ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 29, 2004


      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 1 p.m., at ChowBella in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Kept Writer in St Albans mostly once each month, 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 Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds series returns to Taylor Park as St. Albans for the Future, the downtown St. Albans vitalization group, presents American Roots singer-songwriter Mark LeGrand and his Lovesick Band, featuring abstract artist and singer Sarah Munro, on Sunday evening.
      Mark LeGrand has a repertoire of contemporary original songs drawn on traditional themes. The Lovesick Band is Sarah Munro, vocals, Dan Haley, guitar and vocals, Matt Caminsky, bass, Kevin Morrison, drums, and Mr. LeGrand on guitar and vocals. Influenced by Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, his work offers a refreshing blend of originality, authenticity and style.
      The concert will include "originals as well as well loved standards like Your Cheating Heart, Good Hearted Woman, Walking After Midnight, ..." Mr. LeGrand said. "I do like to feel out the audience and shift it where needed." Chris O'Neil will interview him on WLFE 102.3 live tomorrow morning.
      "He plays real country music," Mr. O'Neil said.
      The Appalachian mountains are home to a variety of popular musical genres including roots, bluegrass, country, folk, and old-timey. Mr. LeGrand has incorporated these styles into his own brand of music. He received the Onion River Arts Council Great Performances Award in recognition of dedicated leadership and outstanding artistic contributions to promote the arts and enhance the quality of life in Central Vermont. His CD All Dressed Up, made the top ten list in both the Burlington Free Press and Seven Days. The critically acclaimed Mischievous Angel and All Dressed Up enjoy air play in Holland, Ireland, Australia. South America, Canada, and in this country. He lives and makes music in Montpelier.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Dessert in the Park at the BPW-Summer Sounds social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, enjoy tall tales of the St. Albans downtown, and to eat finger foods and mapley delights.
      Summer Sounds concerts in Taylor Park are presented by the Vermont Maple Festival, the City of St. Albans, and the All Arts Council of Franklin County, and sponsored by Ben & Jerry's Homemade, the Handy Group of new car dealers, Key Bank, Merchant's Bank, Northwestern Medical Center, and St. Albans for the Future.
      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 as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site (if needed) is the Congregational Church.


      Our only evening of free outdoor classical music is only seven days away as The All Arts Council presents the Vermont Mozart Festival in Taylor Park on Thursday, August 5. The Mozart Festival hosts a series of concerts performed by orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, and exceptional soloists.
      The St. Albans concert will feature the Ysaye Quartet in a program of the Beethoven Quartet in F minor, Op. 95, Franck String Quartet, and the Haydn Quartet in C major, Op. 54, No. 2.
      The Ysaye Quartet, Guillaume Sutre, violin, Luc-Marie Aguera, violin, Miguel Da Silva, viola, and Francois Salque, cello, made its debut tour of North America in 1990, winning accolades from audiences and critics in 15 cities. Its eight subsequent tours have taken the Quartet to more than forty different venues. They have recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Philips and Decca labels, including, for Decca, the complete works for string quartet by Mendelssohn, and the piano quartets and quintets by Fuare with their compatriot Pascal Roge. The members of the Quartet are on the faculty of the Conservatoire Superieur de Musique de Paris.
      The Quartet will hold a pre-performance discussion with the artists at 6 p.m. in the First Congregational Church.
      Chow Bella! will host the evening with delicious delectables before the concert and during intermission.
      The Vermont Mozart Festival continues through Sunday, August 8.
      Presented by the All Arts Council, this Vermont Mozart Festival concert is sponsored by the Peoples Trust Company with the generous assistance of Channel 15, the County Courier, St. Albans for the Future (the St. Albans Downtown Committee), and the St. Albans Messenger.
      Admission is free, but free advance tickets (strongly recommended) are available from the Vermont Mozart Festival, the St. Albans Messenger, the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the All Arts ticket centers: Opera House at Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall, and Better Planet in St. Albans.


      Franklin County Field Days has a broad line-up of well-known free entertainment all weekend.
      Keeghan Nolan, 12, of Fairfield is going into seventh grade at Fairfield Center School. She is the spellbinding newest name in the Field Days entertainment lineup this year. She will sing on the Main Stage on Sunday.
      "She's like a little superstar" whose grandmother turned her on to Patsy Cline, Fairfield teacher Joanne Scott said. "She's a horse person who does rodeos and shows and who sings at the drop of a hat. She won the Maple Festival Talent Show this year, played the Jig in the Valley, and also goes to senior centers and belts it right out."
      Her repertoire includes Patsy Cline, some Martina McBride, and more. Her Field Days show will include Seven Lonely Days, Your Cheatin Heart, Crazy, She's Got You, and Imagine That.
      "I love that song," her mom, Cheryl Nolan said. "She has been singing for a long time, but this year is the first year she entered a show. She is a very quiet child, but when she gets up there to sing it's unbelievable."
      Plan on some fun and foolery as Joey the Clown limbers up the crowd on Friday. The music lineup on the Main Stage features the original and traditional old-time country and bluegrass of Jim Daniels, 1-3 p.m. followed but the Conrad Samuels Band, 4-7 p.m. and the Wild Chase Band, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
      Saturday brings back Esther Combs and the Blue Bandana Band in a reprise of their country-rock extravaganza, 1-4 p.m., while juggler Steve Gratio will work the crowd for about four hours. Yankee Wild wraps up the evening from 6-10 p.m.
      On Sunday singer Keeghan Nolan will bring Patsy Cline to life, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Then Rick and the Ramblers, 1-3 p.m., and the killer Blues of Nobby Reed Project, 4-6:30 p.m. end the 2004 Field Days, giving you just enough time to drive south for Summer Sounds in St. Albans. Whew.
      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 days start at 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday for breakfast at the 4H booth; the grounds and exhibits open formally at 9 each morning.


      Chow Bella! presents Sarabande on Tuesday in concert to benefit the Franklin County Humane Society. Cynthia Livingston, flute and piano, and Sabrina Rood-Sinker, piano, will perform music from Philippe Gaubert, John Rutter, Chick Corea, Gwyneth Walker, Maurice Ravel, Michael Head, and Enrique Granados.
      The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the "back room." Admission is by suggested donation: $8/adults and $4/children and seniors. Call 802.849.2823 for info.


      theHarpweaver (great name) is a literary arts magazine published through the Brock University Department of English on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario.


      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 © 2004 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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