ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 10, 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!

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      This weekend is exceptionally busy with three major concerts in the County, an art exhibit, and much more.


      Never let it be said that this column neglects political activity. The Summer Sounds concert series begins a straight run in Highgate Municipal Park as Scotty's Taxi presents a very special Towne Meeting on Sunday evening. No politicians will be skewered before their time.
      "Our name came out of folks coming together to play music at family and community gatherings," Gary VanCour said.
      Town Meeting blends strong harmonies and acoustic instruments in vintage and contemporary folk and folk-rock. And they drive an Avanti which is pretty cool.
      Sunday is not only the first July Towne Meeting in Franklin County it is also the Vermont CD release party for their new CD, Stillwater. The album includes Summer is Coming," "Stillwater," "House of the Rising Sun, and Rainbow.
      "The CD has arrived and we will bring some for our performance," Mr. VanCoeur said.
      The group crosses generations in its selection of songs as well as membership with Dennis Hulbert, vocal and 12 string guitar; Miles Moody, vocals and 6 string guitar; Rich Sutphen, vocals, lead guitar, and mandolin; Gary VanCour, vocals, 6 string guitar and ukulele; and Justin VanCour, bass guitar. They are family and life long friends who have sung and played music together on and off for years.
      Towne Meeting played the Lake Placid BBQ Festival last weekend and will hold their New York CD release party Plattsburgh Farmers Market on July 19.
      The Highgate Library will offer desserts and other sweets in the Summer Sounds Social. Librarian Liza Comiskey said that the first Teen Night is this Monday and the evening book discussion group begins Tuesday; the new discussion title is See You in 100 Years by Logan Ward. "It is a great autobiography of a Manhattan writer who gives up current technology for a year," Ms. Comiskey said. The Library's new blog is at .
      The first Highgate Sunday Farm Market joins Summer Sounds with fresh produce, crafts, home made dog treats, and more in Highgate Municipal Park, beginning at 6 p.m.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Pete Paquette Real Estate & Development, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, Scotty's Taxi, and Stewart Title Guaranty Company.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. There will be no Summer Sounds concerts in St. Albans City in 2008.


ST. ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts Evan Speer this month on the Art Wall on the Medical Surgical floor. The show includes mostly black and white images of his recent trips to France and New York City. Mr. Speer is currently in Thailand on an exchange program from UVM.
      The show continues through the end of July.

ST. ALBANS--Mark your calendars. The Champlain Collection presents The Swanton Connection with a special opening next Thursday evening, July 17, at 7 p.m. The exhibit and sale features three well-known Swanton artists, Bobby Eldrich, Gladys Nokes, and Linda Wirts.
      The Champlain Collection is "tucked in" in the southeast corner of the Highgate Commons Shopping Center.


ENOSBURG-The first Rock 'n' Bowl of the summer is tonight, 7-10 p.m. at the Dairy Center Bowling Alley. The teen event with DJ Nathan Vaillancourt gives local teens another positive activity during the summer.
      The Enosburg Community Alliance needs five or six people to help by hanging out and chaperoning tonight. Rock 'n' Bowl is planned as a bi-weekly program, so the committee hopes to assemble a dedicated volunteers or a rotating crew. Call Ethan Dezotelle (933-4375) or email for more info.

HIGHGATE CENTER--The New Life Christian Church of Enosburg and the First Baptist Church of Richford present the Praise Brothers in the summer Christian Music on the Parks Concert Series this Saturday in Highgate Municipal Park at 7 p.m.
      Jon Evans of Brattleboro and Mark Ellis of Gardner, Mass, make joyful music as well humor together in a show designed for people of all ages. As The Praise Brothers, they bring their own style of praise with original and popular songs.
      With a background in church choirs, Mr. Evans has been a gospel singer since his youth. He performs in churches, meeting halls, and concert stages across New England. He loves Southern and Country Gospel. Mr. Ellis is a lifelong entertainer and a classically trained pianist who became a Christian singer in the mid-1990s. He has released five CDs of original Christian songs.
      The Christian Music on the Parks concerts features a wide variety of Christian music styles including southern gospel, Christian country, bluegrass, contemporary, and praise music and will feature Christian artists from throughout New England and New York state.
      All concerts are on Saturday nights at 7 p.m., in Town parks around the county. Admission is free. A free will offering will be taken at each concert to support the ministries of each artist or group. Call organizers Jaye O’Hara (802.933.4669) or Pastor Tim Stetson (802.933.2513) for more info about the concert series.

