ARTS PREVIEW: September 6-12, 2018

Guitarist Claude Bourbon
The Old Firehouse season opens with Claude Bourbon, a French-born guitarist, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.
Bourbon grew up in Switzerland, where he was classically trained in the guitar. He soon felt the need to explore the guitar without the limitations of written music and delved headlong into folk, blues, jazz and rock music. Now based in the UK, he has become a world-renowned player, highly acclaimed for his fingerpicking style — plucking, picking and strumming at such speed that his fingers seem to appear just as a blur.
Bourbon’s music utilizes strains of folk, western, jazz and blues through such melodic delights as the traditional English dance and the Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. He sings as well, and his vocals display his slightly gruff, world-weary voice. Although he has toured extensively in the U.S., this is his first trip to Vermont.
Admission is by donation ($10-$15, 90 percent going to the musicians); for information, call 802-446-3457. The Old Firehouse is at 8 Mountain View Road just a couple of hundred feet south of the intersection with Vermont Route 140.

Pianist Jonathan Biss
At 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Brattleboro Music Center, renowned pianist and co-artistic director of the Marlboro Music Festival Jonathan Biss will perform a solo recital to benefit the brand-new Marlboro Town Library.
The program will be: Mozart Minuet in D major, K. 355, and Adagio in B minor, K. 540; Haydn’s Sonata in A flat major, Hob XV: 46; Beethoven’s Sonata in E flat major, Op. 31, No. 3; and Schumann’s “Davidsbündlertänze,” Op. 6.
Biss appears regularly as a soloist with the world’s leading orchestras, is a composer, an author and a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He has been coming to Marlboro for twenty years and calls it his “true musical home.”
Tickets are $30-$50; go online to The BMC concert hall is located at 72 Blanche Moyse Way.

‘The Bardic Book’
Phoenix Books Rutland hosts Fearn Lickfield at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, for a talk on “The Bardic Book of Becoming” by Ivan McBeth.
“The Bardic Book of Becoming” is a warm, user-friendly, eclectic introduction to modern Druidry that invites the reader to take the first steps into the realms of magic and mystery. Readers are introduced to the various techniques and practices of a Druid in training.
Lickfield is the director of the Green Mountain Druid School and founder of Guardians of the Sacred Earth. She is the steward of Dreamland, a mystery school and sanctuary in Worcester.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to

Vermont’s ‘Red Scare’
Black River Academy Museum, Friends of the Ludlow Auditorium and The Book Nook will host Vermont film historian Rick Winston for a talk about Winston’s new exploration of the McCarthy Era in Vermont, “Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era 1948-1960.” This book talk will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday Sept. 13, at the Frank Heald Auditorium upstairs in the Ludlow Town Hall.
In his new book Winston explores what happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country. We see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time. Included are nine of the most gripping dramas played out in Vermont during “scoundrel time,” including a high-profile academic firing, controversies involving left-leaning summer residents, courageous newspaper editors who spoke out against Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s tactics, and a conservative senator who helped take down McCarthy.
Winston was the co-owner of Montpelier’s Savoy Theater for 29 years, and was programming director for the Green Mountain Film Festival for 14. He has taught film history at Burlington College, Community College of Vermont, Goddard College, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and has made presentations throughout Vermont on film history.

Fabulous fleas
Town Hall Theater will present its 11th annual Fabulous Flea Market at the theater, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.
Each year, a variety of vendors and dealers set up shop inside the theater to sell antiques, folk art, prints, rugs, jewelry, collectibles and other items. The theater is stuffed with a variety of things to buy. Shoppers can grab a coffee or snack from Almost Home as they browse. Adding to the fun is a special flea market section composed of items donated to THT specifically for the sale. Also returning is the jewelry table with fine and costume jewelry.
“We’ve found such interesting items at the Fabulous Flea Market,” says Operations Manager Haley Rice. “It’s a treasure hunt every year. Among our more interesting finds are an accordion, a mermaid whirl-a-gig, and a full set of late-19th-century china. You never know what you’ll find! “
Admission is free; call 802-382-9222, or go online to Town Hall Theater is at 68 S. Pleasant St., with the entrance on Merchant’s Row.

‘Backroads & Byways’
From noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, Phoenix Books Rutland will host Pat Goudey O’Brien and Lisa Halvorsen for a meet-and-greet and book signing featuring “Backroads & Byways of Vermont,” an all-new guide to the scenic routes of the state.
While drives do include popular resort towns, the focus is on getting away from tourist hubs. This new edition suggests drives through covered bridges to high roads with unexpected vistas, to waterfalls and swimming holes, to craft studios and farms selling their own eggs or cheese, or even prize-winning beer.
O’Brien is a freelance writer and publisher of the Tamara Press. Halvorsen is a travel and nature author based in Burlington.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to