ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 9, 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 Summer Sounds concert series begins a straight run in Highgate Municipal Park as Chevalier Drilling presents a very special performance of the Queen City Quintet featuring Stephanie Wheel on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      The Queen City Quintet features Zip Aloi, drums; Roger Giroux, piano; Mel Gold, trumpet; Jeff Wheel, bass/guitar/vocal, and Stephanie Wheel, vocals. The program will include All of Me, Besame Mucho, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Fly Me to the Moon, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Meditation, New York New York, Satin Doll, What A Wonderful World, Undecided, Let's Fall In Love, They Can't Take That Away from Me, Smile, Mean to Me, The Way You Look Tonight and many more. Fresh from the Discover Jazz Festival, the group has performed straight ahead Burlington jazz and favorite jazz standards in and around Burlington for years.
      The new Highgate VFD Auxiliary will offer hot dogs, drinks, desserts and other sweets in the first Summer Sounds Social of 2009.
      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, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, and Scotty's Taxi.
      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 2009.


     The Opera House at Enosburg Falls and Mountain Road Productions present Little Women adapted for the stage by Thomas Hischak beginning tonight and running through Saturday at 7 p.m.
      "I could change if I want to." Based on Louisa May Alcott's semi-autobiographical novel, Little Women tells the story of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March, sisters who grow up in Civil War America, emphasizing hard work and family values. They share their lives building strength in Victorian New England.
      Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets are on sale at all Advanced Sale Sites and at the door on the nights of performance.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn continues showcasing live music stars from Franklin County. The Nobby Reed Project plays WCLX Blues Night tonight. Advance Music and Eagle Country continue the Battle of the Bands as Maple Creek takes on Phill n' the Blanks on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Inn has no cover charge on any night in July.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

WILLISTON--Groovin on the Green at Maple Tree Place offers live music in front of the Roxy movie theater on the green at 6 p.m. every Thursday evening through August 20. Tonight is the night for Bob Degree & the Bluegrass Storm.

SWANTON--The West Swanton United Methodist Church will host a Lawn Supper with the Backyard Bluegrass Band outdoors at the church under tents, rain or shine, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
      The Backyard Bluegrass Band is Will Patton, Deb Patton, Jim Weed, and Cindy Weed. The menu includes ham, baked beans and lots of outdoor goodies plus drinks and dessert.
      Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12 and free for those under 6. Call Linda Barrette (802.868.7097) or Betty Cheney (802.868.3800) for more info.

HIGHGATE CENTER--The Highgate Public Library presents Vermont singer-songwriter Jon Gailmor on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. His "original, relevant, irreverent, children's, American, international, and totally absurd tunes" will lead right into the audience writing a song in the Highgate Municipal Park.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Village Tavern hosts Open Mic at 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

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 mellow John Cassel on Wednesdays at 6 and the jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the piano on Fridays at 5:30. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


     The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Sunday Art & Movement series with local artists and dancers. Pam Voss will lead you to create and decorate a personal journal this Sunday, 1-3 p.m., at the Opera House.
      $10 includes all materials.

      The Opera House will also present Meredith Willson's the Music Man with a talented cast from northern Vermont on July 30 - August 1. The company needs additional musicians to join the Pit Band and must hear from you before July 15.
      Tickets for all nights are available now at all Advance Sale Sites and the Opera House Box Office. Advance purchases are encouraged. Call the Opera House (933-6171) for reservations and seats.


BURLINGTON--International Waterfront Festival presents Franklin County artists and favorites throughout the week.
      The Champlain Valley Stage in City Hall Park has free concerts and performances. Summer Sounds favorites Jenni Johnson and the Junketeers bring soulful jazz in this afternoon at 3:30. Fiddleheads play tomorrow at noon and return with the Very Merry Theater Company for Walking into the Wild in the parade on Saturday at 5 p.m. and again on Sunday.

PUZZLEPALOOZA presents Woods Tea Company in Battery Park on Wednesday at 1 and 3 p.m.
      Woods Tea Company plays about 120 concerts and festivals and shows per year -- from pubs to Lincoln Center -- for 28 years. Newcomer Howard Wooden of St. Albans who officially joined the band 17 years ago plays folk music that includes French Canadian, Celtic, sea shanties, and bluegrass with Mike Lussen, Tom MacKenzie, and Patti Casey.
      Art Fits Vermont is the second statewide community arts project. Starting a year ago, individuals, schools and community groups--191 organizations and 146 schools in 172 towns in all 14 counties--have received 9,500 wood puzzle pieces and 51,000 paper puzzle pieces. 60,000 people are making art. The Guinness record attempt is at 2 p.m.


     Corliss Blakely of St. Albans is online in a new place.
      This may be the new "Public Television" of art. Just as PBS showcased the Pavarottis to millions of new opera fans, iPhone Art and other web 2.0 sites can bring the work of artists like Ms. Blakely to people around the world who would have no other opportunity to see her work in person. And it is free.


      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.