ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 19, 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.


      Last week, the famed butler of the WLFE Summer Sounds ads was a hero for booking a last minute Summer Sounds lawn party in which the sun itself appeared. This week, the princess hasn't let the grass grow under her feet in her search for a band better known than TBA. She thinks we might not have had enough finger picked ballads in Franklin County's "August Bluegrass growing season."
      This Sunday the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds series has world class newgrass from Southern Vermont as the Tyler Place presents the Stockwell Brothers in Highgate. These All Arts Council concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.
      Bruce, Barry, and Alan Stockwell wield acoustic and electric guitars, 5-string banjo, mandolin, bass, and multi-flavored percussion to color the poetry of their music and to cast a spell over the audience.
      "Real biological style brothers," Bruce said. The brother acts in bluegrass harken back to old days of bluegrass. "There is a rich tradition."
      Bruce and Barry have been playing bluegrass together about 35 years. "Al is somewhat younger but he's been with us for about 20," Bruce said. Their background is in bluegrass but they have played in most other genres. "We've done stylishly a bunch of stuff from country-rock to funk and world-beat at one point. I guess that some way or another it all finds its way into the music but at the moment, we've gone back to playing the acoustic trio thing."
      "Three people, we have to keep up with all the quintets and sextets. We plug it in and make as big a racket as possible."
      Their material varies from an old time fiddle tune to a John Hyatt song. In between is straight ahead rock, fingerpicked folk, mandolin medleys, and, of course, a skoch of blue and a little grass riding funk, reggae, and Latin grooves. It's an eclectic way to make modern bluegrass.
      With their tasty arrangements, fraternal harmonies, and superb instrumentals, this trio has appeared with John McLaughlin, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Mary-Chapin Carpenter and John Gorka. Their current album is the critically acclaimed Leave My Dreams Alone.
      All three brothers are now married. "Barry and Al have gotten into the domestic trip," Bruce said. "Al now has three kids, one just a few months old. Barry's daughter is just over a year old." That means they have cut back on their tour schedule. Summer Sounds has them exclusively this year "that far north, especially."
      Before and during the concert, the Highgate Public Library will serve a tableful of goodies for your sweet tooth. Meet some old friends and make new ones as you picnic in the Municipal Park starting at 6:30.
      The Vermont Maple Festival presents the Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate to keep music and maple together all year round. The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, Roy's Housing/Your Vermont Home, and the Tyler Place.. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Summer Sounds 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 rain site is the Highgate Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


FAIRFAX--The Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford performs in concert tonight at 7 p.m. on the BFA-Fairfax Middle School lawn. The rain site is the old gym (rain?). Call 849-2420 for info.

TEEVEE--Adelphia Channel 15 and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that air each week. This week, one set of Atlantic Crossing Almost Live in Highgate airs tonight at 9:30 on Channel 15. The concert will repeat at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow and next Thursday morning at 2 a.m.


30TH BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL PRINT AND DRAWING EXHIBITION (September 1)--This juried show is one of the oldest and most prestigious exhibitions in the United States. Entry fee. click herefor a prospectus.

CRAFT CALL (September 1)--Vermont Hand Crafters will host the Fall 2004 jury session for membership into oldest and largest juried VT craft organization on September 23. The cost is $35. Email for info.

PUBLIC ART PROPOSALS (September 1)--Newport New Public Art Foundation wants professional artists to construct traditional sculptures as public art for up to 18 sites. E-mail or click here for info.

REMEMBRANCES OF THINGS PAST: THE LAST 50 YEARS (September 1)--is a juried exhibition at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA. E-mail or click here for info.

20th ANNUAL NATIONAL JURIED CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION (September 3)--The Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie offers cash awards and exhibition opportunities for painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography and mixed media. Click here for info.

HARD & SOFT (September 30)--The greater Denton (Texas) Arts Council national, juried, contemporary craft competition and exhibition offers $5,000.00 in cash awards. Entry fee. Click here for a prospectus.

STATE PARKS (December 31)--An annual photography contest highlights the natural and cultural opportunities in the park system. Prizes will be awarded in the wildlife, plants, people using the park, and open categories but all entries become the property of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and may be used without compensation in future promotion and publications. Click here and follow the link to Photography Contest for the contest rules.


      Founded in 1946, the National Cartoonists Society is the world's largest organization of professional cartoonists. In this context, a professional earns the majority of his or her living by drawing cartoons.


      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.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      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).
      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.