Meet the Artist: Singer-guitarist Diana Chittester moved to Cleveland five years ago from Pittsburgh and started playing open mic nights at places like the Winchester. "Pittsburgh was a much harder city to get started in," she says. "There are opportunities once you hit a certain level, but Cleveland is good for breaking into the working musicians' scene."
Talking Chitt: Chittester made up stickers emblazoned with the slogan "She's the Chitt." "My last name isn't the easiest to remember or spell," she says "Everyone used to write an 's' over the 'c.'"
All Folked Up: Though it has a bit of a rock edge, Chittester's recent album, In This Skin, falls into the folk-rock category. "Someone once described it as progressive indie folk," she says. "I like that term because my music stems from the folk people I heard growing up, like Peter, Paul and Mary and Simon & Garfunkel. But I really like Ani DiFranco's guitar work, and that gives it an aggressive feel."
Inspiration: Chittester has started writing songs for next album, which she might record without any accompaniment. "I've been listening to early Joni Mitchell records. Her first was all-acoustic, and even there you hear layering between harmonies and vocals. I listen to a lot of live records. That's where you can hear what one person can do on their own."
Where You Can Hear Her: dianachittester.com
Where You Can See Her: Diana Chittester performs with Dan Bern at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Beachland Tavern.
— Jeff Niesel