Countdown to ChesterFest: The Chiggers to take stage at annual festival

Between stops at vendor booths and snack stands, ChesterFest attendees can take in performances from a host of entertainment acts, including The Chiggers, a Chester-based band.

The Chiggers play a variety of country-based music, including classic and alternative country, and some 1970s country rock, said Tim Stanton, the band’s pedal steel guitar and piano player.

“So, we have a nice set for all kinds of audiences,” he said. “We also have a nice set of original songs and we’re going to go into the studio this fall and come out with a CD.” The group will play some of its original songs at ChesterFest, he said.

The band, which has been together for about a year, chose its name because “we just wanted something to appeal to you’re kind of rural, down home” sensibilities, he said. What’s more rural than walking through a field and picking up chiggers, he asked.

“We’re hoping we can metaphorically attach ourselves to our fans,” he said.

Stanton went to Thomas Dale High School, as did lead singer Wes Edwards. Chip Farnsworth, the band’s drummer, was related to the Beasleys who ran Beasley’s Food Land, Stanton said, and Sarnsworth bagged groceries there.

Edwards also plays guitar, and both Stanton and Farnsworth sing. Paul Lipscombe, as bassist, rounds out the band’s lineup, Stanton said. The Chiggers have played The National, Hat Factory and Capital Ale House, he said, and the group will soon open for a national act, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s.

“We’re all veterans of a lot of other bands,” he said. What sets the group apart is the steel guitar, he said. “It’s a sound that really stands out,” as do the group’s three-part harmonies.

Stanton said it’ll be nice to play for the hometown crowd later this month.

“We live in Chester,” he said. “It’s nice for me to play a gig that’s one and a half miles from my house.”

ChesterFest’s two stages will feature several bands, the ever-popular dog show, dance demonstrations, and a preview of the Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield’s Senior Idol Competition, among other acts.

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