ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 30, 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 Big Four Music Weeks of the summer continue with a Summer Sounds concert, plus the Music Man at the Opera House, Franklin County Field Days, and more.


     The Summer Sounds concert series continues in Highgate Municipal Park as Desorcie's Market presents a Flood in the Fizzy Factory on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      With Dave Kleh, vocals, guitars, keyboards; Jim White, keyboards and vocals; Bob Greenlese, drums and percussion; and Howard Ring, bass, this new to Summer Sounds group "sounds like Steely Dylan on the 'Dark Side of the Moon'."
      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.


HIGHGATE SPRINGS--The Little White Church will host a Celebration of Art on Saturday, 1- 5 p.m. Local artists from the amateur to the internationally acclaimed will exhibit and sell paintings, crafts, and folk furniture to benefit the church restoration fund. Some of the art as well as plenty of food will be on sale; there are chances to win a variety of prizes.
      The best known landmark of the hamlet on the shores of Missisquoi Bay, the Little White Church celebrates its 135th birthday next year.


     The Friends of the Opera House present the Music Man in the Opera House at Enosburg Falls starting tonight and continuing tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Set in 1912, the popular musical comedy brings con man Harold Hill head to head with Marion the Librarian in River City. Listen for Goodnight, My Someone;" "Seventy-Six Trombones;" "Till There was You;" "Trouble;" "Gary, Indiana;" "Lida Rose and Marion the Librarian.
      Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and students. Tickets are available at all advance sale sites and the Opera House Box Office.


HIGHGATE--Today through Sunday, Vermont's finest country fair takes to the fields of Highgate as the 34th annual Franklin County Field Days brings a lineup of the best music, arts and crafts, and of course weeds that Franklin County has to offer. The musical lineup includes some Northwestern Vermont bands that are worth the price of admission alone.
      New this year is the Ways of the Woods Heritage Museum.
      Joey the Clown will wander the grounds during the day, today through Saturday. Jessica Prouty Band and Maple Creek light up the main stage today. Tomorrow look for Ms. Prouty to return plus the Jim Daniels Band and the Ivory Band. Keeghan Nolan starts the day on the Country note on Saturday; the Green Mountain Cloggers keep it going and Yankee Wild wraps it up. Junior Barber and Bear Tracks jump starts Sunday morning and the Nobby Reed Project anchors the stage until the Field Days gates close, giving you just enough time to drive due East for the Fizzy Factory in Highgate on Sunday evening.
      Comedian Joey Allen will hypnotize us on Saturday, noon - 1 p.m.
      The Bear Tracks trio plays roots country, bluegrass and Americana music with the soulful resonator guitar work of Junior Barber. Sunday, 10 - 1 p.m.
      The versatile Jessica Prouty Band takes to the stage today, 3 - 6 p.m. and Friday 10-1 p.m.
      The Jim Daniels Band offers up original and traditional old-time country and bluegrass. Friday, 1 - 3 p.m.
      The Green Mountain Cloggers' foot-stomping, toe-tapping Appalachian-style dance is typically performed to Bluegrass music and may shake the sound system off the stage (sorry, Dave). Saturday, 4 - 6 p.m.
      Well known at weddings, Ivory Band performs a soft-rock mix for fair goers who like to dance, cozy up to that special someone, or just enjoy the music. Friday, 7:30 p.m.
      Maple Creek is an, upbeat country-rock band with the foot-tapping music to get you on your feet and dancing. They play everything from Trick Pony to Shania Twain, from Alan Jackson to Chuck Berry. Today, 7 - 10 p.m.
      Singer Keeghan Nolan of Fairfield won the Maple Festival Talent Show, the Mayor's Cup Idol title, the Colgate Country Showdown, and the CMA Rising Star Youth Vocal Competition. She performs across New England plus West Virginia, Florida, and Nashville. Saturday, 10:30 - 4 p.m. with breaks.
      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. . Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m.
      Yankee Wild, brings a mix of slow, old time country to good snappy modern country music (and maybe even a little rock thrown in) to the stage. Friday, 4 - 7 p.m.
      Field Days has "One Price" admission of $8 per day for adults, teens, and children 3 years and up. The ticket includes all midway rides, exhibits, and entertainment.

SHELDON--The Sheldon United Methodist Church will host a 150-year Anniversary Celebration with the Backyard Bluegrass Band and a BBQ on Saturday. The BBQ starts at 5:30 p.m. and the music at 7.
      The Backyard Bluegrass Band is Will Patton, Deb Patton, Jim Weed, Cindy Weed, and special guest David Gusakov. They will play in the church sanctuary. There will be an outdoors Chicken dinner, weather permitting, with baked potatoes, coleslaw, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
      Admission is by Free Will offering. Please RSVP for the meal to 802.933.4487 or 933.6672.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Historical Society Concerts by the Common series presents the dynamic chamber ensemble Eleva Chamber Players in Pratt Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m. with a program of songs for the violin from around the world featuring composers from Austria, Germany, Poland, Colombia, Brazil and the Philippines.
      Admission is $12 or $10 for MHS members; purchase the entire series for $30 ($25 for members). Call Lutz Automotive (802.326.4528) for advance tickets. The concerts are underwritten in part by grants from the Vermont Arts Council, the Eastman Foundation, TD Bank, and area businesses and individuals. Click here for more info

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Public Library Summer Concert Series presents Fiddleheads on stage at BFA-Fairfax on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Click here or email for more info.

FERRISBURGH--The 20th Annual Champlain Valley Folk Festival begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday at Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburgh. The lineup includes the Duhks, Crowfoot, Geoff Muldaur, Reveillons, Bear Tracks, Run Mountain, Annie and the Hedonists with Peter Davis, Skip Gorman, Pat Wictor, Enoch Kent, Tim Erikson, the Blue Moose, the Unbuttoned Zippers, Annie and the Hedonists, the Gawler Family, Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, Benedict Koehler, the Haymakers, Galant, Atlantic Crossing, Joanne Garton, Jan Monteagudo-Meese, and many others. Click here or here for more info.

ESSEX--Woods Tea Company plays Maple Street Park tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Call 802.878.1375 for more info.

BETHEL--Bethel Council on the Arts presents Yankee Chank--Bob Naess, Cannon Labrie, Jim Burns and Mark Sustic--in the gazebo on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.


     The Summit on the Future of Vermont Final Report is now available online. The 2009 report from the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) Summit on the Future of Vermont makes a challenge to Vermonters to turn the findings of the project into ways to advance a positive vision for the future of the state.


     James Florschutz of Newfane uses wood and stone and other (discarded) natural and man-made materials to sculpt contemplative, site or location specific works. His work is in many private and corporate collections. His site includes his portfolio, biographical info, news, and contact info.


      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.