ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 24, 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, the Big Four Music weeks of the summer begin with a Summer Sounds concert, the Art in Bloom Festival, a Christian Music on the Parks concert, the 15th Annual Jig in the Valley, and a concert in Taylor Park.


      No, we're not promoting ice cream. The Summer Sounds concert series continues in Highgate Municipal Park as Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing presents Last Lyx on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      Joe Gebo and John Champagne formed Last Lyx from a group of old rockers they grew up with to play the Rock n Roll music of the 60s. The band includes John Champagne, lead guitar and background vocals; Joe Gebo, rhythm guitar and lead vocals; John Kains, bass;
      Rob Moseley, percussion; Fred Passino, tenor and alto sax, vocals, harmonica, keyboards, cow bell, maracs, spit balls and anything else he can throw at the band; All but Rob Moseley played in bands from the Plattsburgh area; Mr. Moseley played in bands in Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, ending his professional career with Canadian recording artist Sweeney Todd of Vancouver. He is the newest and youngest member of the group.
      "This is a great way for us to pass the time doing what we’ve always done part time our whole lives and still enjoy," Mr. Kains, now 72, said.
      The Highgate Historical Society returns this week with real food, a groaning board of desserts, and other fine sweets in a reprise of the top-rated Summer Sounds Social. The new Highgate Farmers market may also begin their first Sunday night appearance of the season with fresh produce, crafts, and more.
      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.


     The Art in Bloom Festival brings a day of music, a gazillion exhibits, and plenty of food to Swanson's Farm and Nursery in Fairfax on Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
      "The Festival is a benefit for Fairfax organizations,"organizer Shelly Pottala said.
      The artists and artisans include Harold Aksdal, Cindy Allen, Tamara Blaisell, Janet Bonneau, Michele Bradley, Lucia Chiu, Jeannie Compton, Joanne Delaney, Josh Derner, Barbara Hamel Derner, Jen Dutil, Marje Ellsworth, Jim Gallugi, Julie Gennrich, Hair Wraps, Pat Harrington, Mary Hill, Donna Kunkel, Randy Mead, Gina Meigs, Lena Meunier, Martha Ohliger, Donna Owens, Dan Pattullo, Cynphia Pease, Kim Peters, Carol and Jennifer Pierstorff, Mary Rooney, Tia Rooney, Brad Schwartz, Bruce Gilbert-Smith, Sally Gilbert-Smith, Alex Stephens, Ronnie Turner, Valerie Ugro, Sara Webb, and more.
      The Festival offers music all day from the Alzona Watson Band, Backside Grind, Fiddleheads, Hillbillies from Outerspace, and the Hubcats. That means a day full of acoustic and classic rock, blues and slide guitar, fiddling around, and zydeco.
      Shelly's Raffle Basket is chock-a-block full with items from a hand painted platter to a desk top lamp, to leather coin purses, and a huge supply of gift certificates. Artists have donated framed artwork and more to separate raffles; the works include Harald Aksdal, a fresh flower bouquet from Swanson Farm and Nursery, artwork by Cindy Allen, a handmade necklace and earrings from Julie Genrich, two framed flower photos by Janet Bonneau, and a Fiddlehead CD.
      The Art in Bloom Festival benefits the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Departments. The 2007 Festival raised over $1,300.
      Admission is free. "We are only asking for parking donations and ice cream donations," Ms. Pottala said. Email for more info.


     The fifteenth annual Jig in the Valley offers an eclectic day of outdoor music in a good cause on Sunday. This community event brings together musicians who are generous with their time, the community members and friends, and people from all over the state. Look for great local music, fabulous food, crafts, a farmer's market, and activities for kids all afternoon on the Green in East Fairfield. This year the Jig is dedicated to Sonny Boomhower who passed away in June.
      The Jig marks the return of bluegrass music and will also feature an eclectic mix of jazz, fiddling, do-wop, salsa, and blues. The performers include The Backyard Bluegrass Band, David and Janice Carr, John Cassel, the Nobby Reed Project, and the Fabulous Spiders.
      Bakersfield’s John Cassel has helped build the music scene in Vermont for over thirty years. He is a classically trained jazz pianist who can and does play country, folk, pop, rock, and dinner music. He calls the latter the "kind of music you should talk over."
      "John Curry is, I think, Vermont's best songwriter," Tyrone Shaw said. "It's his first appearance here in 30 years."
      The Nobby Reed Project, Vermont's premiere blues trio, plays the best original music in the soul-shakin'-electric Texas and Chicago blues styles with a Vermont touch. The band includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      The Fabulous Spiders, Pat LeBoeuf, Marcia Brewster, and Debbie Patton with Will Patton on strings, have been singing together for more than 25 years with a repertoire from Motown, jazz standards, and folk tunes, to a capella doo-wop.
      The suggested donation is $10 or more and kids under 12 are free. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of kids.
      The Jig in the Valley runs from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday. In case of rain, the go/no-go decision will be made Sunday morning. The proceeds benefit the many programs at the Fairfield Community Center including the after-school homework club, Early Essential Ed and Headstart, and a wide variety of educational, arts, and special programming. Call 802.827.3130 for info.


ON THE LAKE--Lake Champlain Cruises presents a sunset dinner cruise with Highgate's own Nobby Reed Project tonight from 7-9:30 p.m. The Northern Lights Thursday night dinner dance cruises combine live entertainment and a buffet feast to match the theme--blues this week. The Northern Lights is a 115 foot long cruise boat with the lines and layout of the early Lake Champlain steamboats; The boat docks at the end of the King Street Dock in Burlington. Click here for more info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The New Life Christian Church of Enosburg and the First Baptist Church of Richford present the Lord Family in the summer Christian Music on the Parks Concert Series this Saturday in the Lincoln Park bandstand at 7 p.m.
      This family of eight travels the world singing and ministering. They use puppets, drama, human videos, object lessons, music and original songs to deal with today's issues.
      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.

ST ALBANS--The St. Albans Concert Series presents the Green Mountain Chorus in concert in the Edric A. Loomis Memorial Band Shell on Sunday at 6 p.m. The Burlington Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the Green Mountain Chorus has been singing close harmony as a group and as individual quartets for 61 years.
      Admission is free. The rain site is BFA.

SHELDON---Village Harmony returns to the popular series at Summer Music at Grace series next Thursday, July 31. The concert will feature a mix of hard-driving gospel quartets, music from Corsica and South Africa, and shape-note music, and much more.
      There is still a need for a few hosts for the Village Harmony singers. Hosting generally includes transporting teens/leaders to your home, giving them a place to sleep, feeding them breakfast, and returning them in the morning. Call Beth Crane (802.326.4603) if you think you'd enjoy hosting some musicians.


     The art of Emily Balivet includes the fantastic and the mythological with galleries of mythic goddesses, the medieval alphabet, folklore, a nouveau gypsy circus, and "everything else," all in acrylic paintings, fabric arts, and book illustrations. Her site includes a bio, shopping, contact info, and links to other sites that exhibit her work.


      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.