ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 23, 2015


      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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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue today as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds celebrates 25 years of concerts in Highgate with roots music. The Missisquoi River Band plays a fundraiser and we find multiple shows in Burlington, East Fairfield, Enosburg Falls, Highgate, St. Albans, Swanton, Windsor, and even Bloomington, IN.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The American Legion will host a fundraiser for noted artist and photographer Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard on Friday at 6-10 p.m.
      Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard has recently been diagnosed with cancer. She has undergone two operations; her surgical team is optimistic but it means that, for now, she can't work and the expenses keep piling up.
      "One of the strongest assets of the gallery is our community and Natalie is a big piece of that," AIR's Jo Anne Wazny said. "We need to help her out a bit now."
      The evening will include music, an artwork raffle that includes a genuine Natalie plus other donations, a 50/50 raffle, snacks and hors d'oevres, and coffee. The Missisquoi River Band will play bluegrass-inspired originals. The bar will be open.
      Inspired by the natural beauty of northern Vermont's scenic landscapes, skyscapes, and wildlife, Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard has been painting and photographing here since 1986. Some hand painted acrylics fill canvases of up to six and seven feet in height or width. She is a founder, original board member, and continuing supporter of the AAC. (She quibbles with that, calling herself just "a willing participant.") As community projects, she painted the Houghton Street Park mural, organized the design and execution of the World's Largest Palette, and gave the Kingman Street garden mural to St. Albans City. She organized our exhibits at Railroad Days,the Maple Festival, and more. All in all she helps beautify Franklin County and she brings other young artists along for the ride.
      She also works at JCImage, is on the board of the Artist in Residence Gallery in Enosburg Falls, and has an online gallery at .
      She has another mural planned in St. Albans.
      Like many artists, Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard lives at the whims of the economy and that means a precarious existence. She can't work for the next few weeks which means she is worried about the mortgage and the utilities and the everyday difficulties of life. The purpose of the fundraiser is to help her the way she has helped us.
      There is also a GoFundMe campaign.
      Admission is by donation at the door.


HIGHGATE--The All Arts Council and the Town of Highgate continue the 25th season of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate on Sunday at 7 p.m.
 ArtBits News Photo     Each concert will bring back a group that played the first decade of this popular series. We introduced another roots group from southern Vermont in 1995:
      Desorcie's Market presents Lisa Brande and Easy Street on the Bayou in Summer Sounds in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday.
      Lisa Brande led a trio under the name "Three Way Street" with repertoire from over 70 years of American music and a drummer who played an upside down wastebasket. Ms. Brande and Mark Trichka have that continued a tradition of Cajun, Zydeco, and Louisiana Roots with swing, bluegrass, rockabilly and honky-tonk and all manner of popular, sometimes obscure, but always interesting music. This concert features Mr. Trichka on guitar and mandolin, Ms. Brande on fiddle and guitar, and Cannon Labrie on accordion.
      The Highgate Historical Society will offer real food, a groaning board of desserts, and other fine sweets in the top-rated Summer Sounds Social.
      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, O. C. McCuin & Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing.
      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. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Click here for the schedule.


SWANTON--Swanton Arts Council has two events this week. First, the SAC hosts Artists Uncorked, a paint & sip event, at the My-T-Fine II this evening at 6 p.m. The Sandy Hawkes lesson will include all materials to paint "Poppies."
      The cost is $35. Call Becky Rupp (802.868.2879) or click here for more info.
      The Arts Council will also hold an Art Sale at the Swanton Car Show on the Village Green on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls opens a three day run of Merrily We Roll Along this evening and Saturday at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 1 p.m.
      Stephen Sondheim set the funny, moving story about friendship, fame, and time passing to music. Told in reverse time, we watch how successful movie producer and composer Franklin Shepard got to today. The cast includes Samuel Boudreau as Frank, Matt Stanley as Charley, Sarah Mitiguy as Mary, and Esperanza Orduno as Beth.
      This show features adult language and situations and is not appropriate for children
      Admission is $10. Call Emily Frappier (802.933.6171) or email for more info and to reserve tickets.


ST. ALBANS BAY--The Bayside hosts the Oleo Romeos for good dancing fun on Thursday at geezer hours, starting at 6 p.m.
      Tyrone Shaw, Will Patton, George Lewis and Eric Belrose will play some old favorites as well as tunes from their new CD, Haunted Hearts.

