ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 28, 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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      Summer Sounds is wisely taking the weekend off. The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue with four summer concert series concerts, four festivals, plus a musical, National Night Out, and the ongoing Singer/Songwriter Night all this weekend. There is simply so much more to see and hear in Franklin County this weekend that we decided to take a nap. We'll be back next Sunday, August 7, with an unforgettable evening of Texas blues.
      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.
      Click here for posters and more info.


     Village Harmony returns to the popular Summer Music at Grace after a two-year break this evening at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature American and British traditional harmony singing, music from Georgia, Corsica, and Quebec, as well as Appalachian clogging sung by the chorus of young musicians.
      This Village Harmony teen ensemble is led by Suzannah Park, Carl Linich, and Will Thomas Rowan. The 22 young singers come from throughout New England and as far away as California and North Carolina. They live together and rehearse intensively for eight days at a retreat in the Northeast Kingdom to prepare this concert program.
      Village Harmony's many CDs and songbooks will be on sale at the concert.
      A community potluck supper precedes the concert at 6 p.m. Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. Suggested admission at the door is $15. Click here for more info about Village Harmony. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info about Summer Music at Grace.


     The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Guys and Dolls in a three-night run starting this evening at 7:30 p.m. The run continues tomorrow and Saturday evening at the same time.
      We have "a talented and exuberant cast for this boisterous musical," Suzi Hull-Parent said.
      The hot gamblers have drifted into town and have mostly ducked the presence of Civil War troops across the county while Nathan Detroit tries to get "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York" going again. Nathan needs $1,000 and the Franklin Bank is already in jeopardy. Sergeant Sarah Brown needs sinners. Nathan bets Sky Masterson that he can't get Sarah to go to Havana and the cops in the person of Lieutenant Brannigan keep popping in. Liz Leroux and Suzanne MacKay direct the musical by Frank Loesser.
      CBS' Scott Simon called Adelaide's Lament, the song about Nathan's fiance who has got a cold throughout the play because, she says, Nathan isn't going to marry her, "a perfect comic song."
      Admission is $14 for limited reserved seating, sold in advance, or $12 for adults or $10 for students and senior citizens. Advanced ticket sites include Precious Things Jewelers, Enosburg Pharmacy, Merchants Bank, People's Trust Company, Community National Bank, all in Enosburg Falls, and the Chamber of Commerce and Better Planet Books in St. Albans. All advanced reserved seating must be arranged through the Opera House box office (802.933-6171) or by email.


     Today through Sunday, Vermont's finest country fair takes to the fields of Highgate as the 36th annual Franklin County Field Days brings a lineup of the best music, arts and crafts, and of course weeds that Franklin County has to offer. The musical lineup includes ten bands that are worth the price of admission alone. And it all begins today at 12 noon.
      Chasing 440 and Maple Creek light up the main stage today, along with a Demolition Derby pre-show performance by Highgate country singer Alana Freeman. Tomorrow look for Ms. Freeman to return plus the Jim Daniels Band, Jessica Prouty Band, and the Ivory Band finishes the day. Field Days will hypnotize us on Saturday with comedy hypnotist Joey Allen; Keeghan Nolan starts the afternoon on the Country note, the Jessica Prouty Band keeps it going, and the Country Classic Band wraps it up. Junior Barber and Bear Tracks jump start Sunday morning and the Nobby Reed Project anchors the stage until the Field Days gates close.
      Franklin County Homemakers Club will hold an ongoing quilt demonstration and quilt raffle.
      Field Days has "One Price" admission of $8 per day for adults, teens, and children three years old and up. It includes all midway rides, exhibits, and entertainment. Parking costs just $1 per car inside and outside of the gate.
      Call Tammy-Jo Parks (802-524-9771 extension 101) or click here for more info.


     St. Albans Historical Museum and Champlain Valley Reenactors present a St. Albans Heritage Weekend: St. Albans in the Civil War this weekend in and around Taylor Park, the site of the northernmost military action of the Civil War. The festival includes Abraham Lincoln, training, skirmishes, 1860s medical care, tours, camp music, demonstrations, and even shopping.
      Re-enactors will set up camp tomorrow afternoon. The camps will be open 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Sunday.
      Not only will there be camp music from the period, Saturday and Sunday will see (and hear) artillery demonstrations booming across the City. Re-enactors in character will gladly answer questions; be slightly wary, though, since the strange dress and mannerisms of visitors may mark you as a spy. The Sutler's Tent will sell replicas of items and the merchandise originally peddled to soldiers by the victualers (civilian merchants) alongside the battlefield, and much more. The St. Albans Historical Museum will be open for tours.
      President Lincoln will speak Saturday afternoon, immediately after the 1 p.m. Union mail call.
      Civil War re-enactment units will include 2nd Vermont Infantry, 1st Vermont Cavalry, Medical Corps, 2nd Mississippi, 61st Georgia, and 27 Virginia and 55th Virginia Middlesex Artillery. Israel Good also will be present to explain the role of sutlers in the war.
      Call St. Albans Historical Museum (802.527.7933) or click here for the full schedule and more info about the St. Albans Raid.


