.
Find the roots of the Living Tree.
Find the roots of the Living Tree.
There are friends that stand beside you.
Friends that walk away.
There are places that will hold you.
Places you can’t stay.
Now I’m reaching high my branches.
Sinking deep to water flow.
This is the truest wisdom that I know.
Will you be my true companion
on this open road?
We must fight to tell our stories.
We will sing them as we go.
and we'll make our lives together
Though we may not be that strong.
We must always find a way to carry on.


Written By: Kiya Heartwood

Icarus was a boy with wings.
He touched the open sky.
With wax and feathers and a bit of string
he wore the chance to try.
Oh, everyone knows he fell.
Yes, that's the part they tell.
But something else is true.
Before he fell, he flew.

In the canvas stands a plowing man,
shepherds and ships at sea.
They take no notice of the falling boy
and his small tragedy.
Oh, everyone turns away
from his forsaken cry.
Are we so afraid that we might
fly too high?

We're old enough that we both know
how this story could end.
Both of us have tried and failed,
tried and tried again.

Now we stand by the fire and say these vows and pray the words hold true.
Will this love melt away or last our whole lives through?
Oh baby, put on your wings.
Let's jump out to the sun.
Our fears will melt away.
This flight has just begun.

Icarus was a boy with wings.
He touched the open sky.

Ferris Wheel

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

Ferris Wheel Kiya Heartwood

It was the Ferris wheel.
It was too high for me.
I closed my eyes,
pulled down the bar,
and prayed for gravity.
I felt your heartbeat then.
It was steady as she goes.
I took your hand
and I knew then
That I would never let you go.

Waves crashing down,
lulled by the sound,
of the tides that come and go.
If the weather is clear,
the stars that we steer by,
light us here below.

Changing my future, changing my name,
I will raise my voice.
Tracing the patterns of trouble and shame,
I will make my choice.

And as the lights came down.
You were a friend to me.
The earth underneath
Tilted complete with
sudden electricity.
Then the words you spoke,
Only I could hear.
Strong arrows flew,
Split me in two,
And I gave my heart to you.
It was the Ferris wheel.
It was too high for me.
I closed my eyes, pulled down the bar,
And prayed for gravity.


Palo Duro (2016)
The Living Tree (2013)
Bold Swimmer (2012)
True Frontiers ( 1993)
Gravity (1983)

Best of Wishing Chair (2013)
Stand Up 8 (2009)
Folk and Roll - Live in Austin (2007)
Underdog (2005)
Dishpan Brigade (2003) (w/ Kara Barnard)
Crow (2002)
The Ghost of Will Harbut (2000)
Undisputed Country (1998)
Singing with the Red Wolves (1995)

Best of Stealin Horses (2013)
Mesas and Mandolins (1991)
Stealin Horses (1988)
The Ballad of the Pralltown Cafe (1986)

First World ep (1985)


Set List

Kiya can travel solo,as a duo or with her band.
A two set Kiya Heartwood performance will include 20-24 original songs from the 100+ recorded. The latest CD is usually strongly featured.