WEST SWANTON--The annual Lawn Supper features Jim and Cindy Weed’s Missisquoi River Band plus Andy Sacher and Bob Degree at the West Swanton Methodist Church on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Call 802.868.7097 for more info.

VERGENNES--French Heritage Day features Michele Choiniere, Duo Dumont Morrissette, Va-et-Vient, Chanterelle and the Beaudoin Legacy at the Vergennes Opera House, 3:30-9:30 p.m. Fiddleheads, the Green Mountain Cloggers and others perform in City Park all on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
      The Heritage Day offers Franco-American music, French Canadian fiddling, French response songs, step-dancing, re-enactors, French food, traditional craft demonstrations, exhibits, and much more. Call 800.733.8376, 802.388.7951, email, or click here for more info.

NEW HAVEN--Yankee Chank plays the Grand Opening for Lincoln Peak Vineyard on Saturday at 2-5 p.m. Call 802.388.7368 or email for more info.

SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace presents Full Circle at Grace Church on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Full Circle has been making music together since 1978 with Maeve Kim, Beth London, Susan Reit, Linda Rodd and Mary Ann Samuels on recorder, hammered dulcimer, harp, guitar, drums and tambourines, finger cymbals, wood blocks, bells, gourds, gong, and goat toenails. Really. Modern lives have sometimes caused their paths to separate but they have come full circle, all together again.
      The Sunday concert will include music from 800 to 1600 AD. They focus on and enjoy medieval and Renaissance love songs and dances but their repertoire includes Baroque instrumental music, folk songs, Celtic and Appalachian tunes, and even some 20th century pieces.
      They have performed at First Night-Burlington, and the Lane Series, as well as garden parties, church services, weddings, and schools in Vermont and New Hampshire.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. The suggested admission is a $10 donation for adults or $5 for children and old folks. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info about the Summer Music at Grace series.

ST ALBANS--The St. Albans Concert Series presents the Oleo Romeos in concert in the Edric A. Loomis Memorial Band Shell on Sunday at 6 p.m. Led by Tyrone Shaw, they a unique blend of country, blues, and rock, and original tunes. The group features Mr. Shaw, guitar and vocals, Jerry Bowers, guitar, Will Patton, bass, Joe Moore, sax, and Roy Cutler, drums. Their latest CD of eclectic tunes is Check Please.
      Admission is free. The rain site is BFA.

RICHMOND--Events for Tom and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps present folk singer Bill Staines--Music in the Hay Mow--on Sunday at 7 p.m. in the restored West Monitor Barn. Mr. Staines has sung his songs and delighted audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs and coffeehouses across North America for over thirty-five years.       There is a picnic dinner with alumni and friends before the show starting at 5 p.m.
      Admission is $16.50 for adults, $11.25 for children 5 - 15, and children ages 4 and under are admitted free. Seating is open. click herefor ticket 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.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers the jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the Piano on Fridays at 5:30 and dynamite jazz duo of Ted Crosby and Fabian Rainville at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


     Lyndonville artist Meryl Lebowitz has experimented painting on canvas and paper as well as on unlikely surfaces, from violins to scrap metal. Her work ranges from the real to surreal and often combines photograph mosaics. Her work is found in collections throughout the United States. Her site includes a gallery of calendars, photo mosaics, interiors, landscapes, portraits, metals, and more.


      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.