Short 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.