ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 11, 2007


      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.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!


      The Events for Tom Series presents the April Verch Band in the Showcase Lounge at Higher Ground tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. Pure energy infuses April Verch's fiddle playing and stepdancing. Her performance is more subtle; listen to confident, winsome singing, fiddle phrasing that is finely detailed and elegant, in a repertoire that includes Americana, simple country songs, and rollicking Ottawa Valley tunes.
      Her music is "Like hopping a supersonic freight train from an old lumber camp, across the wide open prairie, through the Appalachians, down the Mississippi to the Louisiana Bayou, across the sea to Brazil, France, the Scottish Highlands and back, with stops at Carnegie Hall and church thrown in for good measure." presenter Mark Sustic said.
      Ms. Verch was born, raised, and lives in Ontario, in an area with a rich, distinctive musical and stepdancing tradition shaped by the roots of the lumbermen. She had recorded two albums (Springtime in 1992, Fiddle Talk in 1995) and was appearing across Canada at concerts and fiddle camps before she finished high school. She attended Berklee School of Music in Boston and earned the titles of Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and Canadian Open Fiddle Champion. She has since appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as well as bluegrass and folk festivals across the United States.
      She released Verchuosity and received her first JUNO nomination for Rounder Records in 2000, From Where I Stand in 2003, and her newest, the 2006 Take Me Back with roots music master Dirk Powell as producer. Each album has a growing emphasis on broad, roots-leaning music and vocals. Her song Tom, Brad & Alice took second place in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition.
      Admission is $18 the day of the concert but only $15 in advance. Tickets are available at Higher Ground (888.512.SHOW) or online. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
      The concert is the 57th presentation in the Events for Tom Series with support from the Comfort Inn and others. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with cancer. Additional contributions to the fund can be sent to: Tom Sustic Fund, PO Box 163, Fairfax, VT 05454. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for info about the Events for Tom Series or the Tom Sustic Fund.


      The All Arts Council opens the 2007 Concerts for Grumpy Grownups with the Vermont Youth Orchestra winter concert, The Force of Destiny, on Friday, January 26, at St. Marys Catholic Church in St. Albans. Led by Music Director and Conductor Troy Peters, the VYO program offers powerful and thoughtful music built upon varying themes of fate. James Box, principal trombonist for the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, will join the VYO to perform Grondahlís Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra.
      Admission to the St. Albans concert is $8 for Adults, $6 for Seniors, and $4 for Students and Children. Tickets will be available at the door.


     The All Arts Council will join with Art's Alive for a Franklin County group show in Burlington in March. Art's Alive maintains a gallery at Union Station where artists' work rotates on a monthly basis. The space will hold a total 20 to 50 pieces. The show will be highlighted in ART MAP Burlington and the gallery is a tour stop for the First Friday Art Walk.
      This call is for a group of Franklin County artists only. Artists will have to label and hang their own work, but the exhibitors have s-clips and string. Email the All Arts Council for more info.


     The Bayside Pavilion will host a release party for Leon Thompson's new book, dork. another look at my junk on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The bash is free and open to the public and will feature a cocktail hour, food, and a cash bar.
      Mr. Thompson, a reporter and columnist for the St. Albans Messenger, will read from and sign copies of dork. and its companion piece, Good Junk.
      "I'll also take questions from the audience," he said, "and maybe even answer them honestly."


ESSEX JUNCTION and BRADFORD--It's a Nobby weekend.
      The Lincoln Inn in Essex Junction hosts a weekly Blues Night on Thursdays. The Nobby Reed Project plays tonight from 7-10 p.m. Recent nights at the Lincoln have included Banjo Dan and Willy Lindner, Paul Asbell, the Hitmen, and High Rollers. Coming up will be even more people well known from Summer Sounds: the Phil Abair Band, Dave Grippo, Big Spike Bluegrass, Mr. French, and more. Email for more info.
      Middle Earth in Bradford presents the Nobby Reed Project on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. for just $8. Call 802.222.4748 or click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--April Verch will hold a fiddle workshop for intermediate to advanced fiddlers at Higher Ground tomorrow afternoon from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The workshop is limited to 20 participants. Please register in advance. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email to register and 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--Chow Bella offers jazz and improv with guitarist Jerry Levine on Monday evenings, 6-9 p.m., and virtuoso guitar with Tom Leshinsky on Wednesday evenings, 6-8:30 p.m. Click here for more info.

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.

CLICK HERE: ART SITE OF THE WEEK evolved from a bricks and mortar gallery for contemporary art in East Chatham, NY. The gallery was directed by two scientists, Frank and Lynn Peseckis (theoretical physics and seismology, respectively), who are now the principals behind this site. The site has biographies, essays and interviews, quotations, sales, what's new, a question and answer section, and more.
      Bill Botzow of Bennington works in sculpture, painting, drawing, performance and digital media on site specific projects. He often works with dancers, scientists, writers and other visual artists. And he is part of


      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.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2007 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.