ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 14, 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 presenters and Town Bands of Franklin County together will offer nearly 100 concerts this summer in every genre except opera. Click here to see the schedule of area events.

CITIZENS CONCERT BAND--The Citizens Concert Band will play many Wednesday evenings in a town park near you. Their schedule includes concerts in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park June 27, July 18, and August 22; beside the bathhouse in St. Albans Bay Town Park on August 8 and August 29 - St. Albans Bay Town Park; and at the Church of the Nativity in Swanton July 11 and August 1.
      All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free. Click here or call Kevin Loomis (802.868.2684) for more info.

CONCERTS BY THE COMMON--The popular and eclectic Montgomery Village series presents a Festival of Jazz this summer. The MediterrAsian Jazz Ensemble takes a sinuous journey around the globe on July 7. Jazzmosis plays the dissonant standards on July 21. Random Association returns with a mixed a capella contemporary offering in August.
      All concerts are held in Pratt Hall in Montgomery. A season ticket to the Concerts by the Common is available for $30. Call Lutz Automotive (802.326.4528) for tickets.

ENOSBURG TOWN BAND--The 35-piece Enosburg Town Band plays traditional brass band music under the baton of Alisa Martin. This Town Band is the oldest in Vermont with volunteer musicians ranging in age from 11 to over 70. Their first Tuesday night concert of 2007 took place in Lincoln Park this week.
      The band plays every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Lincoln Park. They will also play a series of ice cream socials and special concerts around Franklin County.

SUMMER MUSIC AT GRACE--The season began last week with a Franklin County classic, the Fifth Annual Farewell Reunion concert at Grace Episcopal Church in Sheldon. On Friday, June 22, the series continues with Bread & Bones. Village Harmony will return July 21. Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson bring folk, blues, and bluegrass in August. Boston singer-songwriter Thea Hopkins takes over in September.
      Hosts are needed to provide bed and breakfast for some of the Village Harmony singers. If you would like to host, call Beth Crane (326.4603). Click here for more info

SUMMER SOUNDS--Franklin County's popular, long running series returns to its roots for its 17th season with free concerts almost every summer Sunday evening in Highgate Center. The schedule begins next Sunday, June 24.
      There will be no Summer Sounds concerts in St Albans City this season.
      The 2007 series will travel to Highgate and St. Albans Bay with a nationally known lineup of of bluegrass, country, folk, gospel, pop, and classic rock-n-roll. . Each summer concert is free. Settle in on your own blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the outdoor family music. Bring your own bug spray.
      Summer Sounds concerts are always in a Town park, always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., and always free. The concert sites are the Municipal Park in Highgate and the Bay Park in St Albans Town. Click here for more info.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Amy Cook, pastel, pencil, and oil; Nancy Hayden, acrylic and fiber arts; Pam Krout-Voss, fiber arts; and Wayne Tarr, photography.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 45 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The Village Frame Shoppe is located within the coop as a resident framer. The Blue Crayon, a small private studio, is available there for individual or small group lessons. The gallery, located at 349 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center gallery features Essex artist Marilyn James whose stylized work, in oil, concentrates on shapes and color and simplicity. The exhibit continues through June 30.

VERGENNES--Lake Champlain Maritime Museum hosts a Kids Pirate Festival on Saturday and Sunday. Come in costume for live performances by musicians Mark Sustic with Fiddleheads, the a capella Sweet Transitions, magician Tom Verner, and LCMM’s Champlain Troubadour Matthew Witten in two days of kid-friendly Father’s Day fun for the whole family.
      Festival hours are 10-5, rain or shine. All the pirate-themed activities, crafts, and performances are included with museum admission. Arrrrgh. Children under 5 and LCMM members are always free. LCMM is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Lake Champlain. Call 802.475.2022 or click here for more info.


ART SURVEY--In an ongoing effort to gather more data with the public survey started last month, the Arts and Cultural Center committee has launched an online version of the survey. Click here to fill out the survey with just a few tail wiggles of your mouse. The survey will also ask about specific community interests, issue a call for volunteers, and look for suggestions for an Art Center name.


     8084's former lead singer Randy Smith of St. Albans and now North Carolina has joined the GB Music roster. Mr. Smith has made four albums with 8084 and has now begun a career as a solo artist. He joins other classic rock performers including Starz, New England, 707, Sylvain Sylvain of The New York Dolls, and Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer Marky Ramone in the GB Music family.
      Mr. Smith's site includes more info about his upcoming release as well as samples, his biography, media and press info, a music store, contact info, and a blog.


      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 © 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.