ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 31, 2008


      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!

      The St. Albans Winter Carnival has been postponed but a number of the activities around town will be held, including an arts reception tomorrow, a cheerleading competition and the Mardi Gras dinner and entertainment on Saturday.


      The second annual Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance will feature dancing to music by The Fabulous Spiders on Saturday, February 2, 2008, at Chow Bella. The Fabulous Spiders are Debbie Patton, Marcia Brewster, and Pat Austin. The 8-piece band (plus special guests) has 3 female vocalists and an infectious sound. The Spiders have been singing together for almost 25 years with a repertoire from Motown, jazz standards, and folk tunes, to a capella doo-wop.
      "We'll do two sets of Mardi Gras tunes, and new Motown music including Dr. John, a James Hunter song, and of course 'How Sweet it Is'," said Pat Austin "Our original keyboard player is with us from when we played with Joe Burrell."
      Appetizers and cocktails (cash bar) will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner from 6-7 and dancing ongoing until 9 p.m.
      Tickets include a Mardi Gras dinner and dancing in this benefit event for Franklin County Court Diversion and Community Justice Programs. Tickets are $37.50 per person/$75 per couple and are available at Chow!Bella, the Chamber of Commerce, at Franklin County Court Diversion, and at the door. There is a special "appetizers and music only" ticket for just $20 but the full Mardi Gras buffet is the better deal. Seating is limited to 200, so buy your tickets today. The program still needs businesses and individuals to underwrite some of the costs of the event (it is a fund raiser, after all).
      Call 802.527.5560 or email for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Staart Gallery (ST. Albans ARTs) will host an artists reception this evening, 5-7 p.m., at the Gallery. Refreshments will be served. This month's exhibit includes the work of Emily Billings.
      Staart hosts a rotating exhibit of student art with work by art students from BFA-St. Albans. This show mixes technique and growing talent. Art students from BFA-St. Albans began showing their work at the gallery in November; the month-long exhibits continue through June.
      The Staart Gallery has a prime downtown location for weekly artist receptions, classes and artist talks, a comfortable upscale environment complete with couches and WiFi, a gallery with a dedicated marketing budget, and space to sell original works and prints.
      The gallery is next to the old post office at 42 South Main Street.

BURLINGTON--The First Fifty Art Exhibit is a group show of visual art in all mediums in the Art's Alive Gallery at Union Station. Franklin County artists in the show include Lisamarie Charlesworth of St. Albans and Tinka Martell of Fairfax.
      Art's Alive will host an opening reception Friday evening from 5-8 p.m. at Union Station.
      Each month, Art's Alive presents art from Vermont artists or arts organizations. The Gallery at Union Station is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p. m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is part of the First Friday Art Walk.


     The BFA Band concert announced for Sunday evening has been postponed.


ESSEX JUNCTION--It is a busy week at the Lincoln Inn, starting tonight with Summer Sounds favorite Jenni Johnson and Friends in the WCLX Blues Night at 7 p.m. Some other Franklin County favorites abound as Dan Parks and the Blame plays tomorrow evening at 9 p.m., and Run For Cover on Saturday at 9 p.m. Bob Degree and the Bluegrass Storm return on Bluegrass Night, next Tuesday, at 7 p.m. Trinity and The Green Mountain Irish Step Dancers swing through next Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

COLCHESTER--The first of two February concerts to honor teacher and musician Matt Clancy's life will take place on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Elley-Long Music Center in Fort Ethan Allen. The performers include Eric Bushey and the Nouveau Swing Quartet, Allison Mann, Colin McCaffrey, guitarist Steve Blair and Friends, The Swingin' Vermont Big Band, and many special guests.
      Mr. Clancy, who died in October, was also a composer, arranger, husband, and father of two young children. He wrote Change is Good for the quartet (Mr. Bushey, Mr. Clancy, Justin Bedell, Roger Berard). Mr. Bushey commissioned him to transcribe and add to it for the BFA Jazz band; its world premiere was at the 2006 Holiday Concert. The Nouveau Swing Quartet will play the original of Change is Good and the Swingin' Vermont Big Band will play the full band version at this concert.
      Admission is $10 at the door. All proceeds will go directly to his family.
      The second concert will take on February 9 at Crossett Brook Middle School in Waterbury.

ST. ALBANS--OSHER and the St. Albans Historical Museum will present Bob Manning next Wednesday, February 6, at 11 a.m. in the Bliss Auditorium. The slide lecture, Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper--American Painters, focuses on two of America's great artists of the 20th century.

JERICHO--The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church presents a Mid-Winter Ceilidh (pronounced "Kay-lee") on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the church. The evening of Celtic music and dance features Atlantic Crossing, Cape Bretton Fiddlers Duncan Yandell and David Yandell, the Green Mountain Celts (Terry and Joanne Ranney), the St. Andrews Highland Dancers, and the St. Andrews Pipeband of Vermont. Cider, tea, shortbread, and scones will be available at intermission.
      Admission is $10 for adults at the door or $8 in advance and $7 for students 13-18. Children 12 and under are free. Call Pat Gildemeister (802.878.3840) or email for more info.

RICHMOND--On the Rise Bakery presents Summer Sounds favorite Josh Brooks this evening. Shows start 7:30 p.m. There is usually a suggested donation. Click here for more info.

RANDOLPH and BURLINGTON--Arlo Guthrie is in the state this week. He will perform at the Chandler Music Hall tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. and at the Flynn Center on Saturday at 8 p.m. Click here or here for more info.


     CBS has expanded, its Internet "radio," to allow users to listen to any song up to three times online for free. Independent artists and labels can upload songs to, and will receive a portion of the revenue. CBS has already paid $280 million when it bought the web channel last May. The service has about 20 million users worldwide. It is potentially a venue for musicians and independent record labels to increase listeners and from that, sales. It is free. Click here to register and upload.


      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 © 2008 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.