Wishing Chair
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Wishing Chair


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Wishing Chair @ UU Church of Sarasota

Sarasota, Florida, USA

Sarasota, Florida, USA

Wishing Chair @ Coffee Underground

Greenville, South Carolina, USA

Greenville, South Carolina, USA

Wishing Chair @ Coexistmas

Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos



Quick, name me a women folk duo. What did you come up with, The Indigo Girls; no one else? Well let me add another name to that very short list Wishing Chair. What you've never heard of them? Well guess what, until I'd heard their latest CD Underdog neither had I. And if this disc is anything to go by they've been doing just fine without us and we've been missing out on something great.

Who and what are Wishing Chair? Well in the simplest terms they are a folk-roots partnership made up of Miriam Davidson and Kiya Heartwood based out of Kentucky but seemingly touring all the time. Since 1995 they have produced seven CD's including this one, Underdog which was released in 2005.

It's easy to fall into the trap of seeing the names of two women in a folk band and steeling yourself for oh so serious songs, that young intellectual university womyn will sit around and listen to and discuss seriously deep into the night. It's perfectly possible that this could happen to Wishing Chair, but the rest of us can also enjoy their music and their songs.

It's not that I'm dissing the Indigo Girls here, it’s just that sometimes you feel like you have to belong to some sort of club or society before you're allowed to "really understand" them. It's like they've been claimed, as the exclusive preserve of one group of people while the rest of us are too insensitive to get the message.

No one is going to claim Wishing Chair as their own because this music is far too independent and frees spirited to allow it to be tied down that way. Sure Miriam and Kiya sing about political issues, and pour emotions into their material, but it feels like underneath it there is a huge amount of laughter waiting to escape.
wishing chair
Unlike so many issues oriented groups you never get the impression the Miriam and Kiya have an axe to grind or making any claims to moral superiority because of their opinions. They sing about the things they believe in and what they care about true enough, but what makes Country and Folk music interesting is when the performers can put their hearts into the song and music.

On "One Real Song" they sing about what keeps them going, on the road, in the studio, and in music. They're singing about things that anybody who has ever tried to create something that make it all worthwhile can identify with. It's about the search for the perfect written word, or the perfect picture as much as it is the search for the perfect song.

It's not often that a song about a wedding can be termed a political song, although I'm sure incidences will continue in the near future where songs about two people loving each other and being joined together, like "Outlaw Wedding" will become the norm. But I think they are going to have a hard time living up to the standards established by it. Not only does it deal with issue of same sex marriages in a subtle manner but it's also a wonderful endorsement of marriage and family.

For those of you who are supportive of the war in Afghanistan and the current administration's foreign policy, the song you are least likely to enjoy is "Bully Circus" What I found particularly appealing about this song aside from the lyrics, which are far more intelligent then usual, is the wonderful feel they have created with the music in this song.

Circus music has a very particular style, and if who ever is performing starts to distort it even slightly it begins to sound awfully sinister and makes what ever one is singing about dangerous and evil. What truly separates "Bully Circus" from other protest songs, is the singer does more then just whines about how bad the government is, but offers some idea that they can and will do something, where they are able, to make a difference.

Social responsibility shouldn't be a novelty coming from people who sing about it, but so many of them are of the 'do as I say not as I do' attitude that finding a sincere voice that just wants to do something positive is a refreshing change. There's also something about a country music protest song that is that much more effective than other genres. Maybe it's because I associate country music so much with pseudo patriotic stuff that anytime we hear someone using that genre for a protest song it becomes all the more potent for it's familiarity of style but difference of content.

Miriam Davidson and Kiya Heartwood as Wishing Chair are a revelation of both style and content. For those who like their folk music with a country twang, and their country music to be about more than cars, truck drivers, and pain Wishing Chair's new disc, Underdog is the answer to your search. Not since Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, and Ferron joined together have I heard as powerful and intelligent music from a woman's folk/country group.

Posted by Richard Marcus on July 12, 2006 08:22 AM | Permalink

Richard Marcus - Leap in the Dark (Feb 10, 2007)
- Leap in the Dark

Engaging performances and haunting harmonies have already made the folk roots duo Wishing Chair a hit at folk festivals across the country. We know: Last year, when we failed to mention them, we received many a complaint from readers. Kiya Heartwood joined forces with the multitalented Miriam Davidson 10 years ago, and they have released six CDs since, including their collaboration with trad-grass instrumentalist Kara Barnard, Dishpan Brigade. Poetic, political lyrics, stellar vocals and an eclectic variety of instruments make this an essential addition to your contemporary folk collection.

