ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 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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      Singer/songwriter/instrumentalist/performer Ben Patton of Bakersfield and now New York (although he lived in the Philippines for five years) has released his Follies of 2014 for free.
      The Ben Patton Follies of 2014 are an experiment in excess. The 33 brand new songs pay homage to the Great American Songbook. He calls it "too many songs, too many singers, [and] too many instruments." And it's all free!
      The Great American Songbook refers to the most important and influential popular songs of the 20th century. Written from the 1920s through the 1950s, they include hundreds of songs from Broadway theater, musical theater, Hollywood musical film, and concert and dance music. Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Rodgers and Hart, Fats Waller and more. (I would include Scott Joplin in the list.)
      Mr. Patton has long been in love with a box set of the songs of Irving Berlin, songs he calls a treasure chest of material.
      "I loved the writing," he said of the Follies. "It was an indulgence in many ways. It was really fun to write in the style and to think in that era and to think about the changes in attitudes [since then]."
      Mr. Patton is offering the Follies, Acts I, II, and III for free download although he will accept donations. ACT I and II are available online now. ACT III will appear on Sunday.
      A note about the economics of CD sales and "free" music. The big national touring bands don't make much from record sales but independent artists do.
      It's called Hollywood accounting. Same as Used Car Dealer accounting. Ditto RIAA accounting. Movie producers, book publishers, and major recording labels make sure that even their big hits "lose money" which is why, in 2010, the Root reported that for every $1,000 sold, the average musician gets $23.40.
      At the turn of this Century, Courtney Love equated piracy ("the act of stealing an artist's work without any intention of paying for it") with major label recording contracts. The label takes in $11 million and the band artists takes home nothing. Nada. Zip.
      Major label singers and bands can earn far more from one stadium concert than from a lifetime of record sales but independent performers like Mr. Patton rely on the income stream from their music sales.
      "It's a bit of a gamble," he said of offering the three albums for free download. "It costs a lot to manufacture an album, especially a triple album. I didn't think I could make a triple CD or triple-vinyl for this.
      "So far, I'm moved by how frequently it's been shared on social media and donations are trickling in."
      The album in three acts was performed by a long list of talented singers and accompanied by the Ginger Ingenious Orchestra plus many well known Vermont instrumental soloists. You will recognize Meg Cossaboom, the Fabulous Spiders, and Wendy Maquera, plus Joe Moore, Anna Patton, and Tony Whedon from Vermont as well as several of the other singers and performers. Sadly, John Cassel was going into the studio to sing "The Old Songs" just days after he passed away.
      Mr. Patton cofounded Muller and Patton Productions with collaborator Jaye Muller. "Right now I'm also writing and producing music for the children's entertainment company Sockeye," he said. In addition to writing songs for dozens of international artists, he has performed his own material on five solo albums, five Muller and Patton duo albums, and two live concert films, and penned the comic operetta Simply Wonderful.
      Shareware comes to music. Click here after October 26 to download the complete triple album. There is a donate button to assist those who enjoy the music (and who can support the arts) to support this work. This may be a limited time offer.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo show tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      The fall shows are generally held inside; the Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so do call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

MORRISVILLE--Moog's Place presents the return of the Starline Rhythm Boys on Saturday at 9 p.m.
      The Boys are Danny Coane who writes and sings, picks banjo and guitar; Billy Bratcher, upright "slap" bass; Al Lemery, Fender "widow maker."
      Click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Busy week for the Boys as Starline Rhythm Boys open for Cabinet at Higher Ground on Wednesday, October 22, at 8 p.m.
      Cabinet is a 6-piece alt-bluegrass, folk, country group from Pennsylvania with its roots firmly planted in the Appalachian tradition. They may weave the sounds into an Americana quilt but with strong harmonies, soaring vocals, and plenty of story, their music takes the audience on a ride through the scenic back roads.
      Teddy Weber, non-pedal steel and lead guitar man from the WIYOS will join Danny Coane and Billy Bratcher as the Starline Rhythm Boys for this show.
      Admission is $10 in advance or $13 on show day. Call 802.652.0777 or click here for tickets or more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents a special performance by Paul Cataldo in the Dining Room on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. From the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Mr. Cataldo plays a Martin guitar and belts out songs about mountains or rivers or roads. He is on tour, "hitting every state in the country almost."
      Twiggs also continues the run of disco power with the Fairfax Community Theater Company production, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens this evening through October 19 at 8 p.m. The award winning murder-mystery-musical is set in a futuristic cabaret bar with Drew Briggs as Booby, Frank Cossaboom as Sammy Sax, Meg Cossaboom as Jubilee Climax, Lisa Judge as Chesty Prospects and Shirley Tri-star, Bob Martin as Saucy Jack, Johnnie Mclaughlin as Mitch Maypole, Aaron Reil as Dr. Von Whackoff, Rebecca Reil as Bunny Lingus, and Heather Wilson as Anna Labia and Vulva Savannah.
      Admission is $19 for the FCTC theater production. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door. A special $35 ticket includes dinner and the show; dinner reservations are required. click here to purchase tickets in advance. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for dinner reservations.

ST. ALBANS--It's a Bargain!
      The 32nd celebration of the Cardiac Capers musical variety show opens with bargain night at the BFA Performing Arts Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The run continues through Saturday, October 25. The biennial hospital auxiliary fund-raiser has singing, dancing, and other performances by docs, medical staff, community volunteers, as well as a few special performances. The biennial production is a fun raiser for the NMC Auxiliary.
      Admission is $10 for bargain night Wednesday and $12 for the rest of the run. Tickets are available now at the hospital in the Auxiliary Gift Shop as well as at Hannafords St. Albans, Food City, Swanton Rexall and the St. Albans Free Library.
      Click here for more info.


FAIRFAX--Fairfax Reads Wonder: Mask Making in a Vermont Reads Event at the Fairfax Community Library on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. There will be masks to decorate and plenty of talk about why Halloween is Auggie's favorite holiday.
      The events are free and all materials will be provided. Non-perishable food donations for the local food shelf are appreciated. Call Annette Hansen (802.849.2420) for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Today is Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries day at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Albans Free Library. Laura Childs' Death By Darjeeling is a Tea Shop Mystery and first in a new series by the New York Times best-selling author. The books are set in Charleston's historic district and feature Indigo Tea Shop owner and amateur sleuth Theodosia Browning and her service dog Earl Grey.
      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 hosts Conversational Math, a math class with no home work or tests, this evening at 6:30 p.m. This is a look at a matrix, imaginary numbers, functions, and other interesting topics in the elegance and beauty of mathematics led by Bert Levin.
      Call Wanda (802.524.1507) for more 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 © 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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