ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 27, 2002


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      Stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the second Wednesday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the fourth Wednesday come to the Kept Writer in St Albans for acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      Highgate Municipal Park will wail as O. C. McCuin and Sons present the Robert Ross Band in the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds series on Sunday evening. The concert will mix up the best of Mr. Ross' blues and jazz originals with covers of the great blues, rhythm 'n' blues, jazz and rock 'n' roll artists.
      Robert Ross is an award winning New York singer, songwriter, and guitarist with hard driving boogie, hip grinding soul, and low down and dirty blues. The band is stopping in Highgate on their Montreal Jazz Fest Tour. The tour includes Mark Dann, bass, Jon Loyd, piano, Mike Rhodes, drums and Robert Ross, vocals and guitar.
      The Robert Ross Band has appeared on radio and TV in Europe and the USA, performed at the 2002 Chicago Blues Festival, and has opened for Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lennon, Aretha Franklin, and The Band. He has played with Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and Big Joe Turner, and jammed onstage with Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Mr. Ross has received the NY Music Award as Best Blues Artist and an East Coast Rocker Award for Best Blues Artist.
      The Robert Ross Montreal Jazz Fest Tour includes appearances in Woodstock, NY, Killington, and Burlington, plus a solo performance at Pure Pop Records. They will perform at the Montreal International Jazz Festival on Monday, July 1.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Dessert in the Park at the Summer Sounds social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, wish for dry weather, and eat some delicious desserts.
      The Vermont Maple Festival presents the Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate because music and maple go together year round. The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, The Highgate Manor, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, and The Tyler Place. The rain sites is the Highgate United Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and maybe an umbrella as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls and the All Arts Council present a Vermont/Canada Arts Collaboration in a concert on Sunday evening. Michele Choiniere of the Champlain Valley will meet Barachois of Prince Edward Island on the Opera House stage to celebrate the Acadian and Franco-American cultures and music. The concert is part of the venue's 2002 Mentors Series.
      Douglas Racine and Jean Charest will introduce the concert and talk about Canadian-American cooperation. Mr. Racine is Lieutenant Governor of Vermont and a candidate for Governor. M. Charest is the sitting member for Sherbrooke, leader of the opposition, and a candidate for Premiere.
      The science: Barachois (bara-shwa') [Acadian]--shallow pools of water separated from the sea by sand dunes. Located between Perce and Gaspe in Quebec, Barachois is frozen in time by masses of Devonian period rock. Its original life was not on land, but in the sea, so its fossils include early fishes such as Esthenopteron foordi of the baie de chaleurs, as well as Crinoides, Brachiopods, Corals, Trilobites, Sponges, Graptolites, Gastropods, and perhaps Eurypterids.
      The art: This Barachois is an award winning, internationally known ensemble and one of Canada's national treasures. The quartet step dances into new interpretations of the Acadian heritage and created a soiree full of warmth and surprises rooted in tradition, song, dance and pure fun
      "We should help create a real 'houseparty' feel that evening," said Michele Choiniere.
      Traditional Acadian music has a rhythmic, high-voltage style born in a culture nurtured across the centuries on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Some of the first settlers in North America brought these songs from France and infused them with Scottish and Irish fiddling. The heartbeat of the music has been passed down generation to generation by way of kitchen parties and community gatherings. It is a musical genre all its own, filled with passion and life.
      The Enosburg soiree will have driving foot rhythms, piano, home made percussion instruments, close harmonies, laughter seasoning and the occasional brass.
      Michele Choiniere opens the show with Fabio and Lucille Choiniere, Martha Pellerin's youngest son Eric Drury, fiddler Frank Heyburn, and guitarist Kristina Stykos. "I will be step dancing while Frank and Kristina play," Michele Choiniere said.
      Barachois is a performing family with Albert Arsenault, vocals, dance, fiddle, bass, and assorted percussion; Helene Arsenault-Bergeron, piano, vocals, dance, reed (pump) organ, guitar, foot percussion; Louise Arsenault, fiddle, vocals, dance, harmonica, guitar, foot percussion; and Chuck Arsenault, vocals, guitar, harmonica, dance, sousaphone, trumpet. They have performed at Lincoln Center, as well as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Canada Day on Parliament Hill, and the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.
      The Vermont/Canada Arts Collaboration of Barachois and Choiniere is presented by the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, 123 Depot Street, on Sunday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors or students, and $5 for children under 12. Save a buck on advance sale tickets at the Merchant's Bank and Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall, and at Better Planet and at the Kept Writer in St Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


      Ste Marie's Market, the Crossover Band, and Nobby Reed present a free benefit concert in Swanton on Sunday afternoon for the Swanton Teen Center.
      The Nobby Reed Project plays Vermont's best blues with Nobby Reed, lead guitar and vocals, Scott Dubois, B-3, keys, and harp, Tim Comings, bass, and Eric Belrose, drums, in the free concert. His CDs include Guitar on My Back, It's All about the Blues and the new Cure for the Blues. Crossover is a new band with a country rock, easy listening style featuring singers Chad Ste Marie and Kim Depatie, Dan Chevalier, Adrian Benoit, and drummer Zach Colgan.
      There will be raffles for a bicycle, a NASCAR™ Coca Cola hood, stuffed animals and more. "And I'm raffling one of my guitars," Mr. Reed said. Tickets for the guitar are $5 and only 100 will be sold.
      "100% of the profits go to the teen center," said sponsor Phil Ste Marie who is supplying most of the prizes.
      The benefit concert begins at 2 p.m. in Swanton Park on Sunday. The event is alcohol and drug free. The teen center goal is $75,000 to refurbish the Swanton Memorial Auditorium basement. There is no admission but a $5 donation will help the cause.
      "If there is a downpour, we'll announce a rain date," Mr. Reed said.


FAIRFAX--A busy weekend with an acoustic music session in the Foothills Bakery on Saturday at 1, music by the Fogies for the Lamoille Lodge chicken BBQ at the Baptist building at 5 p.m., and a Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band concert with an ice cream and pie social at the Baptist building on Sunday at 5 p.m.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Enosburg Town Band plays in concert at the Lincoln Park bandstand on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Free.


      Richard Rodgers was the most successful and influential composer in American musical theater. Working with lyricist Lorenz Hart, he produced A Connecticut Yankee, On Your Toes, and Pal Joey. After Hart's death, Rodgers began a collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein, that included Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I. Tomorrow (June 28) is the 100th anniversary of Richard Rodgers' birth.
      Founded by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein a half century ago, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization administers and promotes stage productions, orchestral and vocal performances, and music publishing. The site includes centennial events around his life and music.
      The Special Collections in the Library of Congress includes the music manuscripts of Richard Rodgers.

      Links to our performers this week:
Nobby Reed Project
Robert Ross


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2002 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
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