ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * {Date}, 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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      I know we all thought the Big Music Weeks of Summer were history, but it is still summer and there is still plenty of music. The 25th anniversary Summer Sounds Benefit Music Festival will fill the Franklin County Field Days grounds for an all day concert. Missisquoi River Band plays twice in two days, Coon Hill John gets Close to Nowhere, and Justice entices us for an evening out of town.


HIGHGATE--The 25th anniversary Summer Sounds Benefit Music Festival is finally here this weekend. The all day concert will take over the Franklin County Field Days grounds on Sunday, the last summer Sunday this year. Gates will open at noon and the music will start around 2.
The stage will fill with star power from the first decade of the series, anchored by Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers with Jon Gailmor, incaHOOTS, the Sky Blue Boys, the Summer Sounds singers, and more. This is a benefit concert so admission is by donation. There will be fair food and prizes. Kids' stuff. A dunking booth. Raffles and prizes.
      September is Childhood Cancer Month. The festival will help programming at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta and will raise money to build a band shell for the next 25 years of music in Highgate.
 ArtBits News Photo     The four-piece country-rock-jazz-pop band IncaHOOTS plays music "for all occasions" and has wowed the Franklin County crowds this year and have just returned from Nashville. I heard, "They are so good! Please bring them back for the Festival" over and over, so John Geno, Jeff Wenig, David Long, and Kevin Connelly will start the day with a bang. 2 p.m. on the Field Days stage.
Lots of volunteers are involved including our hosts over the years to provide food. Tim-Kath Productions will run two stages of sound for us. But we need more volunteers! Are you interested in

Postering northern Vermont?
Running the Gate?
Herding the food booths?
Park setup the morning of the show?
How about park cleanup the day after?

Email the All Arts Council and we'll hook you right up!
     Jon Gailmor asked us for a "prenatal through prehistoric audience." Highgate can expect an eclectic, emotional, exhilarating, optimistic, and provocative concert from an entertainer equally at home fronting a flagpole in the village park or fronting the Vermont Symphony in the Flynn. Listen for original music, children's songs, ballads, witty ditties, and more. Mr. Gailmor's music is low in cholesterol, high in total audience involvement, and full of hope. He has released six albums, including Checking In. 3 p.m. on the All Arts stage
      The Sky Blue Boys are "just" two fellows with a mandolin and guitar, but they have a musical teamwork built of habit, their voices fused in the special blend produced by kinship. The "brothers duets" of the 1930s and 40s were the predominant format in country music, practiced by now-legendary teams of brothers in Opera Houses and on radio stations throughout the country. Banjo Dan and Willy Lindner revived the tradition here in Vermont where they have played together for decades. They formed the legendary bluegrass band Banjo Dan and the Mid-nite Plowboys in 1972. They first appeared in Summer Sounds in 1994. 5 p.m. on the All Arts stage.
      This season Summer Sounds has introduced some of the up-and-coming performers from our area, musicians who are becoming our next gen stars. The Summer Sounds Singers will continue that undertaking by welcoming an eclectic group of some of the best area newcomers to the stage. 6 p.m. on the All Arts stage
      Jazz will mesmerize as Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers take us home. With Caleb Bronz, Kathleen Dolan, Glendon Ingalls, Bob Levinson, and Mark Van Gulden, Ms. Johnson is jazzy, bluesy, funky, and nearly perfect.
      "We'll definitely do the standards," she said, "the Billie [Holiday], the Nat King Cole, the Ella [Fitzgerald]. And I hope my 'Junkettes' will join us!" The Junkettes are Highgate's own young people who have grown up dancing and singing to Ms. Johnson's performances here. 7 p.m. on the Field Days stage.
      Hot dogs and hamburgers, popcorn and snacks, soda and coffee, ice cream cake and other desserts, all thanks to the AAC, Highgate PTO, Highgate Knights of Columbus, MVU seniors, United Methodist Church, and the St Paul Scholarship Committee. This is a drug/alcohol/substance free event.
      The Summer Sounds Benefit Music Festival has support from TimKath Productions, NMC, McKenzie, Green Mountain Coffee, the UPS Store in St. Albans, and Harper Company. The 25th Summer Sounds season was sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin & Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10-15/person or $25/family. Kids under 12 are free. Find us on Facebook or click here to donate and for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--Justice keeps their rock On Tap for an End Of Summer Bash on Friday night at 9:30 p.m.
      With Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Rod Bushey, lead guitar; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals; Justice will bring a batstuff crazy "a close to the summer part of our schedule and transition to fall/winter."
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace wraps the season as Missisquoi River Band returns to Grace Church on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      The band, featuring Cindy Weed, Jim Weed, and Pat Murphy with special guests Will Patton and David Gusakov will play bluegrass inspired originals.
      There is no cookout or potluck this year.
      Admission is a $15 suggested donation at the door; there are no advance tickets.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Check, Please! tomorrow at 7 p.m.
      "We are sold out for this event," Co-Managing Director Em Frappier said.
      This Dinner Theater production is about a dozen little vignettes about blind dates gone wrong. Dinner will be catered by The 1906 House with appetizers provided by Hartman's Farm and The Boston Post dairy.
      Admission is $30 per person or book a table of 8 for $200. There will be a cash bar. Formal attire is encouraged. Call the Opera House (802.933.6171) or email for more info about this and other programs.

LYNDONVILLE--The Stage features Live Music with the Missisquoi River Band on Saturday at 8 p.m. with Cindy and Jim Weed and Pat Murphy.
      Call 802.427.3344 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the eclectic mix of Coon Hill John on Friday and the rock, bluesyfunkrock, and dash of punk of Close to Nowhere on Saturday, both at 7pm.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here 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 © 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).
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