ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 12, 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.


      O. C. McCuin & Sons presents Adirondack singer-songwriter Roy Hurd in the free Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Fiddler Frank Orsini will join Mr. Hurd. "We're playin' a lot," he said.
      "I play music like I drive," Roy said. "By ear. My mom was a singer and I've always been around music."
      Singer, professional songwriter, and dynamic performer, Roy Hurd has clubs and colleges, concert halls, music festivals, and Summer Sounds events in his songwriter's grip. He spent several years as a staff writer for Warner/Chappell, the song publishing arm of the Time/Warner empire, and four years at Sony.
      "We [wrote] across the board but definitely try to fit through the little window for country music radio. There is a lot of pop influence in country music right now and a lot of alternative influence so that opens it up for people like myself," he said. "I'm a little more folk oriented and into pop."
      Mr. Hurd wrote Burn for Jo Dee Messena. He received the SOCAN award for Paul Brandt's Take It From Me, the Number One country song in Canada.
      Writing for himself and as a performer, he said, "I'm not under the radio kind of structure. I get a chance to play songs for people who really aren't worried whether the chorus happens quick enough or if the bridge is enough a breakaway from the melody. The audience listens more with their hearts."
      Mr. Hurd loved what he did in Nashville, but he loved being home to "play his heart for the people" more.
      In a sad coincidence, an immense Lake Clear house fire destroyed the home and studio of Roy his wife Amy in July. Firemen report they pumped 200,000 gallons of water and then 3,000 gallons of foam to suppress the blaze. Mr. Hurd lost instruments, recordings and artwork in the wall of flame. The historic house was once a part of the Saranac Inn stagecoach station and was later converted into a school before becoming their home. Jim Branca, whose home in Swanton was destroyed by fire, had hoped to play this date.
      Roy Hurd's most recent CD is Chronicles From The Love Shack. The stories of lovers and outlaws and his smooth vocals in all his own songs show that his heart lives in the Adirondacks. Due to the fire, his CDs are temporarily unavailable by mail but individual tracks and entire albums can be downloaded at .
      Just before the concert, stop by for Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat plenty of 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.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery hosts a "Paper Cut Workshop" with instructor Sandra fw Beaty in City Hall Gymnasium on Sunday, August 15, at 1 p.m. Participants will create an intricate work of art using international papers, paints in gold, silver and black, and two dimensional embellishments. Special papers will be available for sale at the class.
      Ms. Beaty is a teacher and artist who has worked and exhibited her paper cut pieces from Alexandria and Atlanta to Egypt and Enosburg. She has just returned from a European tour.
      The cost is $75 per person. Call 802.393.1152, 802.393.1152, or email for more info.


ALBURGH--The ninth annual Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival brings out Acoustic Blue, Banjo Dan & The Midnight Plow Boys, Big Spike Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel Project, Cherryholmes, Fairview Avenue, Mad Mountain Scramblers, The Spinney Brothers, and Steel Rail Bluegrass plus country music with Keeghan Nolan, Phill N the Blanks, Starline Rhythm Boys, Jimmy T & the Sleepy Hollow Boys, and Jamie Lee Thurston, plus a craft fair, bonfire, barbeque, and jamming, all on a family farm in Alburgh. The music starts tonight and continues through Sunday afternoon. (In our tribute to perfect planning, there will be just enough time at the end of this Festival to hustle back to Highgate for Summer Sounds.)
      Look for Mad Mountain Scramblers at 5 and 7 p.m. and Steel Rail Bluegrass at 6.
      Tomorrow afternoon the stage opens at 1 p.m. The first Steel Rail Bluegrass performance begins at 3 p.m. followed by Banjo Dan at 4. More from Steel Rail, Big Spike, Acoustic Blue, the Bluegrass Gospel Project, and the Spinney Brothers throughout the evening. There will be a bonfire and open pickin' from 12 midnight until Sunrise tonight, Friday, and Saturday nights.
      Saturday starts with Bluegrass Gospel Project at noon, moves along with Banjo Dan,
and continues with Big Spike, Acoustic Blue, and Cherryholmes.       Sunday is dedicated to Country Music as Phill N the Blanks take the stage at 11 a.m., followed by the Starline Rhythm Boys at 12:30 p.m., Jimmy T & the Sleepy Hollow Boys at 2, Keeghan Nolan at 3, and Jamie Lee Thurston at 4:30.
      The craft show covers all three days with juried, handmade crafts.
      The 2010 LCBF begins tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. about two miles north of Alburgh Village on Route 2. Admission is $75 for the weekend including camping. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available through the Flynn Regional Box Office, at Cross Roads Mobil in Alburgh, and at the gate. Call 802.482.8110 or click here for more info and the entire schedule.

ST. ALBANS--One Federal presents Deanna Paquette and the New Naturals featuring Jason Corbiere tonight at 7 p.m. They will play R&B hits and rock.

SHELDON--Full Circle returns to Summer Music at Grace with recorders, voices, hammered dulcimer, harp, guitar, whistles, and percussion in a program of Celtic Music from lively reels and jigs to meditative airs, the music of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, all tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m.
      The group of five friends make music together a professional quintet that specializes in medieval and Renaissance music as well as baroque, folk, Celtic, Appalachian, and 20th Century songs. The members of Full Circle are Maeve Kim, Beth London, Susan Reit, Linda Rodd and Mary Ann Samuels. Full Circle has appeared at First Night Burlington, the Lane Series, Summer Music at Grace and more.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. The suggested donation of $8 benefits the performers. Call 802.658.0832 for more info about the performers. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for the music at Grace Church.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Hick Jam 2 kicks off at the end of Robinson Road tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. and continues all day Saturday. The event for musicians by musicians features Canyonero, Conscious Roots, an Adam King Solo, Mud City Ramblers, Substation7, a Gary Wade Solo, Seth Yacovone, Victims of Metal, and more.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--The Montgomery Historical Society Concerts By The Common series presents the Hewitt/McGuire Duo on Saturday at 8 p.m. The harp and flute duo tours from the Hartt School in Connecticut and features classical and contemporary pieces with a special emphasis on French composers.
      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.

VERGENNES--Carol Ann Jones & The Superchargers continue The Opera House Tour at the Vergennes Opera House on Saturday at 8 p.m. The tour benefits the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation.
      The Superchargers have a fresh take on rockabilly, country, rock & roll, bluegrass and contemporary music. The regional band has nationally known performers: Andre Maquera on lead-guitar and backing vocals; Gary "Spud" Spaulding on drums and percussion; Thom Carvey on bass and sax; Will Patton on bass, steel guitar and mandolin and Carol Ann Jones on lead vocal and acoustic guitar. Ms. Jones' debut indie album, Out of the Blue, showcases her broad range of music from All About the Wheels to the Farmhouse Blues.
      Admission is $15 for adults or $8 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door or through the Vergennes Opera House box. Call 802.877.6737 for more information


WESTFORD--Fairfax Community Theater Company begins auditions their fall production of The Curious Savage at the Brick Meeting House tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. The play will be produced September 29 and 30, October 1 and 2.
      The John Patrick comedy has roles for 6 women and 5 men with stage ages 20-70. Click herefor character descriptions and audition readings. Call Jerry Starks (802.881.4455) or email for more info.


     Evelyn Gant of Putnamville is one of the few remaining lacemakers in the United States. Her Fine Threads lace studio is dedicated to preserving the art of making lace by hand. She offers individual and group classes in lacemaking and needlework for all ages. The site includes History, a Workshop Schedule, Custom Lacework, Supplies, the Agnes Klavora Project, 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.