ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 30, 2006


      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.


      Beau Vine and the Buckamoos, four unique vocalists from the rolling hills of Franklin, have released a new single and video of Who's Going to Mow Your Grass?
      "They sing the old Buck Owens hit," said Betty Rainville of Franklin, "and their name is a tribute to the Buckaroos.
      "When the girls won the All-New England sing off last fall, we knew they were going places."
      Going they are. Country Music Television will feature the new Franklin County video on Saturday afternoon on CMT 20 Greatest First Videos. The one-hour special, a run up to the 2006 CMT Music Awards, features the first videos made by today's country music superstars as well as new interviews from Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, and Alison Krauss who reveal what their first time in front of the camera was like.
      The 2006 show has a New England theme and includes Reba McEntire in Whoever's in New England. The CMT 20 Greatest First Videos will also spotlight the two new "first" videos that won viewer approval in the CMT 1,000 online balloting in January. Who's Going to Mow Your Grass? placed second in the voting. The video was produced by West Street Digital and Channel 15.
Check the Date.
     The CMT Music Awards are country music's only fan-voted awards. First-round voting to choose four nominees in each category is going on online right now. Final-round voting determines the winners in nine categories. The Video of the Year nominees will be announced at the start of the live broadcast with online voting during the show to pick the night's big winner. To vote for CMT Video Music Awards, you must be a member.
      Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will return as host for the awards; performances by Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, and possibly the Buckamoos will perform. The Awards honor the fans and the videos by today's best known stars in country music. This year the show will take place at Belmont University in Nashville. Toby Keith, Pamela Anderson, and Dolly Parton have also hosted the CMT event.
      The original recording was made when Andre Maquera of West Street Digital visited the Rainville's farm in Franklin. "That demo CD was enough to qualify for the All New England," he said.
      Recording in a field does not produce the studio quality audio they needed for the submission to Country Music Television. West Street Digital completely renovated with a new digital console, a new computer system, and expanded studio space. "We had to make some slight changes in the design to accommodate the Buckamoos, Mr. Maquera said. "It was somewhat difficult to quiet down the floor auger so the microphones didn't pick it up."
      Mr. Maquera does a lot of voice-over work in the studio. "In many ways doing a music video is like doing a commercial voice-over. You have to get the 'actors' to sing their lines and get it mixed in just right."
      The Buckamoos also includes six well known Franklin County "session" musicians on bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, and mandolin. They have asked to remain anonymous.
      "Andre told us we needed a voice coach first," Ms. Rainville said. "He wanted to use Melissa Cross but how much help do they need pronouncing the 'oo' in 'moo'?"
      "We did ruminate on that," Mr. Maquera confirmed. "She is a classically trained singer and punk rocker but we decided that because they have perfect pitch and such wonderful timing, the 'Zen of Screaming' might not work for us.
Check the Date.
     "The CMT Music Awards producers have told us that 'Who's Going to Mow Your Grass?' may be aired again during the awards show," he said. "It's both a time issue and a fan issue. I think a big audience for the show on Saturday is what pushes the new videos into the big show."
      Dogs have barked Jingle Bells, pigs have flown, and cows have jumped over the moon, but this may be the first time a cow video makes it to national television. Stay tuned.
      "Our girls were really hoping for a Grammy," Ms. Rainville said. "Me, too. I'm too busy with the Maple Festival parade to go to Nashville again this month."

     Remember Saturday's date. CMT 20 Greatest First Videos will air Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. but the Buckamoos video will not be included. It is, after all, that time again and you have been fooled.


BURLINGTON--The Events for Tom Series presents Gordon Bok and Margaret MacArthur at FlynnSpace on Sunday at 7 p.m. Maine's Gordon Bok and Marlboro, Vermont's, Margaret MacArthur are two of New Englandís folk music treasures. No foolin'.
      Gordon Bok has sailed his entire life on fishing boats, passenger schooners, and yachts where he learned the songs and ballads of the sea and the schooners and the fish and fishermen. He sings of the mythical sea folk, seals, and selkies of legend and his dreams. Mr. Bok performs across North America, Europe, and Australia as a solo singer, musician, recording artist, teacher, and storyteller, and as a member of the trio Bok, Muir and Trickett. He has recorded more than a dozen solo albums.
      Margaret MacArthur grew up hearing traditional music. She moved to Vermont in 1948 and began collecting songs in Vermont and western Kentucky. She is closely connected to the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection of Vermont and New England material. She tours internationally, has been featured at most of the major folk festivals in the US and Canada, performed by invitation at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Vermont Arts Council conferred its Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award on her in 2002. In 1962 Moe Asch of Folkways Records issued her first recording and she has since recorded ten albums.
      With support from Three Tomatoes, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, the Champlain Valley Festival and others, this concert is the 47th presentation in the Events for Tom Series. Doors will open no later than 6:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 in advance at the Flynn Regional Box Office (802.863.5966 or and $20 the day of the concert.

     Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, supporting families with children with cancer. For more general information about the series and the Tom Sustic Fund, call Mark Sustic (802-849-6968) click here, or email for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The South Hero Community Library will hold a Community Dance with caller Mark Sustic musicians including members of Fiddleheads at the Folsom Educational and Community Center on Saturday, 6-8 p.m. The dance is a fundraiser for the Westwego Branch Library in Jefferson Parish Louisiana. Donations of money or a juvenile non-fiction book (no older than 2004) would be appreciated. Call Annie Brabazon (802.372.6209) for info.

ST. ALBANS--The Northeast Fiddlers Association holds a monthly Fiddle Meeting at the American Legion Hall, 1-5:30 p.m., on the first Sunday of each month. Call Marc Gregoire (802.476.7798) for info about the event this Sunday.


     Self-taught artist Alan DeMont has his studio in St. Albans, Vermont. He has been painting for over 30 years (except for a nearly 20 year period in the 80's and 90's). His site includes paintings, prints, contact info, and a detailed explanation of the gnome. He is a Palettes of Vermont participant.


      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 © 2006 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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