ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 17, 2005


      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 or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday 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 Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Will Patton Ensemble on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature music from their new CD, String Theory, plus "some Gypsy jazz, some of the Brazilian choros," Will Patton said. "Probably about half are original compositions. David [Gusakov] wrote a great tune that sounds like Django meets Bill Monroe. It's quasi-gypsy, quasi-bluegrass called 'Last Train to Zinkov' about his ancestral home town."
ArtBits News Photo      Mr. Patton and I talked about Philosophy, Metaphysics, Geography, and Jazz. On the subject of the globe he reminded me that, while the Earth is more or less round, "it is a spatulate ovoid."
      The full Quintet consists of Will Patton, mandolin/octave mandolin; David Gusakov, violin; Steve Blair, guitar; Steve Wienert, drums; and Clyde Stats, string bass.
      Mandolinist and all around string player Will Patton is a popular jazz bass player and session mandolinist strongly influence by jazz, Gypsy, and Brazilian music. He teaches jazz mandolin at Jay Ungar and Molly Mason's Ashokan Camp and the Django in June Festival at Smith College. He has performed with Mose Allison and his bands have opened for such acts as Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, and more. He is currently doing some duo work with guitarist Don Schavner of Morrisville.
      Steve Blair has toured extensively through the United States, Canada, Mexico and Russia. He received a Masters of Music from the University of Massachusetts and is now Assistant Professor and head of the jazz program at Johnson State College. He performs, records, and composes in a broad spectrum of musical styles.
      Baltimore native Steve Wienert studied in New York City with Roy Burns and with Henry Adler in his renowned mid-town studio. He has toured with jazz singer Sheila Jordan, and is a first call drummer all over the Northeast.
      David Gusakov's lifetime career spans most genres. He has been a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra since 1973. He played hard driving bluegrass with Pine Island and Banjo Dan and The Midnight Plowboys. He has performed with Vassar Clemens, Emmylou Harris, Peter Rowan and John Denver. He has traveled the world on a fiddle and teaches music in his Bristol studio.
      A professional bassist for over 30 years, Clyde Stats began his career in Chicago performing blues with Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, and Otis Rush. He has performed rhythm and blues, funk, bluegrass, and jazz, studied with jazz bassists George Mraz and Santi Debriano, and has accompanied Mose Allison, Bobby Watson, Joshua Redman, and James Carter. He holds an M.A. in Jazz Studies from Norwich and teaches jazz and popular music at Johnson State College, Trinity College, and UVM.
      "It's lovely [to play at home] especially since we just got off the road," Mr. Patton said. They played at The Loft in Brattleboro, the Pioneer Art Center in East Hampton, Massachusetts, "and points south this weekend. It's nice to leave the house and be at the gig in 15 minutes."
      It was a sunny day in Brattleboro. They might have gotten a tan.
      The whole band is busy with other projects. "We steal away when we can and are trying to set up these little weekend tours." The Ensemble is also playing Leunigs next Tuesday.
      General admission is $12 for adults or $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available at Enosburg Pharmacy and Merchant's Bank in Enosburg Falls and at Better Planet in St. Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or e-mail to order tickets. Email and phone orders reservations will be cancelled if they are not picked up by 7 p.m. on show night. Click here for band info.


     35 St. Albans City School eighth graders created a 54'x10' mural for the Burlington International Airport. There will be a grand opening recognition ceremony on Monday.
      The project began last spring when the "airport architect conceived a design to which the students could add their own ideas and images," Melissa Haberman said. Art teachers Kathi Brown, Tony Galle, and Ms. Haberman installed the mural in Burlington on October 19.


     The 53rd annual Vermont Hand Crafters Holiday Craft and Fine Art Show begins at the Sheraton Conference Center in South Burlington today at noon and continues through Sunday.
      The traditional weekend-before-Thanksgiving event will feature the work of over 180 juried Vermont artists and artisans including Franklin County artists the Vermont Bag Lady, Nancy Adriance of Richford, makes bags, totes, and purses; ornamental iron and wrought iron furniture by Mike Bishop's Dawn Till Dusk Welding in Swanton; Artist Ann Bissonnette of Fairfax brings watercolor paintings and prints; the Victorian Touch Dried flowers of Elizabeth Boudreau of East Berkshire; my neighbor Jan Brosky is Knit to be Tied in Highgate Springs with unique hand knit scarves; stoneware pottery by Marcia Hagwood Chasworth of St. Albans; handweaver Carol Crawford of Bakersfield with Fine Handwoven Goods; hand tinted photography by Gene Garron of Richford; Maddalena Michetti's Circle of Stones fused and flame-work glass in St. Albans; Say Woof! Kate Stevens of Fairfield, with photography and mixed media; Artist Meta Strick of Get Away With Art in Sheldon will have dolls, assemblage pieces and fine art; Jewelwood of Vermont, Wooden Jewelry & Barrettes by Cynthia Humiston Weed of Enosburg Falls;
      Call Cynthia Humiston Weed (800-373-5429), e-mail or click here for more info. VHC is Vermontís oldest and largest juried crafts organization.


WATERVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council hosts a Contra Dance with caller Mark Sustic plus Frank Heyburn, Michelle Lajoie, members of Fiddleheads and other youth musicians at the Waterville Town Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn presents the original tunes and classic roots-soul sound of the Jim Branca Band plays on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      Mr. Branca reports that sales are up for his current Live CD as a result of recent praise from the Blues Revue. E-mail or click here for more info.


     Have you read "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power" in Reader's Digest? Anu Garg runs a thematic, up-to-date, daily, online vocabulary builder called A Word A Day. He includes a daily mailing list, pronunciation guides, a visual thesaurus, and more. This week's theme words come from the plant kingdom.


      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 © 2005 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.