ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 7 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 31, 2003


      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 live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons, at the Kept Writer in St Albans most Friday and Saturday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      The Taylor Park bandstand will rock out as Merchants Bank presents Tin Pan Alley in the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
      Tin Pan Alley backs their pulsating guitar/hard driving rock with original lyrics and sound from Duane Carleton, guitar and vocals, Steve Mulholland, bass and vocals, and Jim Parvis, drums. This high energy trio of Vermont natives works from the capitol region of New York State. They have toured with Gov't Mule, opened for Ghost Riders of the Purple Sage, taken the Tales of Ordinary Madness tour, and play about 250 shows in New England each year. Their newest CD is the popular Vegas; others include Neptune's Odyssey, Last Kiss of Orion, and Ghosts on the Road.
      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 City of St. Albans and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Ben & Jerry's Homemade, the Handy Group new car dealers, Merchants Bank, Northwestern Medical Center, and the St. Albans Main Street Merchants.
      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, based on recent experience, a couple of umbrellas as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.


      Franklin County Field Days has comfortable, well-known free entertainment all weekend.
      Plan on some hootin' and hollerin' as Joey the Clown limbers up the crowd on Friday and the music lineup features original and traditional old-time country and bluegrass of Jim Daniels, Esther Combs and the Blue Bandana Band in a reprise of their country-rock extravaganza, 4-6:30 p.m., and the bluegrass of Bernie Rose 8-10:30 p.m.
      Saturday brings the Green Mountain Cloggers to the stage, while juggler Steve Gratio will work the crowd for about four hours and 8084 (pronounced eight-oh-eight-four) wraps up the evening.
      The Green Mountain Cloggers' 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.
      8084, Franklin County's most widely traveled rock band, played the Floodstock benefit and toured with Blue Oyster Cult, Edgar Winter, and April Wine. Expect the best of their originals plus some power pop sounds from the seventies such as covers of Van Halen and Bon Jovi. They are producing a new album at West Street Digital.
      On Sunday the Northeast Fiddlers Association, Rick and the Ramblers, and the killer Blues of Nobby Reed Project end at about 6 p.m., giving you just enough time to drive south for Summer Sounds in St. Albans. Whew.
      The Northeast Fiddlers Association is a non-profit group of fiddlers, other musicians and supporters located in the Northeastern North America and dedicated to preserving and promoting Old-Time Fiddling and its related arts and skills.
      Rick and the Ramblers, the premier Western Swing band led by Rick Norcross, features high energy, danceable western swing, traditional country and Vermont-grown original music. The band pairs off twin guitars, vocal harmonies, and comedy material on a musical trip down Route 66.
      Legendary local blues man Nobby Reed has always been about playing the guitar. He has paid his dues recording and performing in a host of bands, and, thanks to critical acclaim for his first solo CD in 1997 he is developing an international audience. His CDs now include Guitar On My Back, It's All About the Blues, Cure for the Blues, and Every Mile.
      Franklin County Field Days is held annually on Airport Road in Highgate. The grounds and exhibits open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


      Actually she "fronts" the band as the Montgomery Historical Society presents Jenni Johnson and The Junketeers in the 15th Annual Concerts By The Common summer concert Series.
      Jenni Johnson sings jazz, blues and funk in a voice that is sometimes Billie Holiday, sometimes Aretha Franklin, and always Jenni. She has developed musical projects in around the nation including her own unique "Billie Holiday Story." She launched Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers, singing jazz and blues standards by her favorite African-American artists such as Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, W. C. Handy, and more, and was quickly nominated to the Vermont Council on the Arts Artist Register. Ms. Johnson is a regular performer in Discover Jazz, First Night, at Chow Bella and appeared recently in the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds in Richford. Her current CD is Black Pearls.
      Tickets are $14/adults and $8/students. They are available in advance at Lutz' Automotive and at the door. Call 326-4528 for info.


ST. ALBANS--The Kept Writer hosts an Open Mike night tonight and every Thursday at 7 p.m.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

ST ALBANS--Chow Bella has expanded into exceptional space for music and art. Connie Warden plans to have live jazz and great art every Wednesday night.
      Coming up, the Live Jazz Duo of Stacy Starkweather and Justin Bedell, 7-9 p.m. next Wednesday, August 6. The art of Chow Bella chef Chepe Cuadra is hanging on the old Chow Bella side. Grand Isle printmaker Roy Newton is also on exhibit with a display of handmade jazz prints. He loves jazz and shows it with wonderful black-and-white prints of artists.


      Will Anderson will visit the Kept Writer Bookstore and Cafe to sign his The Lost New England Nine: The Best Of New England's Forgotten Ballplayers, this afternoon, 4-6 p.m.
      The Lost New England Nine has a wealth of baseball and local history accumulated by this "baseball fan almost since birth." Mr. Anderson is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), the Boston Braves Historical Society, and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Enosburg legend Larry Gardner featured in his newest book.
      Mr. Anderson has written more than a dozen books on Americana: baseball, beer and brew-arcania, diners/roadside eateries and drive-in theaters. He lives with his wife in Bath, Maine.


      Once upon a time, there was a place called "Tin Pan Alley," the location of America's music publishing industry. Where, you may have wondered, is Tin Pan Alley? Is it a place? Is it a concept? Was there really a Tin Pan Alley? This week we have two sites devoted to the history and music of this American legend.
      Click here for and here.


      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 © 2003 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.