ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 31, 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 World's Largest Palette, Franklin County's fifth World's Record, is in Chittenden County this week as a featured exhibit at the Champlain Valley Fair. It is under cover in the Expo North building near the magnificent sand sculpture. Palettes of Vermont (including several of our own Palettes of Franklin County) have been displayed in the Art Gallery a few buildings away. Signage directs visitors back and forth.
      Since you're going for the palette(s), the Fair offers a lot of arts and entertainment above and beyond the well-advertised "big" shows. The Art Gallery and Craft Show includes the best of the best in art, paintings, photography and fine crafts in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion. There are quilts, crafts, wooden toys, doll clothing, and of course the Palettes of Vermont.
      The Stars of the Moscow Circus are juggling, doing aerial tricks, playing with animals and more every day. The Pirates of Caribbean high-dive specialists walk the plank and land unscathed in a kiddie pool. Rated ARRRRR(gh). Physical comedian Bill Robison is near the grandstand with animated, fast-paced and outrageously funny mimicry, clowning, and living caricatures of passersby. And Lucky Bob razzle-dazzles, mystifies, and wows with juggling and balancing. Hypnotist Steve Bayner, Al The Artist with the bright cartoon car and caricature drawings, hot high school and college bands, and the Dixieland Strollers are all on the grounds and stages.
      The Giant Sand Sculpture is one of the Fairís most requested attractions. It is indoors this year at the Expo North Greenhouse near the giant, heavyweight pumpkins and the World's Largest Palette. I sense a theme in this building.
      The World's Largest Palette was created by the All Arts Council, St. Albans for the Future, and professional and community artists from Franklin County. It is sponsored by the Peoples Trust Company, R. J. Fournier, Sticks and Stuff, and Union Bank.
      Thousands of visitors have already seen our 12x16-foot artwork. The Fair continues through Sunday.


     The Montgomery Historical Society Concerts by the Common series presents the Will Patton Ensemble in Pratt Hall in Montgomery on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      The Will Patton Ensemble performs the gypsy jazz popularized by Django Reinhardt of the 1930s Paris bistros. The quintet has a strong string jazz sound with Will Patton, mandolin, David Gusakov, violin, Steve Blair, guitar, Clyde Stats, bass, and Steve Wienert, drums. The concert will feature Anna Patton on clarinet. The group performs a repertoire that includes Brazilian sambas and choros, some bebop, and many original compositions.
      The Ensemble set the standard for mandolin-based acoustic world music with the release of String Theory. Their two earlier CDs, Peripherique and Latitudes and Departures were each selected as top 10 releases of the year.
      Admission is $10 for members or $12 for non-members. Call 802.827.3845 or click here for more info


     Mea Culpa. I made the mistake of announcing at the Upstate New Yorkers concert that we had had eight rain free events in a row. In public no less. The rains came for our Smokin Gun concert in Highgate and stuck around for the final event, Atlantic Crossing last Sunday in Taylor Park.
      Labor Day weekend already. We had a pretty good season despite the weather and despite landing too few sponsors and hosts.
      The 2006 Summer Sounds concerts were sponsored by the Town of Highgate, the City of St. Albans, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin Sons, Northwestern Medical Center, Pete Paquette Real Estate and Development, Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing, a consortium of downtown St Albans merchants, Sticks & Stuff, and the Tyler Place. Email the All Arts Council if your business would like to sponsor or your community group would like to host a concert in this popular series.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts will return on Sunday evenings next June.


RANDOLPH--The all-weather New World Festival on Sunday has celebrated Vermontís Celtic and French Canadian heritage with traditional music and dance for fourteen years. Held at historic Chandler Music Hall and under tents on Main Street, it features Mark Sustic and Yankee Chank, as well as Le Bon Vent, Cantrip, Boulerice and Demers, Talun, Les Batinses, Crowfoot, Jerry Holland, La Part du Queteux, Prydein, Claude Methe and Friends, Gruney, Lynd and Kahle, Sarah Blair, Keith Murphy and Fair Play, Wind That Shakes the Barley, Midnight Capers, Nils Fredland, Pierre Chartrand, Sharon Gouveia, Great Bear Trio, No Strings Marionette Company, Block and Marshall, a young musicians showcase, and more on five performance stages. The day includes childrenís activities, food, and crafts. Performances run from 12 noon to midnight.
      Admission is $25 or $10 for students 18 and under and $5 for children under 12. Click here for more info.

ON THE AIR--North Country Public Radio (88.1 FM) features Atlantic Crossing tonight at 7 p.m. Atlantic Crossing is a favorite at Summer Sounds. Click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn presents The Croppies Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. With Paddy Smith on bouzouki, button accordion, banjo, cittern, and vocals, Chris Gauthier on bodhran, congas, drums, guitar, and vocals, and Cheryl Kerr on fiddle, guitar, bodhran, and vocals, the group performs Irish, English, North American and contemporary songs. Their instrumental choices range from the jigs and reels of Gaelic dance to Breton melodies and the baroque flavored compositions of O'Carolan. Email the Inn for more info.

BURLINGTON--Will Patton gets another workout this week as Leunigís features the Quartet on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Call Mr. Patton (802.827.3845) or click here for more info.


     35th Parallel takes the listener on a sinuous journey around the globe with their original compositions plus the music of the Middle East, North India, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. Their site includes the Download of the Month series, a free monthly download of musical pieces not found on their albums. The current download, Lunar, was recorded live at the FlynnSpace in February, 2004.


      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.