ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 19, 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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      Summer begins on Saturday and the week and weekend are filled with Summer Music.


      Summer Music at Grace presents the Michele Fay Band on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The Vermont-based acoustic quartet plays original and roots music with MS. Fay's heart-felt lyrics in a comfortable blend of folk, swing, and bluegrass-influenced songs that are woven seamlessly together through Ms. Fay's rich harmonies, acoustic guitar, and banjo; backed by Doug Reid, fiddle; Tim Price, mandolin, acoustic guitar and electric guitar; and Mike Santosusso, driving the beast on upright bass.
      Ms. Fay was a finalist in the Solar Fest Singer/Songwriter showcase and winner of the 2010 Folk Cellar/Nick Fest songwriter's contest.
      Sheldon United Methodist Church and Grace Church will host a strawberry shortcake fundraiser to benefit the Sheldon Food Shelf prior to and during the concert (as long as the shortcake lasts) starting at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Church.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, and is wheelchair accessible. The suggested donation of $12 benefits the performers. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info about the series.


     The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Heather McKeown's 25th year of the Highbrow to Hoedown on Saturday. Take off is at 7 p.m. sharp. Stragglers will be dragged on stage.
      25 years ago, "Sue Hogan and I couldn't afford to take our children to the Flynn, nor did we have time to drive that far!" Ms. McKeown said. "Sue's a great musician and she was 'instrumental' in getting talent onto the deck over my septic tank in 1989."
      They staged four shows a summer back then, rain or shine. "Everyone sat on bales of hay and it was such a blast!"
      Highbrow to Hoedown is a huge effort with volunteers coming from around the county to stage it and musicians who "volunteer, give up their paying gigs to participate."
      The greatest show on Earth should overbook every $10 ticket for the "huge fundraiser for good and needy causes," that helps underwrite the BFA Leadership course, MVU drama and music programs, Cold Hollow Career Center, the Enosburg branch of Future Farmers of America, special children. "We hope to raise a lot of money for the worthy!
      "There will be all kinds of surprises," she said. "Music brings people together. We have every diametrically opposed group and religion on stage!"
      Fasten your seatbelts. The cast of Jetblue crew members and Franklin County's favorite performers will fly another audience off to another night of rock 'n roll, blues, comedy, opera, classical, folk, and musical comedy destinations.
      The program includes entertainment, comedy, and prizes. Expect Jet Blue crew members for this Flight of Fancy plus Bulls Eye (totally number one in the Universe barbershop quartette), Erik Carlson, Meg Willey Cossaboom, James Davis, Molly Hartman and cast members from the Pirates of Penzance, Carol Anne Jones and the Superchargers, Bill Masse, the Lady Supreme, Rachel Madison, Michael McCarthy and Friends, the Missisquoi River Band, Rosie Newton and Mingo Maquera, Kristin Pilgreen, Captain Lincoln Reeves, Sean Roberts back again, Cherita-ty Robinson, Tyrone Shaw and the Oleo Romeos, Tim and Kathy Stetson, Patience Willey, Sarah Jo and Robert or Jared Willey, and Placebo Domingo "...unfortunately, back again (with Ca-ponie and with Michele Murphy's grandchildren and Shea Hamel, Placebo's grandson)..." plus long time emcee, the famed Darryl Goodwin.
      "So many songs, so little time!" she said.
      But wait! There's more! There will be an A320 Rice Crispy cake, a 50/50 raffle, a massage auction, art auction, books, door prizes (round trip, confirmed space tickets to anywhere Jetblue flies), and much more.
      The Hoedown is underwritten by the Enosburg Lions Club and the Optimist Newspaper and sponsored by Blouin's Oil and many others yet to be bullied into donating.
      Admission is about $10 or "more if you have it!" The box office opens at 6 p.m. Call Ms. McKeown (802.933.2498) for more info.


BAKERSFIELD--The Bakersfield Conservation Commission Concert in the Park series presents the Missisquoi River Band this evening at 7 p.m. Featuring Cindy and Jim Weed and Pat Murphy, the MRB plays stand-up, foot stomping bluegrass.
      A Town Park clean-up day was held in May. The first town park trail was roughed out last fall and is getting regular use. They are now installing trail signs.
      Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The One Federal Restaurant and Lounge Thursday Night Summer Concert Series ramps up again with the Nobby Reed Project this evening at 7 p.m. The blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Highgate's own Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      Admission is free.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Saint Albans singer/songwriter Chuck Foster In The Window tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m.
      Mr. Foster plays songs that you will recognize with a few original tunes mixed in, an observation of the world around him. He has written over 100 songs since returning to music.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

RICHFORD--The Richford Conservation Commission hosts the Richford Riverfest in Davis Park on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The festival celebrates the community of Richford and the Missisquoi River.
      The free, fun-filled day includes live music by Bob Gesser, activities, a BBQ, bake sale, nature photography, 50/50 raffle, water flume, workshops, river clean up, a flotilla, birds, bugs, trees, water, first aid, and more.
      Proceeds will benefit The Richford Conservation Commission and the Arvin A Brown Public Library.

ST. ALBANS--Carol Ann Jones will sing the National Anthem for the Relay for Life at Collins Perley on Saturday at 6 p.m. 46 teams and 337 participants have signed up so far. There is plenty of room for more. Click here for more info.

STOWE--The Trapp Family Lodge hosts piano/bass dialogues in the mountains with John Cassel and Will Patton on Wednesday at 6 p.m.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Library Summer Program begins with a Backpack Theater presentation of The Emperor's Nightingale and The Gingerbread Boy at the Highgate Elementary School on Monday at 10:30 a.m.
      The Backpack Theater stages puppet shows and plays in libraries and children's organizations all over Vermont.

NORTH HERO--The Mysterious Lens on American Culture series discusses Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie at the North Hero Public Library this evening at 7 p.m. In these mysteries, mayhem and murder play out against a cultural/ethnic backdrop-illuminating more than simply whodunnit. William Tortolano, Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at Saint Michael's College, leads the discussion. Dr. Tortolano is a concert organist, editor, author, and director of Gregorian Chant workshops.
      Call Judy Poquette, (802.372.5458) for last minute info.


FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Summer Sounds concert series begins its 24th season on Sunday, July 6, with Jamie Lee Thurston at Bay Day.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of St. Albans and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Bud Light, Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, Mylan Technologies, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing and WOKO.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. Visit for the summer concert schedule.


      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).
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