     Kid's Culinary Academy hosts a Celebration of Food and Drink (and Music) on their Gore Road farm in Highgate on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. The gathering celebrates the growth and expansion of Kid's Culinary of Vermont.
      The day will include complimentary cocktails, an endless selection of international food prepared by students, and tours of the property and gardens, magic and clowning and karaoke (with prizes for top performers), and live music.
      Summer Sounds favorites Jenny Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers and renowned country swing band Rick and the Ramblers will pace the dancing when the Grand Buffet opens at 9 p.m. Fireworks at midnight lead into a nightcap from the Midnight Dessert Buffet. Sunday morning brings a Champagne Brunch with more entertainment at 10 a.m.
      There will be door prizes and raffles to benefit the Academy Scholarship Program; culinary students from Vermont and neighboring areas have received more than $92,000 thanks to the grants. Raffles include cruises to the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Lines and overnight stays in Montreal and Quebec.
      Admission is free. Call 802.868.3030 or click here for more info.


     The nineteenth annual Jig in the Valley brings an eclectic day of outdoor music in a good cause to the Fairfield Community Center on Sunday. This community event brings together musicians who are generous with their time, the community members and friends, and people from all over the state. Look for great local music, fabulous food under the tent, a silent auction for the Food Shelf, and activities for kids all afternoon on the Green in East Fairfield.
      The Jig features hours of alternative country, folk, bluegrass, rock, jazz, swing, Motown, and rhythm and blues with the music beginning at noon. The performers include Canyonero; Hell or High Water; Keeghan Nolan the Young Guns; the Backyard Bluegrass Band; John Cassel; the Fabulous Spiders; the Oleo Romeos; and special guests singer/songwriter Brian Curry; George Lewis; Dono Schabner; Skeeter Camera; Tommy Steele; Al Zanzler; and Joe Moore.
      Canyonero from Eden offers loud and fast country with Zach Alario, drums; Brett Lanier, pedal steel; Chris Lyon, guitar and vocals; Ian Wade, bass and vocals; and Adam Witkowski on guitar and vocals.
      Bakersfield's pied piper John Cassel has helped build the music scene in Vermont for over thirty years. He is a classically trained jazz pianist who can and does play country, folk, pop, rock, and the dinner music "you should talk over" at Chow!Bella.
      Led by Tyrone Shaw, the Oleo Romeos blend of crispy-fried country, blues, rock, and original tunes. The group features Mr. Shaw, guitar and vocals, Jerry Bowers, guitar, Will Patton, bass, Joe Moore, sax, and Roy Cutler, drums. Their latest CD of eclectic tunes is Check Please.
      Admission is $10 per person or $25 for families. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of kids.
      The Jig in the Valley runs from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. The proceeds benefit the many programs at the Fairfield Community Center including a wide variety of educational, arts, and special programming. Call 802.827.3130 for info.


ST. ALBANS--Chow!Bella invites everyone to join Connie and friends for a farewell celebration at Chow this evening at 5 p.m. and continuing through the evening. Carol Andre & Gary -- the trio of singer/songwriter Carol Ann Jones, guitarist Andre Maquera, and drummer Gary Spaulding -- will play from 6 - 8. There will be munchies, a cash bar, marvelous music, famous artists, and oh, so much laughter.

ST. ALBANS--J & L Guitars hosts Singer/Songwriter Night this evening.
      Call 527.9951 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The One Federal Restaurant and Lounge Thursday Night Summer Concert Series presents Time's Up tonight at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

BATH, NEW HAMPSHIRE--The 16th annual Jerry Jam Music Festival presents the Nobby Reed Project tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. The 2011 band lineup also includes Supplication, The Van Burens, Crunchy Western Boys, Audrey Drake & The 9s, Erin Kuzmeskus, Grassfed Boys and Los Huevos, and more.
      Jerry Jam started with Grateful Dead lovers in the summer of 1995. The not-for profit event benefits Copper Cannon, Friends of Bath Library, and Bath Little League, as well as many other environmental causes each year. They play all music including bluegrass, reggae, blues, funk and covers of Grateful Dead.
      Click here for more info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The second annual New Life Christian Church Chicken BBQ and Christian Music Concert presents a sing along on Lincoln Park on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Rich Ballard, Tim Stetson, and Bobby & Marcia Gross will perform.
      The cost of the BBQ is $7 for half a bird, chips, roll, coleslaw, and a drink. The music is free although a Love Offering will be taken. This event benefits the NLCC Youth Ministry.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT--The 28th annual National Night Out comes to Franklin county with community activities and live music on Tuesday, August 2 from 5 - 9 p.m.
      Swanton Village park will have a live band playing in the bandstand, the National Guard obstacle course, and unlimited hot dogs and hamburgers provided by the Swanton P.D.
      Taylor Park will see free food, music and fun provided by St. Albans P.D., the Community Justice Center and Voices Against Violence.
      Citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials will take part in the unique crime/drug prevention event in over 15,000 communities in all 50 states again this year.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Summer Concert Series presents Woods Tea Company at BFA Fairfax on the 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.


     Liz Le Serviget of Stowe's Inky Dinky Oink, Ink, paintings reflect her love of France. She has had solo exhibits in New York and France and is a current a member of the Stowe Studio Artists' Association. Her art studio and gallery specializes in fine art, painted furniture and fabrics, whimsical stone animals, puppets with attitude, note cards and posters, as well as personalized signs, mailboxes, furniture and paintings on commission and is a bed and breakfast. Her site includes a small gallery of her Fine Art, Commissioned Work, links to Painting Workshops, directions, 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).
      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.