ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 26, 2009


      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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      The Mardi Gras celebration continues as the Old Lantern LIVE! series presents both Yankee Chank and Carol Jones and the Superchargers with the CD Release party of Ms. Jones' debut indie album, Out of the Blue. The Mardi Gras Cajun-style concert and dance is Saturday evening. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music plays at 7 with dancing from 9-11:30 p.m.
      "Party Down," Mark Sustic said. Costumes are optional and there will be prizes.
      Georgia's Carol Ann Jones says she has been singing all her life. She is 42 now, "but I'm really 25," she said. In 2006, she bought her first acoustic guitar.
      Out of the Blue offers a broad range of music from All About the Wheels and Mr. Engineer (that would be St. Albans' theme song) to the Farmhouse Blues. Her backup band on the album includes Aram Bedrosian, Andre Maquera, Will Patton, Chris Peterman, Lauren and Morgan Randall, Dan Skea, Gary Spaulding, The Fabulous Spiders, Gordon Stone, and Anna Wagner. The CD was produced by West Street Digital in Fairfield. Messrs. Maquera, Patton, and Spaulding will play in the Old Lantern show.
      "I hardly ever leave the house," Mr. Maquera said. "It's great to be playing with these guys on Saturday."
      Ms. Jones hopes her music brings peace or a big smile. "I sang on church choirs and took vocal lessons," she said. "I sang to the cows while I was milking. I don't do that any more." She also sang with the Champlain Echoes, the Hallmark Jazz Quartet at Chow!Bella, and Pine Street Jazz.
      It's nice to find another car nut who can sing. (I'm a car guy but I'm not allowed to sing in public.) Her family has a '37 Cord, two Sharknose '39 Grahams, and more, a total of 22 vehicles, she thinks. The Cord and one Graham are supercharged, hence the name of the band. She even drives a turbocharged '63 Corvair convertible. She writes about her experiences and wisdom she can share. It's All About the Wheels is perfect listening in the ragtop with the top down, the volume cranked, doing the funky hand dance above the windshield. It is her Corvair on the cover.
      She will play the Staart Gallery on March 8, the Lincoln Inn on March 18, and Chow!Bella during Maple Festival on April 25. Out of the Blue is available at .
      Yankee Chank performs traditional dance music from Southwest Louisiana. Their concerts are an immersion in Cajun music with the traditional Cajun two-steps and waltzes as it continues to be played in the rural dance halls and honky tonks of Louisiana. There is always some spicey Zydeco. Drawn together by a passion for the traditional music, Bob Naess, fiddle and vocals, Cannon Labrie, accordion and vocals, Jim Burns, guitar, and Mark Sustic, bass and percussion, began performing at weddings, festivals, nightclubs, community gatherings, parties and other events on New Year’s Eve in 1996.
      Look for a Cajun buffet (to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) with $5 plates served by Team in Training members and a Cash Bar. There will be a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Tom Sustic Fund and a Silent Auction to help raise funds for the Vergennes Quadracentennial Celebration.
      The Old Lantern Dance Hall on Greenbush Road in Charlotte has the largest laminated maple dance floor in Vermont. Admission is $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Ages 10-16 will pay $5 at the door. Children under 10 are free. Tickets are available at the Flynn Box Office. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Tom Sustic Fund. Call Robin (802.425.3739) or email for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--Tonight is WCLX Blues Night at the Lincoln Inn featuring the Joe Moore Blues Band of Nashville at 7 p.m. The Inn has Bluegrass Night with Bob Degree's Bluegrass Storm on Tuesday at 7 p.m. They are closed for Winter Solstice on Monday.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.


     Buy a bowl and help fight hunger in Tempe, Arizona.
      This weekend the Sixth Street Park in Downtown Tempe and the Community Center Courtyard at the Tempe Library complex will offer live music and art. Tempe high school, middle school, and elementary school students, as well as ceramic artists from the City of Tempe ceramic program, have crafted one-of-a-kind pieces of art. The ceramic bowls are funky, interesting, colorful, and beautiful and will be sold at the hunger awareness/fundraising event. Proceeds will benefit the United Food Bank Kid's Cafe program and the Tempe Community Action Agency. The organizations provide snacks and food to homeless and working poor families in Tempe.
      What, you might ask, does this have to do with Franklin County?
      We have high school, middle school, and elementary school students, as well as ceramic artists. We have musicians. We have great restaurants.
      All we need is an organizer.
      Email the All Arts Council if you want to volunteer.


     Would you pay 29 pence to read an article that interested you? How about 29 U.S. cents, less than the cost of this newspaper? Or 49 cents? Or just 9 cents? My quick and totally unscientific poll showed that 100% of the people I asked responded "No."
      Aesthetica is a Brit hard copy magazine with an online edition. Their site has links to their magazine articles, online info, and of course, shopping (advertising). All of the content can be read on the Internet, but at a price. It's a model that flies in the face of advertising supported online content. Good looking site, though.


      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 © 2009 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.