ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 21, 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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      Ray's Extrusion Dies presents Banjo Dan & the Mid-nite Plowboys in the Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      In New England, Banjo Dan defines bluegrass. He and the boys spin tall tales and stories of intrigue into each song so we get a little bit of Vermont history with the traditional sound, the stand out harmonies, the superb instrumentals, and the fun. Listen for lead singers with soul, dulcet harmonies, hot-blooded picking, and a show to fill the park with energy, variety and humor. And plenty of original bluegrass music.
      They've traded in the long-revered 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Classic 9-passenger station wagon and now tour in a 1987 Ford Country Estate Wagon. And it's a woodie.
      Their catalog includes the 2008 release, Fire in the Sugarhouse, plus two new "solo" CDs from founders Willy Lindner and Al Davis. Solo means each has captured some of his finest material and assembled the best Vermont musicians (including the Plowboys). Sun Off Snow is Al Davis' new disk and Live, Still, With Mandolin is Willy's.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the Special Olympics-Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and enjoy cool ice cream on a hot night.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate 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 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.
      Click here for posters and more info.


     Busy night in the City tonight.

ST. ALBANS--The One Federal Restaurant and Lounge Thursday Night Summer Concert Series presents the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. The powerful Vermont blues will rock the St. Albans bricks. Admission is free.       The Bethlehem Gazebo Concert series in New Hampshire also presents the NRP on Sunday at 7 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents Carol, Will, & Dono tonight at 7 p.m. Singer-songwriter Carol Ann Jones, mando master Will Patton, and French gypsy guitar guru Dono Schabner join forces again for good songs, great singing, and stunning string work.

ST. ALBANS--The Downtown St. Albans 2011 Summer Concert Series presents the Starline Rhythm Boys in Taylor Park tomorrow evening at 6 p.m.
      The series is sponsored by Saint Albans Society for the Performing Arts and Saint Albans for the Future. Admission is free. The rain site is St. Albans City Hall.

JOHNSON--The 50th annual Lamoille County Field Days reached out to Franklin County for its headline acts as they present the Keeghan Nolan Band opening for Jamie Lee Thurston in the Covered Pulling Arena on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m.
      Vermont native, Jamie Lee has opened for the Dixie Chicks, Sara Evans, Charlie Daniels, Mark Chesnutt and Colin Raye and has made Nashville his home. He has a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing. His own current CD is I Just Wanna Do My Thing.
      Acoustic Country singer-songwriter Keeghan Nolan is touring festivals, county fairs, and concerts between Vermont, Nashville, and Florida. She starred with 8084 in their recent reunion tour and has also opened for David Allan Coe, Jimmy Wayne, Dusty Drake, and Jamie Lee. The Fairfield native now makes her home in Williston and in Florida.
      Lamoille County Field Days also offers a Maple Center, Arts and Crafts, plus Buddy D. Clown, the No Strings Marionettes, "Ed" the Wizard, Linda Peck, One Night Stand, Brian Lamonda's Backyard Revue, Banjo Dan & the Mid-nite Plowboys, and the 2011 Talent Show. And don't forget the VTPA Street Stock Street Modified Truck Pull.
      Daily admission is $10 per person with a three-day pass for $25. All parking is free.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Summer Concert Series continues with Big Spike Bluegrass on the BFA Fairfax Green on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
      Admission is free. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs, and family. There will be a charitable bake sale. In the case of rain the concert will be held in the middle school gym. The Fairfax Summer Concert Series is sponsored by the Vermont Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Fairfax Park and Rec, the Fairfax Community Library and BFA K-12 Enrichment.

BURLINGTON--The UVM Old Time Music Club hosts a Shape Note Sing in Ira Allen Chapel at UVM every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Mason Gohl holds pitching/leading/sight-reading lessons before the Sing at 6 p.m. Check for occasional changes in time, date and location. Email for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts holds a Farmers and Artisans Market at the River Arts Center every Wednesday from 3 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--J & L Guitars hosts Singer/Songwriter Night every Thursday evening.
      Call 802.527.9951 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers Music to Dine By with the jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the Piano on alternate Fridays at 5:30. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

AROUND FRANKLIN COUNTY--Get out your calendars and GPS. Next week's lineup includes Village Harmony at Summer Music at Grace, Guys and Dolls at the Opera House, the 35th annual Franklin County Field Days, the 19th annual Jig in the Valley, and more.


     Fairfax Community Theater Company will hold auditions for the fall production of the Diary of Anne Frank at the Brick Meeting House in Westford on July 27 - 29 at 7 - 9 p.m. The cast calls for 5 women (2 teens) and 5 men (1 teen).
      Call Jerry Starks (802.881.4455) or email him, or call Peggy Bonesteel (802.876.7524) or email her for more info.


     RootsWorld is an online world music magazine that may have been the first music magazine published on the Interwebs. The magazine focuses on the traditional folk music, jazz, rock or hybrid music of Africa, Asia, Europe, Pacifica and the Americas. The site offers interviews, reviews, RootsRadio, and a free email newsletter.


      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.