ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 3-10, 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.


      In a fit of uncensored cut-and-paste, I got both the show time and the prices wrong for the Opera House concert on Sunday. I apologize for any inconvenience.


      St Albans Bay Park will jump as the Handy Group -- Handy Chevy-Olds, Handy Dodge-Toyota, and Handy Cadillac-Pontiac-GMC -- presents the Upstate New Yorkers in the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds series at Bay Days on Sunday evening. The concert will include original songs plus the covers of the great country music artists of the past.
      The Upstate New Yorkers are Gary Finney, keyboards; Tom Venne acoustic guitar and 5-string banjo, vocals; and Junior Barber, dobro. Mr. Barber has been nominated as a top 10 dobro player of the year for the past six years. They play all of Merle Haggard and George Jones' music plus Deliverance and other bluegrass, and a wide range of originals. The song that brought them national recognition is Upstate New Yorker, written by Gary Finney. The group has worked with Johnny Russell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Gene Watson, Stonewall Jackson, and many others.
      "We always save one portion of the show for requests," said Mr. Finney.
      Merle Haggard has had 38 Number One singles. In 1961, Jimmy Rodger, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams, Sr, were the first three artists to be induced into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Pasty Cline was the first woman elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973.
      "We play the really old time country music, the way it used to be," said Mr. Finney. The band will play right into the fireworks.
      Presented by St Albans Town and St Albans City Recreation, the Bay Days-Summer Sounds social will be an all day event with the Bay Days food vendors starting to serve at about noon.
      The Vermont Maple Festival presents the Summer Sounds concerts in St Albans to keep music and maple together all year. The concerts are sponsored by the Town of St Albans, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by A. N. Deringer Insurance, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, the Handy Group new car dealers, Northwestern Medical Center, and the St Albans Main Street Merchants. The Bay Days rain date is July 8. 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.


      "Bay Days is the big family outing of the summer," said St Albans Town recreation director Glenn Pion.
      Bay Days begins Sunday with the Great Race and continues throughout the day at the St Albans Bay Park. There will be organized games for kids in the afternoon, fireworks in the evening as well music all afternoon, plus horseshoe and volleyball tournaments, swimming, an evening Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concert, and plenty of picnicking. Local vendors will be on hand with great food.
      The music begins with headliners Furyous George at 1 p.m. and continues with a performance by the new Part Time Heros (with a special guest appearance by the popular Absolute Zero) at 3. The Upstate New Yorkers provide an evening of old time country music in a Summer Sounds concert that leads into the Bay Days Fireworks.
      Furyous George, a new band that stars some well known Franklin county performers, debuts new songs at each outing. They have recently played their mix of Adult Contemporary rock and classic rock at Franny O's in Burlington and at the Bayside.
      "This is a band that people will want to come out and see," founder Scott Guptill said.
      Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and vocals, started in Bad Xample which segued into Bad Horsey. Lead vocalist Harvey Mayo began singing with the group Rock Bottom and approached Mr. Guptill with the idea of forming the new band. Tony Farrar, drums, worked with Mr. Guptill in Bad Xample and Shawn Hayden, lead guitar and back-up vocals, is another Rock Bottom alum. Furyous George also features Miles Trudell, Bass.
      The afternoon will conclude with the upbeat and heavy rock sounds of today's youth with performances by Absolute Zero and Part Time Heros. A careful reading of the band list will show that these groups share musicians.
      Part Time Heros plays "Progressive Punk Rock" with Matt Flanagan, Guitar, Vocals; Matt Gadouas, Bass, Vocals; Brandon Cobb, Lead Guitar, Vocals; and Chris McCarthy, Drums.
      Absolute Zero plays original modern hard rock, funk, and everything in between; it features Mike McCarthy, Lead Vocal, Guitar; Chris McCarthy, Drums; Adam Desrochers, Lead Guitar, Vocals; Matt Gadouas, Bass, Vocals. Their album, Fuzzy Goodness for Your Whole Family, was an AAC Featured Artist last year.
      The Bay Days shows are free and recommended for all ages. In the unlikely event of rain, the fireworks and Summer Sounds concert will be held July 8.


RICHFORD--The AA Brown public library offers a free movie and popcorn with White Fang on Friday afternoon at 2. Stay in the village for the Richford Fire Department's Friday Night Street Party, featuring the live music of Maple Creek, starting at 7 p.m. Don't forget your lawn chair and dancing shoes.

RICHFORD--New England's British ballad tradition invades the Richford Historical Society Museum as singer and scholar Burt Porter presents a free program of Vermont ballads on Saturday at 1 p.m.
      Traditional British and French-Canadian ballads are a rich part of our literary and musical heritage. Singer and scholar Burt Porter's ancient British songs relate the often tragic narrative with intricate poetry and familiar melodies. Porter sings, plays fiddle and mandolin, and focuses on the Vermont versions of these songs. He offers a running commentary on the history and art of balladry.
      This free program is from the Vermont Council on the Humanities.

HIGHGATE FALLS--The Summer Ministry of the Arts presents a series of Ensembles and Solos on selected Sunday afternoons at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church on the Green. The Burlington-based jazz ensemble Red Four will perform this Sunday at 3:30pm.
      These concert are preceded by an Episcopal Evensong service at 3 p.m. Admission is by donation.

SHELDON--Village Harmony returns for its fifth year in the Summer at Grace series at Grace Church on Sunday. This popular youth ensemble will present an eclectic mixture of traditional and contemporary gospel, jazz arrangements, Appalachian harmony singing, and new works by Colorado composer Toby Tenenbaum. Village Harmony's 25 young singers and instrumentalists are drawn from throughout New England and as far away as North Carolina and Virginia, and are directed be John Harrison, Toby Tenenbaum and Suzannah Park.
      This is the fifth season of the Summer Music at Grace series. Sunday at 7 p.m. at Grace Church, 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. A community potluck dinner will precede the concert at 6:00 p.m. The suggested admission to the concerts is $7/$5 for students. Village Harmony's recordings and songbooks will be available for sale. Click here for more info about the Summer Music at Grace Concert series.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Enosburg Town Band performs a free concert in Lincoln Park on Tuesday, July 8, at 8 p.m.


      A major construction project has forced the Museum of Modern Art out of its Manhattan home. The Modern has now officially, if temporarily, moved to Queens. The new address on Queens Boulevard is a bright blue reconfigured staple factory that will open this weekend as MoMA QNS. The museum expects to remain in Queens for three years.
      Check out for the address, exhibitions, programs, and events in English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and German.

      Links to this week's performers:
Click here for more info about Furyous George;
here for more info for both Absolute Zero and Part Time Heros; and
here for more info about Village Harmony.


      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).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.