ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 21 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 13, 2017


      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 begins this week as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds celebrates 27 years of concerts in Highgate with a blues/soul band and a musical! 8084 returns and we find multiple shows in Colchester, Enosburg, Grand Isle, Jeffersonville, Morrisville, Rutland, St. Albans, and Stowe.


      La Quinta Inn and Suites of St Albans, the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate continue the 27th year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with the Christopher Dean Band with some very special guests in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      The national touring blues/soul band is based in Central New Jersey and works up and down the east coast year round. Playing guitar and singing lead vocals, Chris Dean fronts the group which includes David Foti, bass, background vocals, and vocals; Chip Dixon, drums, background vocals, and vocals; and Vel Johnson, sax, percussion, and vocals. The band has a lot of depth. Mr. Dean joined Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers in 1997 and toured worldwide for nearly four years in some of the hottest blues venues with that band. Vel Johnson has been on the south Jersey soul/rock scene since the 70s. Bruce Springsteen opened for Mr. Johnson's bands back in the day. Their albums include Dogged 'n Driven, Three Times A Fool, Where I Need To Be, What I Need, and Call Me Later.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the Enosburg Opera House-Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The special Intermission and Social event will feature a very special preview of The King and I in costume. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat hearty. The King and I starts a four day run at the House on July 27.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, La Quinta Inn and Suites of St. Albans, 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. Bookmark for more about Summer Sounds.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts a MAGnificent Art Walk and an ice cream social the Art Center and Gallery in Milton Town Plaza this afternoon from 4:30-6:30pm.
      Meet at the Milton Farmer's Market and head over to the Center to meet the four July Artists of the Month and more.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts a Gallery Opening Reception and Artist Talk with Elise Whittemore and Katie Loesel this evening at 5pm. The exhibiting artists will talk about their inspirations, process, and work as printmakers.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts Paint Nite: Vineyard Views on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Artist Diane Kingston introduces "art to many that have never painted, and witnessing the thrill and confidence that comes from the creative process." Paint Nite will provide all the materials to create Vineyard Views and provides "the refreshments you need!" Click here for tickets. Use code TwiggsVT for 35% off.


SWANTON--Chalk it up to Art!
      The Swanton Arts Council hosts Sidewalk Chalk Day to fill Swanton with color in the on Saturday between 10am-2pm. Collect sidewalk chalk for free at the Library.
      The SAC Writer's Group will meet at the Swanton Public Library this evening at 6 p.m. Call organizer Becky Rupp (802.733.7471) or email for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum offers a special presentation by Prof. Willard Sterne Randall this evening at 7 p.m. in conjunction with the exclusive Vermont appearance of the traveling exhibition Hamilton: The Man Who Invented Modern America.
      Dr. Randall will draw on his own 2003 biography, Alexander Hamilton, A Life and use excerpts of songs from the hit Broadway play to tell the story of Hamilton's life and the impact of the play on his reputation and the way American history is taught.
      The show itself examines Hamilton's important role in the Revolutionary War and Founding period. Admission to the special exhibition is included with regular admission to the Museum which is open Wednesday-Friday 11 a.m - 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. SAM will open for extended evening hours this evening and on July 12 and 26 from 5 - 8 p.m. Call the Museum (802.527.7933) or click here for more info about the traveling exhibition or the presentation Hamilton: The Man and the Music. Click here for the online preview.


STOWE--Harrison's Restaurant presents Will Patton country pickin' & singin' with flatpicker with Mark Struhsacker this evening at 6 p.m. There will be grins.
      Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents old school blues player Blue Fox this evening, Summer Sounds favorites Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton on Friday, and the roots and rock-a-billy of Graziano, Schofield, and Slim on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Michael McCarthy hosts Open Mic at the Grind Cafe on Friday starting at 5 p.m.
      There will be a sign up sheet at the cafe to sign up ahead of time. The Grind will serve coffee drinks all night, along with beer, wine, and interesting food choices.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Martell's at the Red Fox near Smuggs has the Friday Blues with the Nobby Reed Project tomorrow evening at 9 p.m.
      The pub and sports bar has pub favorites, local draft beers, and an open stage for local bands and other live entertainment on weekends.

