Via the means of Facebook video call, I was joined by Kiya Heartwood, Anna Harris and Jana Pochop (Tejas) for a preview of their upcoming show at this year’s Ventnor Fringe. Check out Kiya Heartwood and Tejas at St. Catherine’s Church, 7pm on Saturday.
It’s great to have you back again. This is your second performance at the Ventnor Fringe and this year you’ve brought some company, what have you both got in store for us this year? We’re going to rock your socks o ! I have a new CD and we’re playing songs from that for the most part. It’s called Palo Duro.
Last year at the Fringe you performed solo, is it nice to be back with some friends? Yes. Last year I played by myself and did more of my kind of ‘story songs’. This year we’re playing mostly songs from the CD and a little bit more bridge rock.
What is Palo Duro about? What inspired your recent album?
It’s a very Texas record. The word Tejas means ‘friend’ in one of the native languages. That’s actually where the word ‘Texas’ comes from. So there’s a little Spanish in uence. There’s a story about The Last Battle of the Three Comanches and some love songs and some rowdy stu .
Which song are you most looking forward to playing from the new album?
I play ddle and background vocals and I must say one of my favourite ones to play is probably the title track, Palo Duro. Just because the story itself is very haunting and I nd it very easy to emote to it. It’s very tragic and sad and it’s a thoroughly well written song and record, I really love playing it.
Your performance last year consisted of storytelling and experiences from travelling the country. What is your weirdest/best experience from the road? I got to play for a bunch of high school kids in Utah and they were locked up, they were all kids that had su ered some kind of trauma. Their parents got involved in drugs -or they were involved in drugs- and I got to do a concert for them which was probably the most moving thing that has happened in the last year.
You have been featured on a number of albums, including sessions with Russ Kunkel and Toto. Do you still stay in touch with either of them? What was it like working with Toto? At the time I was pretty shy, they were very big stars so I was like ‘Hello’ and they’d say ‘What do you want me to play on your record?’ and I’m like ‘uhhh….’ So I wasn’t necessarily the most communicative person at that time. But you know they were all cool and some were cooler than others. Our bass player at the time was in Roman Holiday and he now plays with Toto so that’s my connection. A couple of them are no longer with us.
Can we expect to see any more collaboration in the future?
Well you never know!
Were there any signi cant artists/people in your life who inspired you to apprehend a folk music career?
I really am inspired by Richard Thompson, I really like his work. I like Steve Earl’s work, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Martin Carthy.