ST. ALBANS--The One Fed Summer Concert Series presents Woedoggies tonight at 7 p.m. The Burlington trio of Peter Riley, bass and vocals; Rudy Dauth, lead guitar and vocals; and Wylie Shipman, rhythm guitar, harmonica and vocals; play classic, simple, honest, acoustic country.
      The summer concert series has performers under the tents every Thursday, rain or shine.

Friday and Saturday
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Coon Hill John on Friday evening at 7 p.m. Next up, Isaac and Dominic French take over on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Downtown Summer Concert Series presents IncaHOOTS in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
      The concert is free. Food and drink will be available.

EAST FAIRFIELD--Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures presents Rush Run Philharmonic at the Meeting House on the Green on Friday at 7 p.m. It will be an evening of
      Rush Run Philharmonic is an eclectic group from the hills and hollers of West Virginia. They bring vocal harmonies and songs that tell stories to the stage. Their repertoire includes Steven Foster and Woody Guthrie, Old Crow Medicine Show and Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Gillian Welch and more. Don't be surprised to see local folks like Will Patton sit in with them.
      Come early for legendary wood-fired pizza at the outdoor oven next door at the Community Center at 5 p.m.
      Admission is $15 and kids under 12 are free. Refreshments will be for sale at intermission. Call 802.827.6626 to reserve tickets and pay at the door. Click here for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Chamber of Commerce hosts the Nobby Reed Project in the Swanton Park Concert on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      Saturday is a big day in Swanton with the Swanton Car Show and the Village Green Farm Market both starting at 9 a.m. and the Swanton Art Sale at 10.
      Admission is free but the art is for sale.

EAST FAIRFIELD--Fairfield Community Center's Pre-Jig Jam takes off at the Meeting House on the Green on Saturday at 7 p.m. This social gathers friends and musicians from all over to natter and strum; no telling who'll be there!
      It's pot luck so bring a snack to share.
      Admission is free but donations to the Meeting House project are appreciated.

BURLINGTON--Bluegrass Brunch at the Skinny Pancake features live music with the Missisquoi River Band on Sunday from noon - 3 p.m. The band, featuring Cindy Weed, Jim Weed, and Pat Murphy with special guests Neil Rossi and David Gusakov will play bluegrass inspired originals.
      Call 802.540.0188 for more info.

EAST FAIRFIELD--Fairfield Community Center's Jig-in-the-Valley offers 8 hours of music on the green on Sunday from noon until it gets too dark to play.
      The 23rd annual summer benefit will feature Dale & Darcy, the Stone Cold Roosters, Duke Aeroplane and the Wrong Numbers, George Lewis, Wild Vine, the Oleo Romeos, the Rush Run Philharmonic with special guests, and more.
      This year, the Jig will debut a flea market. There will also be kids' stuff, a kayak raffle, and the food tent with grilled chickens burgers and dogs, fresh homemade salads, and the world famous pie table and the even more famous pizza oven.
      Admission is $10 per person and $25 for the family. Call 802.827.3130 or email for more info.

WINDSOR--The Harpoon Barbecue Championship of New England presents great music with some of the world's best barbecue. The Nobby Reed Project takes the brewery stage on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      The $15 cover charge includes one beer or non-alcoholic beverage ticket. Children under 12 free with parents. Click here for more info.

BLOOMINGTON, IN--Our own Will Patton will be teaching and jamming in the Heartland as the featured guest of the Jim Richter Mandolin Camp at Grant Street Inn starting Wednesday and continuing through August 1.


     Spotlight Vermont and the Vermont Musical Theater Academy host a variety of events at the South Burlington Studios starting at 9am. There are Free Classes and Demonstrations and more. The Lamoille Union Dance Program starts at 10am. in Hyde Park with a mix of Ballet Barre to popular music, a chance to learn the NDD routines, and a Contemporary Jazz combination choreographed by Nicki and Becca.
      National Dance Day was founded in 2010 to promote dance education and physical fitness.


     The United Kingdom National Library has released more than one million images into the public domain. They were taken from 17th, 18th and 19th century books and digitized by Microsoft. The images are available on Flickr Commons for anyone "to use, remix and repurpose."


      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 © 2015 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.