ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 16, 2014


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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      Carol Ann Jones of Georgia is a singer, songwriter, and recording artist. She's also a dairy farmer and an accountant who write songs about her own experiences. She is a Summer Sounds favorite who performs rock, country, pop, jazz and blues, as a solo, duo or with her full band, The Superchargers.
      Ms. Jones hopes her music brings peace or a big smile. "I sang on church choirs and took vocal lessons," she told me in 2009. "I sang to the cows while I was milking. I don't do that any more." She also sang with the Champlain Echoes, the Hallmark Jazz Quartet at Chow!Bella, and Pine Street Jazz. She has been singing all her life but she bought her first acoustic guitar in 2006.
      It's nice to find another car nut who can sing. Her family has a '37 Cord, two Sharknose '39 Grahams, and more, a total of 22 vehicles, she thinks. The Cord and one Graham are supercharged, hence the name of the band. She even drives a turbocharged '63 Corvair convertible. She writes from her day-to-day life and wisdom she can share.
      Ms. Jones' debut indie album, Out of the Blue, showcased her broad range from Mr. Engineer (that would be St. Albans' theme song) to the Farmhouse Blues. The song, All About the Wheels, is perfect listening in the ragtop with the top down, the volume cranked, doing the funky hand dance above the windshield. It was featured on Car Talk.
      Her second CD, Hope, is an acoustic album that she recorded with Colin McCaffrey. It's in the country-folk genre with songs and ballads she wrote for specific family and friends.
      She has released her third album, Supercharged! of pedal-to-the metal, original Americana music. "The performers on the CD are the band you hear live," she said. Andre Maquera, Will Patton, Gary Spaulding, and Thomas Carvey form the Superchargers. The CD Release party will be in February at Twiggs.
      It's a bright, exciting album. "The first 11 songs are upbeat," she said.
      Hummingbird Song, one of two bonus tracks, came straight from St. Albans Health and Rehab where she sings every day. The music helps the residents tap into memories they couldn't otherwise find. Still, working there means dealing with the loss of friends.
      "I took a week off in November and spent the time with my grandkids, writing music and getting ready for the holidays, and recharging to go back to work."
      Music sales are often slow for an independent artist. Fewer and fewer stores have room for inventory so it can be hard to find on the shelves. Even Barnes and Noble has no local music anymore.
      "I always sell CDs when I'm playing live," she said. "The most I sell are at concerts."
      In a special to Messenger and All Arts readers, Buckle Down Baby, the first song on Supercharged, is available for free download from the All Arts Download Page (right click and select "save link"). The entire CD can be found at Just the Place, the new gift shop in St Albans, and Haymaker Press in Morrisville next to Bee's Knees as well as at Click here for more info about the artist herself.
      The Messenger and the All Arts Council will feature a new image or album from a Franklin County artist many weeks through the winter. Email the All Arts Council or click here for more info. Click over here to see all the featured artists in a single gallery.


ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts photographer Paula Yandow this month. Ms. Yandow shoots intriguing local scenes of farming and sugaring and dragonflies.
      The show continues through the end of January.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo show tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      As it was last month, this show will most likely be inside; the Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so do call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Historical Museum hosts the Operation Warmth Comedy Tour in Bliss Hall tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.
      Hosted by Nathan Hartswick, this "Shake off the Winter Blues" show brings four of Vermont's top comedians -- Adam Benay, Natalie Miller, Kyle Gagnon, and Tony Bates -- together for a great cause. All proceeds benefit CVOEO's Project Warmth, the heat assistance program that helps Vermonters with heating costs during the winter months. Green Mountain Power will match every dollar made on this series.
      Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. This event is the first of a three-stop Vermont Comedy Club tour with shows also in Vergennes on January 24 and Studio A in Burlington on January 31.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library Book Discussion Group meets Monday, January 20, at 6 p.m. to examine J. P. Choquette's Epidemic with its viral African disease, an American town, a pandemic and no cure. There are pharmaceutical companies and unscrupulous characters. Copies of the book are available at the library.
      Call 802.868.3970 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Today is Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries day at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Albans Free Library. Julia Spencer-Fleming's I Shall Not Want is a Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery set at St. Alban's Episcopal Church. When a Mexican farmhand stumbles over a Latino man killed with a single shot to the back of his head, the Rev. Clare Fergusson gets sucked into the investigation.
      The Writers' Medley takes over the conference room today at 2 p.m. The Medley is a time of fun and sharing for writers and those interested in writing.
      The library also has help with electronic devices such as a computer, iPad, Kindle, or Nook on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
      Call Wanda (802.524.1507) for more info.


      Painter Linda Striedieck of Bellows Falls creates modern abstract works that are "organic in the sense that they emerge and evolve out of themselves." Her spare site has her new work, a gallery of earlier work, her artist's statement and resume, contact info, and a nice front page slideshow.


      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 © 2014 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.