ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 13, 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 various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, 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!


SHELDON--The Summer Music at Grace season concludes as the popular series presents acclaimed Boston singer-songwriter Thea Hopkins tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. Her music is American short story folk.
      Thea Hopkins writes concise narratives of modern American romance and tragedy. Her new album, Chickasaw, includes instrumental work by pianist Tim Ray, bassist Richard Gates, cellist Natalie Haas, and guitarists David Goodrich, Bob Metzger, and Steve Sadler, drummer Kathi Taylor, fiddler Ian Kennedy, and harmony vocals by Chris Thompson.
      She has opened for Richie Havens, John Hammond, Ellis Paul, and Katy Moffatt. She has performed at the Natick Center for the Arts, Middle Earth Music Hall, the Uncommon Ground in Chicago, the Sundance Film Festival, and at The Bitter End. She has received ASCAP Plus awards for song-writing, won second place in the Boston Folk Festival songwriter contest, and was a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.
      Ms. Hopkins writes from her mixed-ethnic heritage. She is proud of her Native-American ancestry and strong African-American, Irish, French and Portugese heritage.
      When Peter, Paul & Mary call a folk singer "poetic, literate and moving," that's a concert to attend. They recorded Ms. Hopkins' Jesus Is On The Wire for their album, In These Times, and performed it on their most recent TV special on PBS.
      Admission to Summer Music at Grace is by donation with a suggested donation of $10 for this event. All proceeds benefit the performers. Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. Call 326.4603 or click here for more info about the concerts and directions to Grace Church. Click here for more info about Ms. Hopkins.
      "Stay tuned for occasional 'After-Summer' music at Grace events," Beth Crane said.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Chris Kleeman, Chester, Vermont's "best-kept blues secret," in concert on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.
      Mr. Kleeman is both blues singer and song stylist with music that rolls from slide guitar to rag-time; from the Southern styles of Mississippi John Hurt up the river to Muddy Waters and the Blues of Chicago. This concert will have 12-string guitar instrumentals, scat-singing, and vocal trombone, He plays a 1933 National Duolian and 6- and 12-String guitars.
      He has played as a solo artist for over 25 years in venues all over the country. He was a featured performer at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival and appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Bob Stannard. B.B. King produced Mr. Kleeman's first album in 1970. He has released five recordings. His last two solo projects are available on one CD, Northern Blue. Two newer CD's of country blues with Malkum Gibson, were released in 1999 and 2001.
      This virtuoso guitar and vocal performance marks the opening of the 2007 Fall Season at the Opera House. The schedule includes the No Strings Marionette Company and the 15th Annual Talent Search next month, Woods Tea Company and Big Spike Bluegrass in November, and the popular Holiday Concert with the Enosburg Town Band and Community Chorus in December.
      Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door. Click here for more info.

SHELBURNE--The 28th Annual Shelburne Farms Harvest Festival on Saturday features Fiddleheads, Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys, Jon Gailmor, the MacArthur Family, Gary Dulabaum, the Flock, the Highland Weavers, the Social Band, Karen and Pete Sutherland, Bob and Andrea Teer of Shellhouse, Very Merry Theater, the Will Dicker Boys, and many others. The concerts run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Farm Barn at Shelburne Farms.
      The Harvest Festival celebrates the traditions of Vermont’s farms and forests with music, hay rides, workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, ethnic and traditional foods, and more for the whole family.
      Admission is $6 adults or $4 for children and free to Shelburne Farm members. Call 802.985.8686 or click here for more info.

WESTFORD--Westford Brick Meeting House presents the folk-rock espresso with a shot of bluegrass and a hint of jazz of Rebecca Padula with Lisa Lawrence in an acoustic performance on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. The Meeting House is on Route 127 in Westford Village
      Admission is $10. Click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Village Tavern hosts Open Mic tonight at 8 p.m. and on most Thursday evenings.

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.

ESSEX JUNCTION--Tuesday evening is Bluegrass Jam night at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Inn. Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.


     The Vermont Council on Rural Development will conduct its second Community Visit in Derby to begin work with a steering committee on Wednesday, September 19.
      The VCRD summer conference, Advancing Vermont's Creative Economy, drew over 250 participants from across the state. The conference report is now available. It includes priority recommendations, notes from each working group, a summary of the panel discussion and texts of key speakers. Click here or email to request a paper copy. All 12 Community Plans are now on-line.


     Pianist Elaine Greenfield of South Burlington has a distinguished career as soloist, lecture recitalist, and collaborative artist. She has performed nationwide, with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, the Gardner Museum, and more. Her site has her Debussy recordings on the historic Blüthner Piano, her bio, professional offerings, discography, and a link to Greenfield Piano Associates.


      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.