ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 3, 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 hot, hot days of summer are already getting shorter, so it is time to get out and take advantage of the warm summer light. It will be cooler by Sunday. Really.


     Summer Sounds returns a new favorite to Highgate on Sunday as Pete Paquette Real Estate and Development presents Krisis in concert in Highgate Municipal Park.
      "The original name was Midlife Krisis," Ashley Mero said, and unlike this writer's hair, "it got shortened." Krisis includes Kevin Juneau, drums, Roland Juneau, keyboards, Stan LaBare, bass, Ashley Mero, rhythm guitar and backup vocals, and Hal Mero, lead guitar and lead vocals.
      "It's 60s, 70s, and 80s, rock with some modern stuff mixed in," Ms. Mero said. "We like to play, so we play anywhere we can." The Summer Sounds in Krisis concert will include lots of summery Beach Boys and Beatles music.
      The band has been busy this season. "We did a couple of boat cruises for CVPH," Hal Mero said. "And we're more into company parties, retirement parties and graduation parties. That has worked out for us very well."
      "The band started out with a number of corrections officers 'taking care of business'," she said. Now, Roland Juneau is a grocery store manager, Mr. Mero is a security guard, and Ms. Mero is a music major finishing her final year at Plattsburg State. She "would love to be a rock star, but" she plans to be a teacher.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Treats in the Park at the Highgate Library Summer Sounds social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, enjoy novel stories, and to eat finger foods and sweet delights.
      The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin Sons, Pete Paquette Real Estate and Development, 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. These All Arts Council concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.


     Today through Sunday, "quite possibly Vermont's finest country fair" takes to the fields of Highgate as the 31st annual Franklin County Field Days brings a lineup of the best music, arts and crafts, and of course cows Franklin County has to offer. The musical lineup includes some Northwestern Vermont bands that are worth the price of admission alone and the World's Largest Palette will be on site at the arts and crafts building.
      The Adams Brothers Band and the Demolition Derby kick things off tonight. Talk about art on the hoof. The Jim Daniels Band, Blue Bandana Band, and the Ivory Band all fill the stage on Friday. Saturday includes singer Keeghan Nolan, the Classic Country Band, and the Island Ramblers. On Sunday look Junior Barber and Bear Tracks, and the killer blues of the Nobby Reed Project to play until the Field Days gates close, giving you just enough time to drive due East for the Library party and Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Center. Whew.
      The Bear Tracks trio plays roots country, bluegrass and Americana music with the sibling singing of Tom Venne, Julie Venne Hogan, and the soulful resonator guitar work of Junior Barber. Sunday, 1-3 p.m.
      The Jim Daniels Band offers up original and traditional old-time country and bluegrass. Friday, 1-3 p.m.
      The Blue Bandana Band is a four-piece group with over twenty years in music. They play covers of the Classic rock n roll era and classic as well as traditional country. Friday, 4-7 p.m.
      Well known at weddings, Ivory Band performs a soft-rock mix for fair goers who like to dance, cozy up to that special someone, or just enjoy the music. Saturday, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
      Singer Keeghan Nolan, 14, of Fairfield is "a horse person who does rodeos and shows and who sings at the drop of a hat," said Joanne Scott won the Maple Festival Talent Show, played the Jig in the Valley, and went to the Colgate Country Showdown. Saturday, 12 p.m.
      Legendary local blues man Nobby Reed has paid his dues recording and performing in a host of bands. His CDs are critically acclaimed and building him an international audience. Sunday, 4-6:30 p.m.
      Franklin County Field Days is held annually on Airport Road in Highgate. The fair opened this morning at 8:30. The days start at 7 a.m. through Sunday for breakfast at the 4H booth; the grounds and exhibits open formally at 8 each morning. Admission is $6. Click here for more info.


SOUTH BURLINGTON--Higher Ground is hosting Fantastic $4 Band Night for young, hungry, aspiring bands every Wednesday night during June, July and August. Nothing Better to Do plays on Wednesday, August 9. The pop-jam band of Jacques Boudreau, Tyler Smith, Nicholas Roby, and vocalist Elyse Woodsworth won the Bash for Cash at Higher Ground in March.
      "We'll play all originals," Mr. Boudreau said. "It's a fun sort of John Mayor rock in a new musical style I call 'hodge,' short for 'hodge podge'."
      Admission is, of course, $4. The doors open at 8:30 p.m. Click here for more info.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents community dances on Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Waterville Town Hall. The evening will feature contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games and all dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Caller Mark Sustic offers dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie play. Guest musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door.

ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon offers Open Mic with Abby Jenne and Friends every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Abby encourages performers of all kinds to attend. If you need instrumental accompaniment, email with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. Click here for more info.


     Sculptor Jay Graham of Montpelier does "simple abstract" work to capture form with balance and leveraging techniques. Most of his material is recycled steel. His site includes a photo gallery, favorites, items of interest, and contact info.


      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.