ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 24, 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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SWANTON--Lots of news from the Swanton Arts Council.
      SAC meets in the Village Complex this evening at 5:30 p.m.
      The Swanton Free Public Library will hold a Library Cafe in the King's Daughters Room on Friday at 2p.m. Judy Paxman will showcase the items created at their "It Only Hurts When I Craft" and "Crafternoon" events.
      SAC will hold an Etsy class at the Swanton Village Complex on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Etsy is a global community and marketplace of creators who sell what they make or curate and the shoppers looking for things they canít find anywhere else. There are no membership fees with Etsy but it does cost a few cents to list each item. Pre-registration is required.
      The Swanton Enhancement Project is trying to collect a million pennies to finance their community-promoting programs and activities. Kris Daignault created the swan "penny collecting" jug at the library. The SAC has a sign-up sheet for people who want to make similar jugs. The Library will accept jug donations.
      Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--It is the Thirsty Thursday Open Mic tonight at Shooters Saloon.
      Call 802.527.3777 for more info or booking requests.

EAST FAIRFIELD--Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures will close the summer concert series with a concert with Paul Asbell at the Meeting House on the Green on Friday at 7 p.m.
      In his 45- year career, the guitar virtuoso has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, Paul Butterfield, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, David Bromberg, Paul Siebel, Mary McCaslin, Sonny Stitt, Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, and more. He founded the jazz-fusion group Kilimanjaro, which performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including Montreux, Montreal, Atlanta, and Copenhagen. He was also a founding member of Summer Sounds favorites, the Unknown Blues Band featuring Big Joe Burrell.
      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. Proceeds support the Meeting House preservation project. Call 802.827.3275 to reserve tickets and pay at the door. Click here for more info.

Friday and Saturday ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Sean Casey in the Window on Friday and Isaac and Dominic French on Saturday with both shows at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ENOSBURG--The local band, the Mountains Says No, will rock the Opera House at Enosburg Falls with Black Rabbit on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Born in Ben Maddox' Cave of Legends with half the Farm DNA, the Mountain Says No has Jedd Kettler and Mr. Maddox on guitar, plus Andrew Frappier, bass, and Justus Gaston on drums with vocals and harmony by everyone.
      Burlington's Black Rabbit has so many hard, fast, head banging guitar riffs that you may forget the rock and pop while they punk your head on the House walls. Marc Scarano, vocals and guitar; Darlene Scarano, bass and vocals; Jane Boxall, drums, percussion and vocals.
      "It's going to be an awesome show," Em Frappier said.
      Admission is $10 per person. There will be a cash bar.

EAST BURKE--Mike's Tiki Bar presents the Nobby Reed Project in a farm festival on Saturday at 12 noon. Vermont's own blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA--Saturday is Vermont Day at the Big E, the Eastern States Exposition, which continues through September 30. New England's Largest Agricultural Fair brings more than one million attendees.
      The Vermont Building on the Avenue of States features Vermont products, crafts, and Vermont musicians performing for guests on the weekends. Vermont Day has Pete's Posse and the Starline Rhythm Boys on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
      Sunday brings a Young Tradition Showcase with Cricket Blue and Eric George, 12 noon - 3 p.m.


     The Summer Sounds Benefit Music Festival took over the Franklin County Field Days grounds on Sunday with continuous music on two stages. The proceeds will benefit Camp Ta-Kum-Ta and help the Town of Highgate build a band stand.
      Summer Sounds got its start 25 years ago when then-Town Manager Ray Tanguay came to me with $200 in his hand and said "Let's have some concerts!"
      You can't put on a major concert series for 200 bucks, so most of the local businesses kicked in and that started a plan and a series. The plan was for the municipalities to underwrite the series and for local businesses to sponsor each concert. The All Arts Council also encourages local nonprofits to "host" each concert with a social to show the flag and earn a few bucks for their own causes.
      Over the years, more than half of the Franklin County towns have welcomed Summer Sounds. The concerts are always on Sunday night, always in a Town Park, always at 7 o'clock, and always free.
      Some of the best artists to play Summer Sounds were there: Jon Gailmor, incaHOOTs, Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers, and the Sky Blue Boys played continuous music and we introduced the next generation of performers in Savannah Burns, Soukaina Jamil, Mingo Maquera, Rosie Newton, and Jaylin Seaman who all sang and Drew Briggs who wowed us with improv.
      Our friends and community groups came through with grace and joy. We had extraordinary support from TimKath Productions, Franklin County Sheriff, Hannaford, McDonald's, NMC, McKenzie, Green Mountain Coffee, the UPS Store in St. Albans, and Harper Company. The MVU FFA lent us their most excellent ice cream building. A consortium of restaurants -- Pam's Place, Shaggy's, Swanton House of Pizza and Pizza Hut -- got together to feed the bands and the volunteers. Area businesses also pitched in with prizes and gifts. A special thanks to Amy's Gift Shop, As the Crow Flies, Eaton's Fine Jewelry, Eastern Dragon Restaurant, and Habitat for Humanity. (It's only 91 days until Christmas.) The 25th Summer Sounds season was underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin & Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing.
      Local community groups host each Summer Sounds concert and the Festival did the same. We had hot dogs and hamburgers, popcorn and snacks, soda and coffee, ice cream and cake, and other desserts, all thanks to the AAC, Highgate United Methodist Church, Knights of Columbus, MVU and BFA seniors, and the St Paul Scholarship Committee.
      We all had one disappointment. We had room for thousands in the audience. We wanted hundreds in the audience. We had a great time but we didn't raise much money. I sure do wish more people had been there.


      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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