Chittester: a woman, a guitar & songs to share
Written by David Dupont   
Monday, 02 September 2013 17:44
Diana Chittester is a singer-songwriter, and, don’t forget, a guitarist.
“I really have to replace the four-piece band with my one guitar,” she said. Listening to her original “Secret,” the listener is likely to think there’s not much room for anything other than her raw, ringing strings.
“For me, the guitar usually tells the majority of the story,” the Cleveland based performer said in a recent telephone interview.
The songs typically start with a riff, she said. “Then it’s up to me to come up with the right words to match. ... Finding the right words is more of a trick, more of a theme, than telling a specific story.”
Chittester comes with a strong music and literary background. Her mother, a professional pianist, started her on piano in third grade. Her father, a Methodist minister inspired the literary side of her, and provided the guitar.
At about 14, she said, “I swiped one of his guitars out of the closet.”
From those first C, G, and D chords, blossomed the full-bodied sound and evocative lyrics of her work.
The multi-hyphenated performer... indie-progressive-folk ... will play the opening set on the Main Stage Saturday at 11 a.m. and a set on the Acoustic Stage at 2 p.m.
At the time she started playing guitar she was enamored of the teen idols of the time Hanson and Jewel.
Before she’d picked up the guitar, Chittester said, she’d written a lot of stories and poems, and inspired by the rhythms she improvised, songs started to come.
“The biggest part of playing music and writing music is you learn to write the emotion, your feelings, sadness, happiness,” she said. Through music I was able to deal with every one of those emotions as they came.”
Her songs are, Chittester said, “very autobiographical and very honest,” she said. She’s open about relationships she’s had and her strong connection to nature.
She addresses “the influence religion and politics had on me as a child.”
At 21 Chittester told her parents that she was a lesbian. That put a divide between her and her family, something she’s working to bridge.
“Growing into your own person is a challenge,” she said, “and a lot of that music follows that journey and that growth in becoming my own person.”
After attending Clarion University, Chittester left the Pittsburgh area to move to Cleveland attracted by the city’s deep connection to the history of rock n’ roll ’
A gig opening for former Michael Jackson lead guitarist Jennifer Batten, help set her on the way.
She has a strong following in Northeast Ohio, and is trying to expand her touring range. Playing on WBGU-FM’s “Live Wire” generated strong and favorable reaction here in Bowling Green, buzz that’s likely to grow louder with her festival show.

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