ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 29, 2010


      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 Vermont Chamber of Commerce calls it a Top 10 event for 2010. The Maple Festival this weekend is the 44th running of Vermont's first major outdoor festival of the year.
      The Maple Festival Parade--the biggest in Vermont--starts on Lake Street on Sunday at 1 p.m. sharp. The parade stretches for miles with over 100 bands, clowns, dancers, unique floats, horses and tractors, musicians, neat cars, probably the odd politician or two, and the ever-popular pooper scooper will walk up Lake Street, over Main Street, and down Lower Newton Street.
      The annual Crafts and Specialty Foods Show in BFA Auditorium offers artwork and fine photographs, glittery bling, classy clothing, wooden things, and fine Vermont specialty foods. More than 60 vendors will have traditional as well as craft innovations. Admission is free. Friday noon - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Only two of the indoor entertainment events (and the banquet) charge admission. Everything else is free. The Youth Talent Show has moved to the Collins-Perley Complex and will take place tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The Fiddlers Variety Show takes over the BFA Auditorium, on Saturday at 7 p.m. Click hereto buy advance sale tickets online for each.
      The Main Street Stage begins a weekend of free entertainment tomorrow at 11 a.m. That runs through Sunday after the parade.
      Did I mention that the Main Street Stage is free?
      The Friday entertainment lineup on the free Main Street stage begins with the Electric Youth Dance Company. This talented group of dancers in several age groups learn the fun and discipline of dance. Cheryl Ann Kelly directs. 11 a.m. - 12:30 pm
      Marko the Magician performs magic, hypnosis, and comedy and will perform two different shows, one of magic and a second of hypnotic skills. 1-3 p.m.
      Franklin County's own country music star, Keeghan Nolan has opened for the national acts Jimmy Wayne and Dusty Drake; she won the Colgate Country Showdown. Andre Maquera, Thom Carvey, and Gary Spaulding form the best darned back up band. 4-6 p.m.
      The Youth Talent Show will fill the BFA Auditorium on Friday evening at 7 p.m. This annual favorite brings together some of the most talented children in the County competing for scholarship prizes. Get your tickets in advance at the information booth on Main Street, at the festival office, and online.
      Saturday morning may not begin with a Maple Maypole but does bring the famed Foothills Fogies to the pancake breakfast at St. Albans City Elementary School. Mark Sustic describes the Fogies as the "group of people who play informally at the Foothills Bakery," including Mr. Sustic, Jerry Faulkenberg and several other fiddlers young and old.
      After breakfast, famed children's storyteller and family musician Bill Shontz, an entertainer who has wowed generations of children and adults from Rosenshontz on PBS to Summer Sounds with his one man band and vocals. He starts the day right on the Main Street Stage. 10-11:30 a.m.
      Fiddleheads with Ann Whiting will offer traditional fiddling and step dancing on the stage. Mark Sustic created Fiddleheads so young people could learn to play--or to improve their--traditional fiddles in the company of other like-minded players, travels, practices together, prepares for performances, and performs at community events and dances around New England. They may play more gigs than any other Vermont group. 12-1 p.m.
      The danceable jazz of the Joe Levesque Big Band is the band music of the 40s to the present on the stage and up and down the street. 1:30-3 p.m.
      Winners from the Youth Talent Show will perform at 3 p.m.
      The Northeast Kingdom rock band Redhouse performs across New England and has released their the CD Midnight Train. 4-6 p.m.
      The Fiddler's Variety Show is an annual sellout in BFA Auditorium with hours and hours and hours of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedy, and clogging all starting at 7 p.m. Get your tickets in advance at the information booth on Main Street, at the festival office, and online.
      Sunday morning, bright and early returns the Foothills Fogies to the pancake breakfast at St. Albans City Elementary School.
      After breakfast, the St. Albans City School Senior Band with over 100 6th, 7th and 8th grade musicians will burn any lingering mist away on the Main Street Stage. They will also perform at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC this summer. 11 a.m. - 12 noon
      After a break for the parade, the Citizens Concert Band under the leadership of Kevin Loomis closes the day. 3:30 p.m.
      click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--First Step Dance begins Ballroom Wednesdays at the St. Albans Museum on May 5. The ballroom dance lessons continue every Wednesday through May 26. The lessons include Rhythm I, covering Rumba, Cha Cha and Merengue, at 6-7 p.m.; Smooth I, covering Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango, 7-8 p.m.; and Smooth II, continuing with Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango, 8-9 p.m.
      The cost is $50 per person for each four week session. No experience and no partner required. Call Kevin Laddison (802.598.6757) or click here for more info or to register.


FAIRFAX--The black bird flies tonight as the Fairfax Community Theater Company presents the Fairfax Radio Rangers performance of The Maltese Falcon in the BFA-Fairfax Old Gym tonight, tomorrow evening, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. This is their 20th season.
      Portraying radio actors from the 1940s, FCTC will stage the radio drama with music and sound effects. The cast includes Peter Harrington as Sam Spade, Elizabeth Malone as Brigid Shaunessy, Walter Mahany as Gutman, Bruce Towne as Victor Cairo, and Kristin Holcomb as Effie, Adam Noel as Wilmer, Kathleen Towne as the Announcer, Nancy McDowell as the Host. Listen for special vocal talent Stephanie Kirschberg. Jerry Starks is Foley Artist and Margie Cain is Stage Manager and assistant Foley Artist.
      Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. Call 802.425.6331 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents Carol & The Superchargers on Saturday at 7 p.m. Count on legends Andre Maquera, Will Patton, Thom Carvey, Gary Spaulding, and Wendy Maquera to supercharge the concert.
      "It will be another masterpiece," Mr. Maquera said.
      Carol Ann Jones' debut album, Out of the Blue, showcases her broad range of music from All About the Wheels and Mr. Engineer to the Farmhouse Blues.
      Chow Bella also offers Music to Dine By with John Cassel on the piano on Wednesdays at 6:30 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.
      Click here for a youtube of the band.

ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon hosts Pleasuredome on Saturday at 9 p.m. The 5-piece Burlington band Pleasuredome will bring back all the excess of 80's rock, from Bon Jovi to Motley Crue, all wrapped in fringe and trimmed in spandex.
      The band is fronted by Jayson Argento, formerly of Uncommon Tongue and a top-5 finalist in Singer Universe Magazine's Singer of the Month. Ed Fletcher, guitar, is formerly from the New England metal band Apostasy. Travis Beaudette, guitar, recreates 80s riffs and collects Charvel/Jackson guitars. Tom Dunn, bass, has played the New England cover circuit, including Slush, for 20 years. Drummer Joe Villemaire started on Nectar's stage at age 14 and has toured extensively throughout the United States. He has had regional and national success with Never Again, Drowningman, and Waiting for a Miracle.
      Click here for more info.

HINESBURG--The Good Times Café presents Michele Choiniere with David Gusakov, Will Patton, and Dono Shabner on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
      Call 802.482.4444 or click here for more info.


     Sally Linder of Burlington explores "the interdependence between art, life, and art's healing capacities." Her paintings are inspired by Earth's beauty, and the social and political issues that confront humankind. Her site has a gallery of paintings, her C.V., and exhibition list, 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 © 2010 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).
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