ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 30, 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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      Independence Day is this weekend and, for the first time in more than 30 years, St. Albans Town has postponed its annual Bay Day and Great Race celebration. The rest of us don't think a little water should slow us down but the musicians all figure that plugging an amplifier into an underground receptacle is unexpectedly dangerous.
      Town Officials have said the area in and around St. Albans Bay Park will not be ready to host the event. The dock is still flooded which means Tom Oliver's crew has nowhere to set up the fireworks mortars. Barricades still block the parking areas. Bay Day is now scheduled for September 4.


     Good news! The monsoons may be over and summer appears mostly to be here. Unfortunately, Bay Day has been postponed until Labor Day so the All Arts Council traditional kick off concert will move as well.
      Summer Sounds concerts are always in a Town park, always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., and always free.
      The schedule will skip a couple of weekends this summer. The series opens next Sunday, July 10, with family favorite Jon Gailmor. The Citizens Concert Band with special guest Claire Hungerford will give us a special concert on July 17. Banjo Dan and the MidNite Plowboys bring us their big bluegrass sound on July 24.
      We opted to skip July 31. That weekend, in the middle of the Big Music Weeks of Summer, also offers Village Harmony at Summer Music at Grace, Guys and Dolls at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, and the 35th Annual Franklin County Field Days with nearly constant entertainment. There will be NO SUMMER SOUNDS CONCERT on July 31.
      The series picks up with a Summer Sounds Special Surprise on August 7. Dark Horse returns on August 14 and the Constitution Brass brings us on home August 21. Bay Day on Labor Day will feature Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers playing right into the fireworks on September 4.
      New performers, bluegrass, classical, country, folk, pop, and classic rock-n-roll makes for a great season. Each summer concert is free. The concerts will be held in the Municipal Park in Highgate and the Bay Park in St Albans Town. Settle in on your own blanket or lawn chair and enjoy outdoor family music. Bring your own bug spray.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate, the Town of St. Albans Town, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


     The sixth annual Art in Bloom Festival is right around the corner with a day of music, a gazillion exhibits, and plenty of food to Swanson's Farm and Nursery in Fairfax on July 16. The Festival is a benefit for Fairfax Fire and Rescue.
      Founder and organizer Shelly Pottala needs more artists and artisans in any genre. She has a limited number of tables if you do not have your own display stand. She also wants a family (or a bunch of close friends or a Scout troop or a Church group or... ) to handle the parking.
      The heavy advertising push has already begun.
      This year the famous Rescue Squad coffee and Eastman's Bakery will be onsite right from the get go. There will be a 9 a.m. yoga session on the island. The music is all set.
      "I ordered the weather and it will be 80 degrees, no humidity and NO chance of rain," Ms. Pottala said. "We have had really really good luck so far so I am assuming this weather will be OK for all of you."
      Call Shelly Pottala (802.849.2570) or email for more info.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents a supercharged Independence Day Bar-B-Q as Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers play a benefit concert for the Island Line Trail on Monday. The BBQ will start immediately after the town parade; the band play will play from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Town of Jeffersonville hosts and an old-fashioned July 4th celebration in with parade, carnival with games and vendors, food, and live entertainment. Big Spike Bluegrass kicks off the festivities with a free park concert at 11 a.m.
      Smuggler's Notch begins its activities at 6 p.m. with a Firemen's Barbecue on the Green. The Vermont National Guard 40th Army Band will play classic favorites and patriotic tunes from 8 p.m. into the fireworks.
      Big Spike plays hard-driving traditional bluegrass with Bill Gaston, banjo; tenor and lead singer Michael Santosusso, upright bass; singer/luthier Pete Langdell, guitar; Freeman Corey, fiddle; and baritone and lead singer Neil Rossi, mandolin and fiddle. They emphasize 3- and 4-part harmonies.
      Admission is free.

PLAN AHEAD--The Vermont National Guard also presents Vermont's Own 40th Army Band with three performance teams -- the Green Mountain Show Band, the Power of 10, and the Liberty Belles -- in a free concert in Swanton next Thursday, July 7, at 7 p.m.


     Local photographer Mark Sweeney's Exposed Photography showcases his work in portraiture, event, and fine art. His site has a gallery of charitable work, children, families, fine art, pets, special events sugaring, and much more, photographic products, and contact info. And it is driven by blogging software.


      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).
      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.