ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 23, 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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      I wrote the column on the Winter Solstice again this year. That is not only my son's birthday and the day our days start getting lighter and longer but it was also the first time in 371 years the Earth eclipsed the moon on this night. Yay! More light means more art. Find some, look at some, listen to some, buy some, or make some today. And y'all have a Merry Christmas, joy, happiness, and beautiful music throughout the season.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones tonight at 7:00 p.m.
      "The Blue Paddle is a wonderful bistro -- but there is limited seating and a small bar," Ms. Jones said. Call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

BURLINGTON--Nectar's celebrates the holidays with a very special blues performance of Jason Corbiere's Blues Christmas on Saturday, Christmas Day, at 9:30 p.m. Blues Christmas features Dave Keller, guitar, Greg Izor, harmonica, Tom Buckley, bass, and Mr. Corbiere, drums.
      "This is at least the 10th year of this event," Mr. Corbiere said. "This is turning into a real Vermont tradition and seeing good friends throughout the holiday season."
      A Swanton native, Mr. Corbiere has played drums for more than 20 years. He toured with Blues Legend Eddie Kirkland. He freelanced around Vermont, then formed Jim Branca and the Red Hot Instant Combo. He joined Roomful of Blues where he recorded the Grammy nominated That's Right. He is a member of the Reggae band Conscious Roots.
      Admission is free for those over 21.


     Franklin County artists and presenters outdid themselves in 2010. Although the quantity of concerts, events, exhibits, and productions staged this year was down slightly again, the quality was definitely up. This week, in the interest of avoiding a 12 page New Year's newspaper spread, we will look at events around the county from the Artist In Residence cooperative to the West Swanton Methodist Church annual Lawn Supper. Next week, we will finish with a wrap up of the All Arts Council events, what the Other Major Presenters pulled off, and the Five Franklin County Festivals.


      The Artist In Residence cooperative and gallery in Enosburg Falls featured an eclectic collection of work by Franklin County and surrounding area artists with a reception on the first Thursday of each month. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. Book signings and receptions give the community a chance to meet the artists.
      The 31st annual Bay Day had continuous live music as well as the Great Race, lakefront games, sports, fair food, and fireworks, all to celebrate Independence Day. Keeghan Nolan plus Gary Dulabaum and Josh Brooks and some very special guests performed in the afternoon; the evening offered Carol Ann Jones & her All-Star Band The Superchargers with special guests Keeghan Nolan and Mingo Maquera in an Independence Day tribute in the Summer Sounds kickoff.
      The Champlain Collection had regular artist receptions but closed its retail doors.
      Chow!Bella hosted the annual Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance with music by the Fabulous Spiders in a benefit for Franklin County Court Diversion as well as regular Wednesday and Friday evening jazz.
      The Citizens Concert Band played Wednesday evenings in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell, beside the bathhouse in St. Albans Bay, St. Albans Historical Museum, and at the south end of the park in Swanton. All concerts were free.
      Concerts By The Common series in Pratt Hall had Constitution Brass, the Peterman Quintet, and the Hewitt/McGuire Duo.
      The First Congregational Church in St. Albans hostedNarnia the Musical, Piatigorsky musicians Raquela Sheeran and David Shimoni, and much more.
      The Enosburg Town Band played Tuesdays in Lincoln Park as well as a series of ice cream socials and special concerts around Franklin County. All concerts were free.
      The Fairfax Community Theater Company presented the Fairfax Radio Rangers performance of The Maltese Falcon in the spring, Narnia the Musical in the summer, and The Curious Savage, a 1950s comedy of the widow Ethel Savage, in the fall.
      The Fletcher Union Meeting House hosted Mark Sustic's 60th birthday party with the Starline Rhythm Boys, Yankee Chank and the Bosnian Lilies plus "lots of impromptu musicians and time for things erupting as they will."
      Fiddleheads had a busy year. They played for First Night, Chocolate by the Pound, at Women in Irish Music and Dance, at Maple Festival, in Grand Isle State Park, at the WCSPC Culture Hop, at the Make-A-Wish Walk for Wishes, community dances, and more.
      The Home and Recreation Exposition, Rotary Club of St. Albans' annual fund raiser, had a new Fred Swan poster, Wagon Wheel, and works by Harald Aksdal, Corliss Blakely, Barbara Parfume, and Sean Dye's popular downtown St. Albans prints on exhibit.
      The eclectic 18th annual Jig in the Valley had great local music, fabulous food, crafts, a farmer's market, and activities for kids with Canyonero; John Cassel; singer/songwriter Brian Curry and friends; Dale and Darcy; the Nobby Reed Project; the Oleo Romeos; and Tommy and Gayle Steele.
      The annual Montgomery Historic Society Art Show and Sale was cancelled for front entry way renovations at Pratt Hall. The show will be resumed next year.
      The NMC Art Wall is one of the three major public art displays at the hospital. Exhibits changed monthly.
      The St. Albans Artists' Guild reprised the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Project. Members exhibited at the Tarrant Gallery at the Flynn and at the Farmer's Market. Meta Strick conducted a master class in papermaking.
      The St. Albans Historical Museum and O.S.H.E.R. presented Ron Anstey showing Images of our Universe, Michael Atkinson presenting Fairy Tales, historian Howard Coffin with the Root Causes of the Civil War, James Edgerton in Norman Rockwell, My Neighbor, Christopher Hungerford in Vermont Waterfalls, A Musical Interlude by Pat and Ray Harwick, and Marselis Parsons discussing What's Next in Broadcasting?
      The St. Albans Literary Guild released the second issue of the literary magazine, Route Seven.
      The St. Albans Society for the Performing Arts debuted with a local community theater production of Camelot: The Musical. Their gala opening featured the Northern Vermont Ballet and the show donate its proceeds to the St. Albans Maple Leaf Special Olympics team.
      The Taylor Park Concert Series of local summer music featured Real Deal, Michele Fay, Green Mountain Chorus, Jeff McCrae, Starline Rhythm Boys in the Edric A. Loomis Memorial Band Shell on alternate summer Fridays.
      The 4th annual Taylor Park Fine Wine, Food & Beer Festival featured art by SAAG members, Karen Day-Vath, Barbara Hamm, Paule Gingras, Lisamarie Charlesworth, Jon Young, Tinka Martell, David Juaire, and Clair Dunn
      West Swanton Methodist Church annual Lawn Supper featured the Backyard Bluegrass Band and a lighthearted community meal.
      20 different presenters in this list alone with dozens of venues and a mix of fine art, classical music, popular entertainment, and great theater. And that's only half the list. Wow! What a year!


     If you haven't overdosed on Christmas music yet, we found some online:
      Christmas music on AOL Radio offers at least 10 free holiday radio stations online out of their selection of 350+ "free online radio stations."
      Pandora Radio, the result of the Music Genome Project, is "the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken." the Genome Project can create a "station" based on just one of your favorite songs or artists. It scans its analyzed music -- almost a century of popular recordings -- to find songs with similarities to your choice.


      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.