ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 2, 2011


      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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      June is National Dairy Month and the first full summer weekend is here with sunshine, continued warm temps, and continued high water. Fortunately, the elevation of Lincoln Park puts it out of danger as the Enosburg Falls Lions club celebrates 55 years of Vermont Dairy Festivals this weekend with almost unlimited entertainment and magical family activities. Most of the stage shows and entertainment are on the Lincoln Park Bandstand. All the outdoor entertainment is free.
      The Dairy Festival begins today and continues through Sunday in downtown Enosburg Falls.
      The Mooooving Parade starts Saturday at 10:30. With mobile mooving musicians, it is one of Vermont's largest parades.
      All that milk includes some art. The Masonic Hall hosts the Arts and Crafts show Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m.

THURSDAY--The Vermont Dairy Festival Scholarship Pageant Finals are held this evening at 7 p.m. at Enosburg Falls MHS as college-bound seniors return for final judging. The competition includes poise and appearance, stage interviews, and youth fitness.
      The Enosburg Lions offer scholarship prizes ranging from $125 to $750.
      Admission is $8. Tickets will be available at the door.

FRIDAY--Young singer Alana Freeman of Highgate Center started singing country music when she was 11. She competes around Vermont, won at the Addison County Fair last year, and sang at the Champlain Valley Fair. On the Green at 6 p.m.
      Dairy Festival favorite and the best bluesman in Vermont, Nobby Reed takes over the stage with his power blues trio, the Nobby Reed Project. Nobby brings great musicians to the stage with him. Drummer Eric Belrose has been with the Project since the beginning. He has the precision, power and finesse on the skins. Bassist Ray Bushey first performed with Nobby in the Northern Vermont Blues-Rock band Greafe. Messrs. Belrose and Bushey make a tight and powerful rhythm section. On the Bandstand at 6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY--The Parade begins at 10:30 and the Dairy Festival hosts a marching band competition at the Main Street reviewing stand at 12:30 p.m.
      Todd Wellington, the King of Silly is billed as "pound for pound, the finest entertainer in three states" from Red Sox games to NASCAR races. Look for juggling, unicycling, balloons, magic, and physical comedy on the Green at 1 and 2:45 p.m.
      The front porch string band, Chasing 440, plays bluegrass and old time rhythms fronted by David Benway, vocals and lead guitar, Bill Masse, dobro, Arnold Royea, fiddle and mandolin, and Mike Ryan, banjo. On The Band Stand at 2 p.m.
      The Northeast Fiddlers Association is dedicated to preserving and promoting old-time fiddling and its related arts and skills. On the Green at 5 p.m.
      Jeffersonville's Rock-N-Horse plays alternative and classic Rock and Roll. On the Band Stand at 7:15 p.m. and playing into the fireworks.

SUNDAY--All of Dan the Puppetman's friends come with strings attached. He has a lot of friends. Clown College graduate and master puppeteer Dan Grady of Eliot, Maine, has built and performed with professionally crafted marionettes for more than 25 years. He returns his unique cast in the Marvelous Marionette Medley to theme parks, arts festivals, schools, theaters, and fairs around the country. On the Green at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
      Cindy Weed and the Missisquoi River Band play straight out bluegrass. On The Bandstand at noon.
      Crooked Creek offers gospel bluegrass. On The Band Stand at 3 p.m.

     The men and women of the Enosburg Lions volunteer their time to conduct service projects and raise funds for the local community. They contribute to senior citizens' programs, area school projects, community health services, the Enosburg public library, family assistance and drug/alcohol programs, fire and ambulance services, other non-profit organizations, scholarships, as well as to the Lions International sight and hearing programs. The Vermont Dairy Festival is the Enosburg Lions' primary source of funding for these programs with thousands of man-hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the community.
      The Vermont Dairy Festival midway opens at 6 p.m. this evening. Entertainment on the bandstand starts Friday evening at 6 p.m. and the weekend activities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday in downtown Enosburg Falls. Admission to the grounds is free and most events are also free. Click here for more info.


     "If you had told me I'd be buying bottled water 30 years ago, I'd call you nuts," Jimmy T Thurston said about changes he's seen in the music business. The renowned Vermont singer-songwriter-band leader brings the Sleepy Hollow Boys to the Overtime Saloon in St. Albans on Friday at 9:30 p.m.
      The Sleepy Hollow Boys include his best friend from the 60s, Michael Bevins, drums, Tim Brick, lead guitar, Bill Carruth, lead guitar, Summer Sounds favorite Mark Legrand, bass, and Lenny Osterberg, sound.
      Jimmy T got started in music "out of retaliation," he said. "My dad told me to leave the music alone. Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett had it all sewn up." His father wanted him to learn a trade.
      He joined in singing Saturday night "Kitchen Tunks" at age four, then "my uncle taught me how to call square dances when I was 8. When I was 16, I tried to put a country band together but that didn't come together."
      His first band was the "Mustangs" but most Vermonters will know the next name best: Jimmy T and the Cobras. He followed the Cobras with This n That and then 5 Funky Cans of Wet Magic Shave that played Hendrix covers for a summer gig in Middlebury. His band Boogie Beast lasted eight more years until about 1980.
      Then came Ripp van Winkle and the Sleepy Hollow Boys. The legend in Vermont music has started a dynasty. His son, Jamie Lee Thurston, was one of his roadies when they were touring the Ripp van Winkle band. Jamie tours on his own now and writes music that Platinum sellers like the Rodney Atkins cover of 15 Minutes. The Sleepy Hollow Boys took third out of 1,500 bands in a Seagrams national competition. When that tour gig slowed down, Jimmy T took a seven year break and came back with his own name on the Sleepy Hollow Boys.
      He has "downloaded all his 45s onto CDs" and will start on a new studio CD to be called Welcome to My Country in a couple of weeks. "It will be different," he said. He is also co-writing songs with Mike Kelly of St Albans.
      "It's going to be nice to see old friends" at the Overtime Saloon, he said.
      In the meantime, Jimmy T will hang around, playing music and waiting to become Vermont's icon. "We're just having a pile of fun and things are picking up."


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on mixed medium artist Nancy Hayden, painter Leeza Mossey, stained glass artist Karen Scheffler, and photographer Maggy Young.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments tonight from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Each artist will give a presentation the night of the reception. The exhibit continues through the end of June.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 45 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The Village Frame Shoppe is located within the coop as a resident framer. The Blue Crayon, a small private studio, is available there for individual or small group lessons. The gallery, located at 349 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts photographer Liesl Ulrich-Verderber of St. Albans this month. Her Phrog Eye Photography is not only about photographing life all around the world, but also her commitment to sustaining it.
      The show continues through the end of June.


BURLINGTON--The Discover Jazz Festival brings jazz legend Herbie Hancock to the Flynn to kick off a week of America's music, starting tomorrow and continuing through June 13.
      Free Jazz on the Marketplace offers free concerts day in and day out and includes the Enosburg Falls Middle High School, Missisquoi Valley Union High School, and Sheldon High School.
      Click here for the Discover Jazz program guide.
      The Spirit of Ethan Allen Sunset Cruise on Sunday features Joe Levesque's Big Band. Advance reservations are required. The boat ride with music costs $25 per person; a deli menu is available. Call Joyce Jenkins (802.524.5290) for more info about the Sunset Cruise.


     Photographer Lowell Snowdon Klock of Wallingford currently works with digital images and prints them archivally. Her site include image galleries -- the Olson House series, textures, travels, and visions -- as well as a biography, purchasing links, 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 © 2011 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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