RUTLAND--8084 plays a special, free concert in Friday Night Live tomorrow evening at 6 p.m.
      This show brings the original members of 8084 -- singer-songwriter, Randy Smith; Andre Maquera, guitars; Frank Barnes, bass; and Gary Spaulding, drums -- back to perform together for the first time since 2000. The famed pop rock group is still energetic, charismatic and pyrotechnic in music and effects. They have shared the stage with April Wine, Warrant, Edgar Winter, Blue Oyster Cult, Henry Lee Summer, and more and have played festivals and stadiums cross the United States. They helped organize and play Floodstockand have wowed the crowd in Summer Sounds.
      Friday Nights: Downtown Rutland is a spin-off of the popular Friday Night Live. Taking place on Center Street on three different Friday nights in July, this series draws the community together to enjoy music, outdoor dining, children's activities and more. The "Pit" parking lot transforms into an amphitheater-like concert venue, with great acoustics. Visitors can enjoy music, outdoor dining, children's activities and more.
      Admission is free.

COLCHESTER--The Spanked Puppy 25th Anniversary Bash features Justice on Saturday starting at 5 p.m.
      "It has been a few years since we rocked the backyard territory of the Puppy," Gary Greeno said. They return this year for an afternoon and evening filled with cold refreshments and hot music.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing presents Summer Sounds favorites IncaHOOTS on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      The special event is a chance to enjoy the music, dancing and the Vermont's own beer with Dave Long, Jeff Wenig, Kevin Connelly and John Geno and enjoy the sunshine in (summer) cahoots.

ST. ALBANS--The Burrow at the Catalyst Coffee Bar presents Vermont folk duo Cricket Blue and Essex singer/songwriter Bethany Conner on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      Admission is by $5 suggested donation. It is a sober event; food and drinks are available upstairs.

GRAND ISLE--Island Arts presents the Citizens Concert Band in concert at the Grand Isle Lake House on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Gates at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking.
      A concert band or Town band has several of the same instrumental sections as an orchestra and plays much of the same repertoire, but the concert band does it without strings. The Citizens Concert Band seats about 45 musicians in the woodwind (flutes, clarinets and bass clarinets, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones), brass (trumpets, horns, trombones, baritones, and tubas) and percussion sections. With a history dating back to 1947, this New England town band encourages all good local musicians so their chairs can hold famed working professionals sitting next to high school soloists.
      Admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Shake the Band continues the Downtown Summer Concert Series grooving and partying in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      The Burlington group has Karyl Williams, keys, vocals; Jesse Agan, guitar, vocals; Steven Beaulieu drums, vocals; and Brad Ohlson, bass. 14th Star Brewing and the Traveling Canteen serve food and drink at all of this year's Summer Concerts Series events.
      Admission is free.

MORRISVILLE--Oxbow Riverfront Park continues the Wednesday Night Live music series with singer/songwriter Patrick Fitzsimmons on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      The series continues each week through August 23. The Wednesday farmers market won't be held at the Oxbow this summer, but there will be a rotating mix of food vendors every week and the River Arts' Art Tent will offer fun, creative activities for the community while the music plays. Click here for more info.

Plan Ahead
ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls begins a four day run of the King and I on July 27. The popular story is set in Siam of 1862 when the King summons English widow Anna Leonowens, to tutor to his children and wives. Th musical features such songs as Hello, Young Lovers and Getting to Know You.
      Admission is $15 for adults ($14 online), $12 for students and seniors ($11 online), or $17 for reserved seating. Call 802.933.6171 or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts Fairfield author Pat Esden to read from and discuss her latest book, Reach For You, on Sunday at 11 a.m.
      The new adult romantic thriller concludes her Dark Heart trilogy, a world of deception and danger, enigma and love.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.

Good News!

There are so many events around the region that we miss some of them.
Be sure to check these calendars for what's happening near you ...
All Arts Council of Franklin County
Cambridge Arts Council
Franklin County Regional
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


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