ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 20, 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.


      The Vermont Maple Festival will kick off three days of entertainment next weekend, April 28-30 in St. Albans, in the 40th annual hallmark of Spring. This week, I will cover the music and entertainment.
      The All Arts Council hosts a major Maple Festival art exhibit each year. Next week, I will describe the rest of the arts including the AAC and S.A.F.F. sponsored attempt to create the World's Largest Artist's Palette and the AAC Fine Art exhibit in the St Albans Historical Museum.
      Entertainment chair Frank Mehaffey has booked a mix from Oom Pah bands to magicians and story tellers to contemporary jazz. The stage will host many local musicians.
      Starting at noon on Friday, the Main Street stage will kick off with the German Oom Pah Brass Band, local musicians who have entertained at events, fairs and parties for over 20 years. Marko the Magician has performed throughout the northeast with his unique and entertaining mix of magic and fun. The four-piece country/classic rock group Durango has performed for the Maple Festival, Franklin County Field Days, and Lamoille County Field Days. Nothing Better to Do, the pop-jam band of students from BFA-St. Albans, performed and won the Bash for Cash at Higher Ground. The Milton Community Band, under the baton of local musician Adam Sawyer, performs a blend of traditional band music for all ages.
      Friday evening features the Youth Talent Show in the BFA Auditorium. This annual favorite brings together some of the most talented children in the County. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and at the festival office.
      The entertainment on the Main Street Stage continues Saturday with country singer/song writer Keeghan Nolan of Fairfield. She has performed throughout Vermont, New York, and Florida and has Boots, a new CD release, coming soon. Local rock band Fractured performs music from classic rock to today. The Joe Levesque Big Band, is a 17-piece big band with a repertoire ranging from big band swing to the music of today. Jazzmosis has performed throughout New England area in concerts and events. Musical storytellers Vic and Sticks entertain children with a blend of fun and music and stories.
      The Fiddler's Variety Show is an annual sellout in BFA Auditorium with two hours (or more) of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedy, and clogging. Tickets for the Variety Show are available at the Chamber of Commerce and at the festival office.
      On Sunday, the Main Street Stage will host the St. Albans City School Senior Band before the Parade. Then the Electric Youth Dance Company will dance in the street. The Citizens Concert Band, under the direction of Kevin Loomis, has performed in Taylor Park and Swanton for many years.
      After a competitive bidding process, Tim-Kath Productions will return to do the sound. TimKath serves the Vermont Dairy Festival, Miss Vermont Pageant, Green Mountain Chew-Chew, and Franklin County Field Days as well as the Vermont Maple Festival. They have handled corporate events, theater, fairs, festivals and other live and recorded productions in Northern New England and Northern New York for 15 years.
      All food, crafts, and fine arts exhibits will be open Friday, 12-5 p.m., Saturday, 10-5 p.m., and Sunday 10-4 p.m.


BURLINGTON--The Friends of Big Joe Burrell feature Will Patton with Rob Guerrina, Nick Aloi, and Clyde Stats tonight 8-11 p.m. at Halvorson’s Restaurant.
      The performance tonight will be more "straight ahead mandolin jazz." Look for the standards, be-bop and a little bossa/choro mixed in. Click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group (Jim Watson and Jimmy Gaudreau) tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church.
      Robin and Linda Williams have performed "a robust blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country that combines wryly observant lyrics with a wide-ranging melodicism" for more than three decades. They tour constantly with Their Fine Group, have appeared on The Grand Old Opry," "Austin City Limits," "Music City Tonight, and Mountain Stage and continue to make frequent stops on A Prairie Home Companion.
      Jim Watson on bass, vocals, and mandolin, was a founding member of The Red Clay Ramblers. Jimmy Gaudreau, mandolin and mandola, is a veteran of Chesapeake and Aldridge, The Country Gentlemen, J. D. Crowe, and the Tony Rice Unit.
      Tickets will be available at the door only (there are no advance sales). The suggested donation is $10. Call Margo Rome (802.644.2233) or email for more info


     Show muralist Christina Smith of Milton a bare wall and she’ll show how she can transform it into art. She has created everything from a whimsically painted children’s nursery to a detailed view of the Italian countryside. On a smaller scale, she works with colored pencils, laying down color after color to capture the way light and shadows define an image.


      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).
      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.