Introducing a songwriting, string-dancing, accordion-playing, harmony-singing, storytelling, hand-drumming, banjo-strumming, soul-stirring, two-woman tour-de-force.
Wishing Chair is Miriam Davidson on vocals, accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, and percussion and Kiya Heartwood on vocals, acoustic guitar, and percussion. Together, they perform a brand of roots-folk thats full of passion, energy, and power, ranging from driving contemporary folk originals to 500-year-old ballads. Kiyas hip-cowpunk spirit mingled with Miriams soulful East Coast sophistication gives this duo its beautiful balance. While acoustic guitars, accordion, and drop-dead gorgeous harmonies are the tools of their trade, Wishing Chair is all about songs. Kiyas lyrics are poetic and powerful, and any subject is fair game: love, shipwrecks, urban sprawl, punk bars, labor wars, or 19th-century poets.
Formed in 1995, Wishing Chair has released five CDs on the Terrakin label, the fifth being a collaboration with traditional multi-instrumentalist Kara Barnard entitled Dishpan Brigade.
So what kind of music do they play? While this question can send both Miriam and Kiya into a cold sweat, the best answer so far seems to be roots-folk or contemporary folk. The women think of themselves as folksinger-songwriters. As Kiya puts it, Basically, were song farmers.
Wishing Chairs influences are as wide as their sound: everything from the politically charged work of artists like Dick Gaughan to the Americana of Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris and the adventurous trad-pop of artists such as Fairport Convention. Kiya and Miriam are inspired by many songwriters, among them Dave Carter, Cheryl Wheeler, and Richard Thompson.
The bands name comes from a rock formation in Northern Ireland where, it is said, you can sit and make a wish and your dreams will come true.