ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 25, 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.

      We're making artistic hay, rain or shine with another busy week in the arts. There is music in East Fairfield, Franklin, Highgate, St Albans, and Swanton, plus the famous Swanton Festival parade.


      Highgate Municipal Park will swing as Chevalier Drilling presents the Green Mountain Cloggers on Highgate Recreation's official dance stage in the middle of the park. Their energetic, foot-stomping, toe-tapping Appalachian-style dance may shake the sound system off the stage.
      Appalachian Clogging is an energetic, rhythmic dance form that is typically performed to Bluegrass music. Although generally called clogging, the dancers wear tap shoes rather than actual clogs.
      The Green Mountain Cloggers have been performing around the state of Vermont since the 1970s. The Highgate show will combine traditional Appalachian clogging with other dance styles, including Irish hard-shoe and celli dancing, French-Canadian clogging, and American tap dancing.
      "We also have a brand new Irish jig reminiscent--very reminiscent--of River Dance," Pam Lord said.
      These Vermont Arts Council juried artists include Sue Boyd, Cindy Cooke, Laurie Fisher-Dykes, Denise Kennedy, Margaret Kennedy, Pam Lord, and Anne Conaway Peters.
      "For us the joy of dancing is dancing with live musicians and we are lucky always to have such talented musicians to work with," Ms. Lord said. The musicians are Neil Rossi who "plays absolutely everything" on guitar and mandolin, Janet Wilson, fiddle, and Rick Sebellius, banjo and bodhran.
      Just before the concert, stop by for a full scale Social in the Park at the Holy Trinity 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 nearby rain site will be announced on Sunday. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont with concerts that are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.


      The Tenth Annual Jig in the Valley brings an eclectic day of outdoor music to a good cause in Fairfield on Sunday. "It's a class act," said Tyrone Shaw.
      "It's been ten years of wonderful community cooperation," said Michele Bessett, "and that is everything from the musicians who are so generous with their time to the tireless work of the community center director and board members and friends."
      The musicians who are all donating their time include John Cassel, the wonderful Irish singers of the Fenian Four, Jim Daniels and Jim McGinnis, The Most of Ben Patton and Matt Peck, the bluegrass of the Lost Nation Valley Band, Will Patton's Gypsy Jazz quintet and mando mayhem, and the Motown sounds of the Spiders.
      "Then we will boogy out the night with the Nobby Reed Project," said Ms Bessett.
      "The lineup is so lush. In order to give everyone a fair amount of time, Tyrone Shaw had to boot himself out. He is still the impresario," said Ms. Bessett. "There is also a great chicken BBQ and vegetarian fare. It's not your average Festival food."
      The suggested donation is $6 and kids under 10 are free. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of kids. "There is never a rain site. That adds a little to the cachet," Mr. Shaw said.
      The Jig in the Valley runs from noon-dusk on Sunday. The proceeds benefit the many programs at the Fairfield Community Center. The Center will start a full-day day care in September. They have an after school homework club, and house Early Essential Ed and Headstart, and offer a wide variety of educational, arts, and special programming. Call 802-827-3130 for info.
      "Where else can you listen to eight great bands for six bucks?" Ms. Bessett asked.


      Swanton has held its annual four-day Summer Festival on the last July weekend for 43 years. The whole state comes out for the parade, carnival rides, a barbecue dinner, bingo, an auction, library book sale, petting zoo, the 10K Swan Run, and live music. There will be a street dance tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday night.
      The Citizens Concert Band performs the kickoff concert for the Summer Festival in the park tonight at 7 p.m.
      "We try to appeal to the kids on Thursday night," Ron Kilburn said.
      DJ Dancing Dean plays tonight from 7-9 in the Park by the fountain. The Thursday Street dance in the Square features the Tan Trum rock band from 8-11. This group was formerly the Hang Ten band with drummer Scott Belisle.
      Tomorrow, The Dares play 2-4 in the park. This six-piece pre-teen rock band from Burlington performs original music written by band members Matt and Ben Peterson. They are popular performers on WCAX, at the St Patrick's Day celebration, at First Night, and at the Vermont Maple Festival.
      The Friday Street Dance features the Nobby Reed Project from 7:30-10:30 p.m. The 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. The Project played the Ben and Jerry's One Heart Festival and opened for Eddie Money at SoberStock 2002. Nobby's CDs include Guitar on My Back, It's All about the Blues and the new Cure for the Blues.
      On Saturday evening, the street dance is Yankee Wild from 8-11 p.m. This group headlined the Maple Festival with their mix of slow, old time country to good snappy modern country music. They can even play som good dancing rock on request. The group has Willie Hughes, lead guitar and lead vocalist, Bob Corbiere, bass and vocals, Steve Sweetser, rhythm guitar and fiddle, and Tim Michel, drums.
      The 44th annual Parade begins at 2 on Sunday. There is a line dance demonstration at 5 and the Festival ends with a band exhibition at 6 p.m.


FRANKLIN--Jesse Potts performs Saturday at the Boonys, starting at 7 p.m. Jesse plays eclectic, original, acoustic music.

ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer's Second Anniversary Celebration features local art and music starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
      "We will have a variety of live music with a long list of great performers," said Jedd Kettler "including Josh Magis, John Nicholls, and Joshua Givens."
      The Kept Writer Group Art Show features eight local artists through the end of July. The walls are filled with the original paintings, photographs, and mixed media works of Beth DeMont, Joshua Givens, Amanda Roer, Alan DeMont, Amy Pelen, Steven Broomall, and more.


      Metroland Online is the alternative newsweekly of New York's capitol region. The site emphasizes music and the arts. Their music want ads include in Niskayuna a musician/choir director, gigs for drummers, and musician services.
      Here are links to this week's performers


      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.