Catherine Plato and Diane Anderson - Curve Magazine (Jul 1, 2005)
- Curve Magazine

Wishing Chair - Messages to the Outlaw Circus

"Kentucky-based duo Wishing Chair serves up a lively batch of original songs that follow on two of the oldest traditions of folk music: storytelling and political broadside. The two are often interwoven, as with "Outlaw Wedding," and often set to catchy melodies as well, as in "Bully Circus," for example. The political issues are the substance, and they are handled in a variety of creative ways to deliver those messages. The project was produced by Mark Hallman, who has worked with Eliza Gilkyson. Eamon McLoughlin and Kym Warner of the Greencards are among those who back up Kiya Heartwood and Miriam Davidson, the duo who are Wishing Chair." - Dirty Linen

“Kiya Heartwood and Miriam Davidson, collectively known as Wishing Chair, score again. They have a lot of important things to say in the dozen Heartwood originals on this CD. Although versatile on a variety of instruments themselves, producer Mark Hallman roped in another nine musicians to give the album variety and texture.
It ranges from pop to folk, leaning somewhat toward a more produced sound, with consistently involved performances by Heartwood and Davidson. Not only are the vocals assured, but there’s also some great guitar picking by Heartwood and banjo by Davidson. The songs range from the rigors of the road in the opening “One Real Song,” to an anti-war Civil War song with a twist, “Sue Mundy,” to a proudly defiant song about the wedding of Heartwood and Davidson, “Outlaw Wedding.” “Bully Circus” wastes no words about the travesty of our current government. “Adagio” pays homage to Vedran Smailovic, a cellist in the former Sarajevo Opera, as well as Holly Near who told Heartwood the story on which she based the song. Heartwood and Davidson have never sounded tighter or more energetic in their performance. Wising Chair just keeps getting better.”

Rich Warren - SingOUT! - Rich Warren

"Wishing Chair never fails to create that exhilarating sense one gets when great melodies, strong harmonies, and superb execution come together. But make no mistake: far from being tepid folkies, this gifted outfit delivers its finely-crafted songs with confidence, spirit and sass."
- Russell Hall


Folk and Roll (Live) 2007
Underdog 2005
Dishpan Brigade 2003 (Wishing Chair and Kara Barnard)
Crow 2002
The Ghost of Will Harbut 2000
Undisputed Country 1998
Singing with the Red Wolves 1995



"Wishing Chair has a passion about the truth, about being emotionally available to tell it, and that for me, is the essence of folk music." Euan Bear

"Wishing Chair serves up a lively batch of original songs that follow on two of the oldest traditions of folk music: storytelling and political broadside..."
- Dirty Linen

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.

Since 1995, the folk and soul partnership of multi-instrumentalist Miriam Davidson and songwriter Kiya Heartwood has 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.

2006 JP Folk Awards Winner Best New Folk CD for "Underdog"
2006 JP Folk Awards Winner Best Roots Song "Sue Mundy"
2006 JP Folk Awards Runner Up Best New Folk Song " Sidewalks"
2006 JP Folk Awards Nominee Best Americana Song " Calamity Jane"
2006 Finalist Kerrville Music to Life Political Songwriting Contest
Outmusic Finalist 2006 for Best Recording by Duo or Band and
Outmusic Finalist 2006 Outsong of the Year
Outmusic Finalist 2004 Best Recording by Duo or Band
Winner, OutMusic Best Recording Duo/Band 2003 Winner , Outmusic Best Songwriter 2003
Finalist Kerrville Public Domain Foundation Contest, 2003
Winner South Florida Folk Festival 2003
Best Overall Song
Winner South Florida Folk Festival 2003
Best Mellow Song
Runner Up , Northern California Songwriters Association 2003 Best Folk Song,
Finalist Falcon Ridge, Emerging Artist 2002
Best of 2002, This Way Out,
OutWords, Best of 2002
Winner, JP Folks, 2001/New Folk Song
JP Folks Best Folk Album Runner Up 2001