ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 23 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 22, 2019


      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 draw to a close as some of our friends play multiple gigs. There are performances in East Fairfield, Milton, Montgomery, North Hero, Sheldon, South Hero, St. Albans, and St. Albans Bay and you might notice the Montgomery and Sheldon have more than one show each.


     The 29th season of Summer Sounds brought exceptional performances "from away" with groups rarely heard here in Franklin County but the regular season came to an end last weekend. The series was outside in the park through some of the hottest Sundays of the summer.
      George Richard opened the season with the Johnny Cash Tribute Show in their only Franklin County performance this season. Smokin' hot guitar playing Mayor and singer-songwriter John Bartus traveled the farthest to entrance us with love songs, love-gone-wrong songs, and even some Trop Rock. Banjo Dan and the VT Bluegrass Pioneers showed us how bluegrass is done. Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers returned on a wet Sunday evening to keep their record of the most performances in Summer Sounds. Anderson Gram played their easy-going blend of folk, country, bluegrass, and better jokes. Mark Shelton returned as Elvis and more to finish the season and wow the crowd before the rains came.
      Just before and during each concert, we enjoyed a Summer Sounds Social in the Park. Local community groups host each social hour as a chance to visit with friends (and eat hearty). Email the All Arts Council if your group would like to join us in 2020.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are a long-running, successful public-private partnership, 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 summer Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a Town Park, and always free "but we do pay the bands!" The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Bookmark for more about Summer Sounds.


EAST FAIRFIELD--The Meeting House on the Green continues the sixth Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures concert series with Dave Rosane & the Zookepers and a special opener by the Oleo Romeos at the Meeting House on Saturday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6.
      Fresh from the Book of ZOO Library Tour, Mr. Rosane is a full-time singer-songwriter who hails from Vermont, worked in the Amazon, and moved to Paris but just can't stay away from Vermont. He has conducted research for and taught at Cornell University and is an environmental and social justice advocate but, more, he is a post-punk power-and-protest rocker and songwriter with a multinational consortium of heavyweight musicians. The chimps don't play in the band.
      This concert is a benefit for the BNML and the H F Brigham libraries. The Meeting House itself has become a coveted venue with players and audiences alike discovering the magic of this small and intimate setting for some of the best music in northern Vermont.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10 at the door. Call 802.827.6626 to reserve tickets. Light supper fare, beer and wine, and desserts will be available throughout the evening. Click here for more info.


BARRE--The Granite Museum features the Northern Vermont Artist Association Fall Show with an opening at the museum on Friday. Themed "Art Rocks," the NVAA show runs through October.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Writer's Group will meet at the Swanton Free Public Library this evening at 6 p.m. Members can share progress and join in the discussion about longer projects and anything else about writing, reading, publishing, and more.
      Call Becky Rupp (802.733.7471) or email for more info.

PLAN AHEAD--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Beginner Colored Pencil Class with Corrina Thurston on August 29
      The three-hour class will teach the basics of drawing with colored pencils in an opaque and realistic style; attendees will discuss and practice techniques, and each will walk away with the basic skills to create a colored pencil drawing and the pencils to do it with. Space is limited. $35 payable in advance. Email to reserve a spot or for more info.


ST. ALBANS BAY--Kick off the weekend early on Thirsty Thursdays with S.A.S. at the Bayside tonight at 6:30 p.m. The busy trio will play classic and pop rock songs from the 70s to the 90s every other Thursday through September.

SOUTH HERO--Music in the Vineyard, the Snow Farm Winery Summer Concert Series, gets supercharged with Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers this evening at 6:30 p.m.
      Live music comes to the vineyard every Thursday evening from June to September. The series ranges from classical to jazz to swing to bluegrass to classic rock. All concerts are free and no tickets are required. Picnicking begins at 5 p.m.; music starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30.

SHELDON--Full Circle returns to Summer Music at Grace with recorders, voices, hammered dulcimer, harp, guitar, whistles, and percussion in a program of Lads and Lasses, a light-hearted collection of Celtic tunes about men, women, and love, all Friday evening at 7 p.m.
      The group of five friends make music together a professional quintet that specializes in medieval and Renaissance music as well as baroque, folk, Celtic, Appalachian, and 20th Century songs. The members of Full Circle are Maeve Kim, Beth London, Susan Reit, Linda Rodd and Mary Ann Samuels. Full Circle has appeared at First Night Burlington, the Lane Series, Summer Music at Grace and more.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. Admission is by suggested donation of $15 for adults which benefits the performers. Click here for more info about the performers. Call 802.326.4603 or find them on Facebook for more info about the Summer Music series itself at Grace.

ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry at One Federal presents Shake the Band live in the Thursday Night Music Series this evening at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.0330 or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Ed Schenk with the lively tunes of yesteryear on the piano on Thursday, the well-seasoned Roy & The Wrecks on Friday, and Nobby Reed and Missisquoi Slim getting down on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey continues the Summer Music in the Pub series with DJ-Heartbeat on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts Kyle Stevens for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Friday's theme is "Superhero." The tacos buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $11 per person ($5 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome. Be sure to come early, usually around 6, to get a good seat.

MONTGOMERY--Montgomery Center for the Arts presents Emma Back live at the MCAKeltonHall on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The live-looping violinist-singer-songwriter will perform Strife and Joy, a musical dialogue of human experience. Blending acoustic instrumentation with percussive loops, vocal and string harmonies, and Eastern-European tonalities, Ms. Back bears witness to feminine power, racial and religious oppression, war and ancestry in a dynamic and passionate performance.
      The evening will begin with a community gathering that includes opportunities for audience participation feeding into the formal concert portion of the evening. Attendees are invited to bring drinks and snacks for personal enjoyment or to share.
      This is a donation based concert. Click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--S.A.S. is back at bat to kick off live music at Bronson's Landing on Friday at 9 p.m.
      Scott Guptill, April Reynolds-Begnoche, and Scott Belisle have played in a number of well known bands including Fractured, Miss Mizery, Justice, and Flipside. They play classic and pop rock songs with a twist.

ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry at One Federal presents Connecticut pop singer songwriter with folk discernment Owen Luke in a solo show on Friday and the power duo Blue Rock Boys, Cliff Crosby and Eric Bushey, on Saturday. Shows begin at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.0330 or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company presents the Rough Suspects live for a night of no-nonsense acoustic and electric Americana rock & roll on the taproom stage on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      Matt Vachon, Sean Greenwood, Andrew Bedard, and Dan Jolly play rock, blues and drunken country, just like mama used to make.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts presents Summer Sounds favorites the Dixie Six in the Island Arts Center at the Homer Knight Barn on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Gate at 5:30.
      Here's the Doctor Jazz recipe: take sweet horns, blend a tailgate slide trombone, mix in some clarinet, plunk in a banjo, sprinkle lightly with 88 keys, and pour it all into a delicate tuba. Now beat it soundly on drums, whistles, and kazoos. Doctor Jazz delivers jazz wrapped with the with the labels of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Fats Waller. Their recipe is Dixieland jazz and it's cooking in the Islands. "Guar-an-teed."
      Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Click here for tickets or call 802.372.8889 more info.

ST. ALBANS--Music, Brews & BBQ presents Close to Nowhere on Saturday in the Biergarten at Mill River Brewing at 7 p.m.
      Expect a "rocky/bluesy/funkrock sound with a dash of this'n'that" imported from Burlington.

SHELDON--The Sheldon Community BBQ offers a Chicken BBQ meal with live music from the Old Man Garage Band at the Casino Pavilion on Sunday from noon - 4 p.m.
      The community event is open to the public and features live music, good food, children's activities, a tour of Sheldon's new fire engine, silent auction, displays, and more. It is sponsored by the Sheldon Historical Society partnered with the Sheldon Municipal Library, Sheldon Fire Department, retired Sheldon teachers, and the Abbey Group.
      Admission is $10 for adults or $5 for children 12 years and younger. Call Fern Mercure (802.309.8466) or email for more info.

MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts celebrates the 100th CEA at the INN on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The event officially includes everything but dancing, but there is always hope. Come early for dinner; service begins at 5 p.m.
      This month, the featured musicians are Love Me Bradleys with Chris and Samantha Bradley, the featured artist is Tess Beemer, and the featured writer is Heather Ross. The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work, curated and hosted by Bob and Becca Cummins.

ST. ALBANS--Shake the Band concludes the Downtown Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. 14th Star Brewing and the Traveling Canteen have served food and drink at all of this year's Summer Concert Series events.
      Admission is free.

ST. ALBANS--The Bayside presents the Starline Rhythm Boys on Wednesday at 6 p.m. No cover, just "three old guys playin' country" every Wednesday evening through the summer.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts a release party for local writer Jason Barney's new book, Northern Vermont in the War of 1812, on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      Vermont played a critical role in the War of 1812. Burlington was a significant military base and harbor for American vessels, but from Swanton to Isle La Motte, the smaller communities here played a key role in the war. This local historian uncovers the unique stories of border smuggling, daring raids and everyday struggle.
      Mr. Barney represented the towns of Franklin and Highgate in the Vermont House, teaches at Missisquoi Valley Union High School, and is president of the Swanton Historical Society.

      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


Links to the Summer Music series in Franklin County
Summer Sounds
Summer Music at Grace
Downtown Summer Concert Series
Summer Evenings with
Vermont Treasures
Citizens Band
Wednesday Night Live
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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