ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 22, 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.


      We begin the Franklin County summer this weekend as the Summer Sounds concert series kicks of with world class newgrass from Southern Vermont when O. C. McCuin and Sons presents the Stockwell Brothers in Highgate Municipal Park. 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 almost 40 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 which includes She's Dangerous When She's Bored and The Fashion And The Feeling. They will be busy again this summer starting with an earlier concert at the Green Mountain Chew-Chew Festival.
      Please note the concert is in Highgate this weekend.
      Before and during the concert, the All Arts Council will serve a tableful of goodies for your sweet tooth. Meet some old friends and make new ones as you picnic in the Highgate Municipal Park starting at 6:30.
      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, and the Tyler Place. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


     Summer Sounds is an Sunday night concert series presented by the Town of Highgate, the City and Town of St. Albans, the All Arts Council, and a consortium of area businesses. Each concert is also hosted by a community group in each Town; our hosts this year include Foster Grandparents, the Highgate Historical Society, and more.
      It is one of Vermont's longest running free outdoor concert series.
June 25 Stockwell Brothers Highgate
July 2 Slab City St Albans
July 9 A Famous Mystery Band Highgate
July 16 Woods Tea St Albans
July 23 Mystery Band #3 Highgate
July 30 Jenni & the Junketeers St Albans
August 6 Krisis Highgate
August 13 Upstate New Yorkers St Albans
August 20 Another Mystery Band Highgate
August 27 Atlantic Crossing St Albans
     The schedule shows that we still need a couple of bands and the spreadsheet shows we still need a couple of sponsors. If you know a band from outside Franklin County who has not played the series before or a sponsor who really wants to, please email the All Arts Council.


     Sunday is Vermont Arts Council Day at the Green Mountain Chew Chew. The VAC will display more of the Palettes of Vermont in the Council tent at Waterfront Park in Burlington on Sunday, 11-5 p.m.
      The World's Largest Palette, created by the artists of Franklin County, will be on display at the VAC exhibit. In addition to the hundreds of unique palettes, there will be huge, heaping platters of food, live music all day, and palette making activities.
      The World's Largest Palette is sponsored by the Fournier Farm Equipment, Peoples Trust Company, Sticks and Stuff, and Union Bank. It is a project of the All Arts Council and St. Albans for the Future with artwork designed and executed by Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard and Alisha LaRocque.


ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Historical Museum presents Revolutionary War Days Friday-Sunday, June 23-25. The two-day, free event is family friendly and a perfect weekend for history enthusiasts.
      Captain Morrill's Company is invading Downtown St. Albans again this weekend as Revolutionary War Days returns to Taylor Park. This was one of the most memorable events from last summer.
      Volunteers are needed to make sure the crowd stays in place during cannon/musket firings and skirmishes on Saturday and Sunday morning. The Museum needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. on Saturday as well as from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday. Volunteers can simply report to Dale Powers at the park.
      Call Dale Powers (802.527.7933) or click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--The Thursday Series presents Jim McGinniss and the Redeemers at the Calkins Community Barn at the Intervale tonight at 6 p.m. The series includes speakers and special events. Click here for more info.

TUNBRIDGE--Vermont Historical Society presents the Vermont History Expo with Fiddleheads, Spencer Lewis, and others Sunday evening at the Tunbridge World’s Fairgrounds. Email for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn Pub and Grill presents the Croppies at 7 p.m. Email for more info.


     Dr. Quinton Quark's Slapstick Science is a splendid series of science spectaculars using the circus as a laboratory. Slapstick Science is presented by certified veteran science teacher and former Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus clown, Ted Lawrence of Hartford. The site has resources, school programs, contact info and more..


      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.