ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 7, 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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      The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue with live music and more in and around Franklin County. Listen for two concerts Downtown, the Undercover Music Fest, music and stories of the Civil War, and Summer Sounds.


      Ray's Extrusion Dies presents Towne Meeting in the free Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      Towne Meeting blends strong harmonies and acoustic instruments in vintage and contemporary folk and folk-rock. And they drive a bright red 1976 Avanti, one of only 156 built that year, which is pretty cool. It has its original 400 cu. in. small block V-8 engine.
      The group crosses generations in its selection of songs as well as membership with Dennis Hulbert, vocal and 12 string guitar; Miles Moody, vocals and 6 string guitar; Rich Sutphen, vocals, lead guitar, and mandolin; Gary VanCour, vocals, 6 string guitar and ukulele; and John Kains of Last Lyx, bass guitar. They are family and life long friends who have sung and played music together on and off for years.
      They have three CDs out, Stillwater, released in 2008, A Christmas World from 2009, and Looking Back with its degree of nostalgia related to each tune.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the Highgate Methodist Church Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat some delicious desserts.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, Mylan Technologies, 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 for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church.


ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts Rachel Whitebear this month. These latest paintings are part of a series reflecting the work she has been involved in for her people. The muted tones and dream-like qualities in her work convey her experience. Ms. Whitebear has been painting for almost 60 years.
      She is a native Vermonter and Native American and a Spiritual Elder for the Abenaki Nation.
      The show continues through the end of August.


ESSEX JUNCTION--Big week at the Inn. On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Vermont's best known blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals. Then Justice keeps their rock On Tap on Friday night at 9:30 p.m. With Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals; Justice will hang, sweat and party with the Justice League.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Two bands. No waiting. The Downtown Summer Concert Series presents Chameleon in concert on Friday plus No Left Turn on Tuesday evening in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park. Both shows start at 6 p.m. Jeff's will have food and beverage service in the park from 5-8 p.m.
      With Deana Paquette and Mike Trombly at the core, Chameleon will rock the Park with everything from Aretha to Zeppelin with their own special musical twist.
      No Left Turn members Jeff Chapman, Dave DuPrat, Mark Goldstein, Dick Lees, Scott Russell play classic rock and blues.
      Admission is free.

SHELDON--The Abbey presents the 5th annual Undercover Music Fest with Nightrain, Smokin' Gun, and Bad Horsey at the Abbey Pavilion on Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 6 p.m.
      "Smokin' Gun plays Bullet Proof Rock" with Cynthia Sullivan, lead vocals/rhythm guitar; Mike Socha, lead guitar/backup vocals; Bill Pike, bass/backup vocals; and Jeff Machia, drums. The Vermont rock n' roll band plays Ozzy Osborne, Kings of Leon, Ted Nugent, Tragically Hip and more including rockin' originals.
      Nightrain will take you on the wildest ride of the summer. Eric Halbach, drums; Tom Dunn, bass; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; Andy Toussaint, guitar and keyboards; Brad Ravlin, guitar; are four friends who grew up together around St. Albans, then clicked musically.
      Bad Horsey is one of Vermont's premier Rock 'n' Roll bands thanks to Roy "Bad Horsey" Hartson, lead guitar and vocals; Ray "Beaver" Hartson, drums; Adam Sleboda, bass and vocals; Shawn Hayden, guitar and vocals; and Bryce McNall, lead vocals.
      Chris LaRocque of AudionX produces the show.
      Admission is $15 in advance or $20 on Saturday. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold. Call 802.933.4747 or click here for tickets or more info.

ST. ALBANS--The History Gang bring A House Divided: Stories and Songs of the American Civil War to the Bliss Room at the St. Albans Historical Museum on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The group originally performed these tales and songs of the St. Albans Raid in for a full house at Canada's national Arts Center in Ottawa. The performance relives stories from both sides -- North and South -- with glimpses of the war in the stories of individual people, including a letter from a soldier killed at the Battle of Bull Run and the story of the escape of a Southern ship from a Yankee blockade at Halifax. Stirring music from the war will including a song about two brothers who fought on opposite sides, Rally Round the Flag, Tramp Tramp Tramp, the Bonnie Blue Flag, as well as favorites Dixie, and the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
      The History Gang are four members of the Ottawa Storytellers group. They promote the art of storytelling to nurture and inspire beginning as well as experienced storytellers, and these opportunities to come together to share and enjoy stories.
      Admission is by a suggested donation of $10. Call the Museum (802.527.7933) or email for more info or to reserve a ticket.

MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts takes over the INN on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The event officially includes everything but dancing, but there is always hope.
      This month, the featured writer is award-winning radio producer, journalist and essayist Julia Scott. There will be an exhibit by award-winning Burlington artist Tara Goreau who has painted murals around the globe and throughout Vermont. The Missisquoi River Band will perform. With the release of their first full-length CD of original music, Plenty of Heartaches, MRB is on a concert tour, including an upcoming gig in Maine.
      The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work, curated and hosted by Bob and Becca Cummins.
      Click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--The Close to Home Mini Tour comes to the Zen Lounge for a late show on Saturday. The free concert series features singer/songwriters Troy Millette and Bethany Conner.
      Click here for more info.

MILTON--New Life Christian Church hosts a Free Family Fun Music Event featuring A&M live on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      Donations will benefit Vision Guatemala. Click here for more info.


     Northwest Access Television (Channel 15-16) is bringing family movies to local parks for a fun night outdoors with neighbors. All shows begin at 8 p.m.
      On Monday, August 11, NWA-TV and the Highgate Public Library present Turbo in Highgate Municipal Park.
      On Tuesday, August 12, NWA-TV and the St. Albans Rec Department present Princess Bride at Houghton Park in St. Albans.
      On Wednesday, August 13, NWA-TV and Sheldon Public Library present Kung Fu Panda at the Abbey Pavilion in Sheldon.
      Next Thursday, August 14, NWA-TV and the Swanton Rec Department present Shrek at Marble Mill Park in Swanton.
      Admission is free and so is the popcorn; bring blankets, chairs and bug spray. The rain dates will be the following week.


      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.