Three Weeks Review 8/21/14
"......Channelling down-home friendliness and shades of Janis Joplin, Heartwood is a fine and engaging storyteller. Quickly winning over the crowd, she soon has the audience singing along, and leaves them pondering those seldom told tales."
[Dave Fargnoli] Three Weeks Magazine
[Dave Fargnoli] Three Weeks Magazine
Fest Magazine 8/9/2014
"The Edge, here, is a more marginal America that isn’t always a winner - made up of ordinary people, fighting or escaping the country’s relentless narrative of capitalism, cheap labour and globalisation. Kiya Heartwood is an acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter from oddball oasis, Austin, Texas; but she sings tales of underdogs from all over, with a distinctly American, soulful sincerity.
........she’s clearly capable of wrestling an audience tens of times this tiny size into foot-stamping, chorus-joining submission. A soulless Edinburgh black box space might not be the best place to cosy up to her distinctive, atmospheric songs, but she’s a seasoned enough performer to light up any room with flickering, folksy warmth."
****Broadway Baby ReviewShort Stories - True Song Tales from the American Edge is an acoustic solo show from Kiya Heartwood, an award-winning American singer-songwriter. Her songs are based in American folk tradition and tell the stories of some of America’s famous (and not so famous) legends. Within her repertoire are songs about the real Calamity Jane, the last of the great American race horses and a cross dressing confederate. Heartwood’s songs are easy listening, with a beautiful country quality that transports you to America’s folk lands.
Her songs have a personal and heartfelt quality, injected with a good amount of humour and sentiment. Heartwood’s career in the States has spanned nearly thirty years. She was the lead singer and songwriter in the folk rock band Stealin’ Horses and was one half of the folk duo Wishing Chair. She is now pursuing a solo career, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time.
Heartwood has an endearing personality and she does a good job of bringing her audience into the songs, talking about the history that surrounds each one and getting the audience to sing along. She begins with The Ballad of the Pralltown Café and soon gets the audience joining in on the chorus. Following songs include Calamity Jane; the fantastic country song, Sue Mundy, about the cross dressing confederate; and the lively Higher Ground. While she doesn’t quite reach the raw power of some of the more renowned great folk and country singers, her songs have a personal and heartfelt quality, injected with a good amount of humour and sentiment. These are songs about America’s rich history and the real enjoyment that you get from listening to them is their ability take you into times and places long gone.
Fans of storytelling, American history and folk and country music should get a lot of pleasure from Heartwood’s modest solo set."
By Dave House Broadway Baby**** stars
Audience Review" The collection highlights the lives of America’s famous, and sometimes infamous, characters, brilliantly crafted by a wordsmith whose been overlooked as one of America’s best songwriters for nearly 30 years. Call me biased, but there are very few songwriters of any generation or continent who can string together stories as melodically, as intricately, as accessibly as Kiya. Her songs have always moved me, but it’s a real blessing to see her finally on the edge of greatness. I can’t wait for the world to hear these songs, and thank her kindly for them. She deserves it."
Oneonta Arts Center Review"Kiya performs with an energy that fills the room and resonates within everyone in the audience. Her original lyrics and superb solo guitar stir the soul and get the audience moving. Her songs run the gamut from sedate singer songwriter numbers to rocking tunes inspired by Howling Wolf, and still her powerful voice sustains any style she inhabits to convey a feeling, a mood, and an idea. Kiya is a delight to have to perform at our venue, and we can't wait to have her come back again soon!"
- Amy Crouse Powers-Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center Oneonta, NY USA