ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 22, 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 Big Four Music Weeks of summer continue this week. With three or more live concerts, fairs, or festivals each week, there is plenty to see and hear in Franklin County.


      Ready for a Summer Surprise? Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing presents Mark LeGrand and his Lovesick Band in his return to the 20th Anniversary Summer Sounds honky-tonk concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. This American Roots singer-songwriter will surprise us all.
      Mark LeGrand has a repertoire of contemporary original songs drawn on traditional themes. The Lovesick Band is Sarah Munro, vocals; David Lovald, electric guitar; Danny McHugh, drums; and Mr. LeGrand on guitar and vocals. Influenced by Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, his work offers a refreshing blend of originality, authenticity and style.
      The Appalachian mountains are home to a variety of popular musical genres including roots, bluegrass, country, folk, and old-timey. Mr. LeGrand has incorporated these styles into his own brand of music. The critically acclaimed Mischievous Angel and All Dressed Up enjoy air play in Holland, Ireland, Australia. South America, Canada, and in this country. His latest CD, Cold New England Town, moves him more toward full-bore honky-tonk. He lives and makes music in Montpelier.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Highgate Historical Society-Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, enjoy tall tales of Highgate, and eat plenty of hot dogs and some delicious desserts.
      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 and Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies and 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.


     Balloons are ordered! The fifth annual Art in Bloom Festival has grown and added new artists, food vendors and musicians again. It brings a day of music, a gazillion exhibits, and plenty of food to Swanson's Farm and Nursery in Fairfax on Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The Festival is a benefit for Fairfax Fire and Rescue.
      The artists and artisans include Shelly's Tie Dye, It's Arthurs Fault, Amanda Bates, Janet Bonneau, Tracy Brown and Stacy Sweet, Julie Burnor, Jessie Cronin, Joanne Delaney, Dave and Gayle Derner, Barbara and Josh Derner, Jen Drury, Diane Dubuque, Kelly Duprat, Yvonne Eastman, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Marje Ellsworth, Chris Hungerford, Linsey Mucia, Barbara O’Bryan, Donna Underwood Owens, Eva Paquin, Silvio Paschal, Ellen Powell, Tia Rooney, Trevor and Kellie Russell, Kathy Shedd, Mary Hill Studio, Debra Travers, and Sally Ziegler
      The Festival offers music all day with Atomic Railroad, Backside Grind, Garrett Brown, and the Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band.
      The 16 year old performer Garrett Brown won Burlington First Night 2009. 10 a.m.
      The Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band plays a brass concert repertoire. 11:30 a.m.
      Atomic Railroad offers blues, rock, and funk. 1 p.m.
      Backside Grind from Westford plays classic rock. 2:30 p.m.
      Shelly’s Raffle Table has a Hand Painted Guitar, Hand Painted Stool, Hand Painted Rocking Chair, Hand Painted Frame for a cork board, a Raffle Basket for The Grace Inn, and more.
      Admission is free. "We are only asking for parking donations," Shelly Pottala said. Email her for more info.


     The eighteenth 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.
      The Jig features hours of alternative country, folk, bluegrass, rock, jazz, swing, Motown, and rhythm and blues with the music beginning at noon. The performers include Canyonero; John Cassel; singer/songwriter Brian Curry and friends; Dale and Darcy; the Nobby Reed Project; the Oleo Romeos; and Tommy and Gayle Steele.
      Canyonero from Eden offers loud and fast country with Zach Alario, drums; Brett Lanier, pedal steel; Chris Lyon, guitar and vocals; Ian Wade, bass and vocals; and Adam Witkowski on guitar and vocals.
      Bakersfield’s pied piper 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 the dinner music "you should talk over" at Chow!Bella.
      Acoustic duo Dale and Darcy will be doin' some bluegrass.
      Vermont's most popular power-blues man, Nobby Reed leads the Project as it puts a Vermont touch on the soul-shakin'-electric Texas and Chicago blues styles with Eric Belrose, percussion; Ray Bushey, bass; and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      Led by Tyrone Shaw, the Oleo Romeos blend of crispy-fried country, blues, rock, and original tunes. The group features Mr. Shaw, guitar and vocals, Jerry Bowers, guitar, Will Patton, bass, Joe Moore, sax, and Roy Cutler, drums. Their latest CD of eclectic tunes is Check Please.
      The distinctive sound of Tommy and Gayle Steele--she was Baltimore's Best Jazz Vocalist--returns.
      Admission is $7 per person or $20 for families. Kids 10 and under are free. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of kids.
      The Jig in the Valley runs from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. The proceeds benefit the many programs at the Fairfield Community Center including a wide variety of educational, arts, and special programming. Call 802.827.3130 for info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn offers Blues Night with Jim Branca tonight at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info

SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace presents Melissa Ewell and Gianna Izzo Messier in Shamrocks and Thistles, a concert of Irish and Scottish music on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Gianna Izzo Messier has performed with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Champlain Valley Oratorio Society, the Burlington Choral Society, the Hanover Chamber Orchestra, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and teaches instrumental music at Swanton Elementary School.
      Melissa Ewell has spent her piano career as an accompanist; she has played for concerts, recitals, musicals, operas, and operettas and performed from 1983 to 1993 at Master Classes taught by John Wustman. She has taught music in Vermont public schools for 32 years.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. The suggested donation of $15 benefits the performers. Click here or call 802.326.4603 for info about the music at Grace Church.

JOHNSON--Lamoille County Fields Days presents the Keeghan Nolan Band in Harlow Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m. In addition to the foot stompin' high energy rockin' country music, the Field Days have Buddy D. Clown, "Ed" the Wizard, the Maple Creek Band, and much more.
      Daily general admission is $10; a 3 day pass costs $25 and all exhibits, entertainment, demonstrations, and midway rides are included. Parking is free.

FRANKLIN--Franklin United Church and Young Traditions present Village Harmony in concert on Monday, at 7:30 p.m. on the village green.
      The concert will feature Village music from the Ukraine, American and British traditional harmonies, and Appalachian clogging. The Vermont-based Village Harmony sponsors ten ensembles each summer. Although unique, the ensembles share powerful vocals, varieties of ethnic and traditional music; and joy. Suzannah Park, Nathan Morrison, and Evgeny Efremov from Kiev lead this ensemble
      The church will host a potluck supper before the concert at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share.
      Suggested admission at the door is $10, $5 for students and seniors. Call the church office (802.285.6425) or click here for more info.

ENOSBURG--Mark your Calendars: John Cassel's Green Mountain Lucky begins a 3-day run at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls next Thursday, July 29. The original musical comedy by John Cassel and Al Boright features some well known Vermont actors and musicians including Al Boright, Skeeter Camera, Wendy Maquera, Keeghan Nolan, Will Patton, Dono Schabner, Matt Stebbins, and Stephen Whiteley.
      Admission is $12/10. Tickets are on sale now at Better Planet Bookstore, all Enosburg Banks, Enosburg Pharmacy, Parkside Café, Precious Things, the Somerset Inn, and Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce.


     Fred Ploeger of White River Junction makes contemporary abstract paintings using paper in bas relief. His site includes an explanation of his difficult-to-explain work, a gallery, artist statement, exhibitions, and bio, 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).
      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.