Wishing Chair

Wishing Chair


Wishing Chair a passionate mix of intelligent lyrics, spell-binding storytelling and breathtaking harmony over a full roots and roll sound.


Wishing Chair is the folk-roots partnership of mulit-instrumentalist Miriam Davidson and songwriter Kiya Heartwood.

"...a songwriting, accordion playing, harmony singing, storytelling, hand drumming, banjo strumming, soul stirring, two woman tour-de-force."

With award-winning songwriting and musicianship, Wishing Chair, “never fails to create that exhilarating sense one gets when great melodies, strong harmonies, and superb execution come together,” says The Performing Songwriter Magazine. The 6th CD and latest offering from this roots/folk duo is no exception. Produced by Grammy nominated producer Mark Hallman, Underdog is “folk to the core,” (Lexington Herald-Leader) delivering a rich collection of stories and clear-eyed diatribes, outlaw weddings, love songs, and an anti-Bush klezmer tune for good measure.

" Wishing Chair 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

Since 1995, multi-instrumentalist Miriam Davidson and songwriter Kiya Heartwood have delivered engaging performances, passionate activism, stirring harmonies and award winning songs.

They tour extensively, performing in venues ranging from The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Uncle Calvin's in Dallas and Club Passim in Cambridge, and at festivals including the National Women's Music Festival, the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Clearwater Folk Festival, the South Florida Folk Festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

JPFolk Awards 2006 4 nominations for Best Americana Song: Calamity Jane
Best New Folk Song: Sidewalks
Best Roots Song: Sue Mundy
Best New Folk Album: Underdog
Finalist Kerrville Music to Life Public Domain Foundation Political Songwriting Contest 2006, Nominee 2006 Outmusic Awards Best Recording by Duo or Group, Nominee 2006 Outmusic Awards Best Out Song, Winner, OutMusic Best Recording Duo/Band 2003, Winner Outmusic Awards Best Songwriter 2003, Finalist Kerrville Public Domain Foundation Contest, 2003 Winner Best Overall Song/Best Mellow Song South, Florida Folk Festival 2003
Runner Up Best Folk Song, Northern California Songwriters Association 2003
Finalist Falcon Ridge, Emerging Artist 2002
Best of 2002, This Way Out, OutWords, Best of 2002 New Folk Song Winner, JP Folks, 2001/Best Folk Album Runner Up 2001


Dishpan Brigade

Written By: Kiya Heartwood

Dishpan Brigade (The 1900 Arnot Strike)
Kiya Heartwood ©2003

Old Mary Harris was five feet tall
Grey hair and eyes an Irish blue
And she buried her husband, four little ones
Now the Union was all she knew
She'd stand up to any company gun
If there was a fight she was home
And the Breaker Boys and the Silk Mill Girls
Called her Mother Jones

J.P. Morgan owned the Drip Mouth Mine
He paid a dollar thirty-five a day
Twelve to fourteen hours, six days a week
Oh that was the company way
But anthracite coal is a hard, hard coal
It burns so clean and true
It burns on the dreams of a miner's soul
And the blood of the UMW

Oh Mother cried out shame, shame, shame
We've nothing to lose but our chains
Many a miner's life's been saved
by a dishpan brigade

The strikers held out four long months
Hard bread and coffee everyday
Between the scabs and the guns
And the Pinkertons
Their courage was slipping away
So the Union called in Mother Jones
She said,"Will you be slaves or be men?"
And she told all the women to meet up at dawn
And they'll go to the lion's den

So the women marched to that Drip Mouth Mine
With their dishpans, mops and brooms
And the sheriff said "Now you go back home
I'm afraid you'll upset the mules."
But an angry woman knocked that sheriff down
She said, "To hell with the mules and with you."
Then they chased those scabs all the way back to town
And that strike was almost through

The women kept watch every night
With their babies in their arms
And the Union won the Arnot strike and not a soul was harmed
And Mother traveled another thirty years
Where there was a fight she was home
And the Breaker Boys and the Silk Mill Girls called her Mother Jones


Written By: Kiya Heartwood

Words and Music by Kiya Heartwood

Middle south, middle class, middle child
I ran the fields and woods I was the only girl for miles
I claim my tomboy roots with a twisted pride
I am here and
I survived

Brownie snapshots, Argus slides
The cookouts and the campouts
Mother’s hair piled high or dyed
And there’s my father
His ties too loud or wide
Got his hair slicked back, the Raybans on
Singing a Hank Williams song
Hey good looking

Then I see it
My brother’s there
With his helmet on his knee
Sitting next to me
Now we are always posed side by side
Don’t you know the camera never lies
In every picture Father’s focused on his face
Always on his face, always on his face
I am framed to the left or right
Out of focus, out of sight

Oh, Just inside the light
Oh, Just inside the light
He only sees one
Everything revolves around the son

My brother’s gone now
He’s on the other side
Sometimes I have the guilt of the one who didn’t die
My Father spent his last years crying for his son
Now he’s gone to join him
Left me here to carry on
That’s okay, that’s alright
I’ll claim my own family , I’ll claim my own rights
I’ll be a candle in the darkness
Burning just as bright
Burning just as bright

Oh just inside the light
Oh just inside the light
Everything, everything’s alright


Underdog 2005
Dishpan Brigade 2003 (WC and Kara Barnard)
Crow 2002
The Ghost of Will Harbut 2000
Undisputed Country 1998
Singing with the Red Wolves 1995

Set List

A typical show consists of one to two 50 minute sets of original music from all of the Wishing Chair CDs, as well as selections from Kiya's earlier solo records and from her former band, Stealin Horses. There's usually a few traditional and contemporary covers, anything from Woody Guthrie to Richard Thompson is also likely to happen. It's never the same show twice, and is very influenced by the audience.