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Strike up the band...or a solo artist

By Natalie Coons

Once a musician, always a musician. That is often how it is for people once they enter the music world. It is a part of them that they cannot deny. Mark Harding is no exception to this rule. “I come from a musical family, at least the fourth generation, but I am the first to go full time. I started with teen bands and my father’s Jazz band. I was on my own at a very young age. For four years I was a traveling street musician until around age 21. It led to my first U.S. trip and France,” explains Mark. “In fact I met my first wife while singing in the streets. She was from Vermont.” This happened while in Paris. Music took Mark many places. He played with society bands in London, which took him to royal parties. He was also a part of the Irish music scene.

Mark found himself back over here in the United States in 1995 with his wife and family. He pursued music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts that is world renowned for its education. While there, Mark became accomplished at the upright bass. Before he even finished at Berklee he was hired by the Long Trail School.

Mark has played with much of the local talent including Gypsy Reel, which led him to meet his second wife Kerry. Some people reading this will remember her as Kerry Chambers, DJ for WEBK which was out of Killington. Now you can come visit both of them at their new store Allbang and Strummit located on Wales Street in Rutland. The old home of Baba Louis Bakery is now a music store where you can purchase a new instrument or get yours repaired. Mark provides music lessons as well as instruction for bands. When a group of talent comes together and they are ready to move out of the garage and into some real gigs, Mark will sit with them, listen to them and help them get to the next level.

Coming soon on the opposite side of the wall but at the same location is Kerry's shop. She has a love of antiques and vintage collectibles. At a recent visit I saw a beautiful old bicycle waiting for a new owner, but that is not the extent of it. What you will find are things like cool furniture pieces amongst the many artifacts of pop culture such as original 1960's psychedelic posters. There are David Bailey prints, he being one of the three photographers in the sixties to help create the “swinging London” fashion scene. Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, you can find memories spanning theirs and many other iconic careers in this little corner of Rutland.

Whether you need a new pick or an accordion, Allbang and Strummit can take care of you. That's not all though. I already mentioned that they give lessons; but in the future you will be able to sign up for group guitar or ukulele lessons. There will be musical craft workshops, such as making drums, didgeridoos or cigar box guitars. Mark is also looking to expand into having a venue for the local talent to play and also hold band camps; no, not the ones that you would sign up for through the school band. Think more like Jack Black in the movie “School of Rock”. Being a little self-taught and also studying under some great teachers, Mark has learned a lot and wants to bring that knowledge to the next generation of musicians. There are fundamental teachings in the art of classical music as well as in the contemporary scene. This will be a place to combine them.

If you would like to visit Mark and Kerry you can do so at 107 Wales Street in Rutland. You can also visit them on www.facebook.com/
or call them at (802) 775-5011.

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Allbang & Strummit

Bella and Oscar Harding have a love for music just like their parents Kerry and Mark Harding who have opened their shop “Allbang & Strummit” on Wales Street in Rutland where they buy, sell, repair and teach. Sam’s Good News photo by Natalie Coons.

Saturday Night at the Paramount!

Downtown Rutland, Vermont, November 1, 2014, the curtain will open on the Really Big Show Nineteen! With 22 live performers including singers and dancers and some really big groups! After 13 straight years, I look forward to my fourteenth year as master of ceremonies, where Carl Wener will introduce me from back stage and then out in front of the spotlight I will be. A very scary place fourteen years ago, but now the audience has become like family and it always feels great to see them and hear their applause! My part is to introduce the acts, make my time on stage very short and get ready for the next act!

If you have never attended, please make plans for this years Really Big Show, it’s only fifteen dollars per person and it’s all family oriented “Amateur” entertainment but it sounds so professional in the beautifully renovated Paramount with Atomic Sound. The many volunteers who make the show happen, including Peoples United Bank, United Way of Rutland County and Paramount Volunteers all help keep the show running. Their generosity helps all the proceeds from the Really Big Show go to The United Way of Rutland County.

I can’t wait to see you and this years show and most of all; I think you will be amazed at how much talent this community has to offer!

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Charles Curtis, Herbert Hoover’s running mate, was the only Vice President of Native American ancestry.


If money grows on trees, keep it in a branch bank.

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Sam's Scrapbook


Welcome to Samantha Elizabeth Gorruso, baby girl born on August 25th to Amy and Josh Gorruso. Proud grandparents are Louis and Janet Battaglia and Jerry and Carol Gorruso. Great-grandmothers are Helen Marocco and Elna Mortenson.


Please wish our Brother-in-law Mark Holmes and our sister-in-law Debbie Canavan Holmes a very Happy 27th Anniversary on Friday October 31st. It was a dark and scary night as they got married on Halloween on October 31st 1987. Happy 27th Anniversary and hope you both enjoy your day. Love Mary Ann & Ron.


Happy Belated Birthday Dawn Doviak. Your mom misses you and loves you so much. I can’t believe my baby turned 34 on the 27th.

Happy Birthday to my great nephew Logan Flynn who is a fifth grader at West Rutland School. Luv Ya! Aunt Jody and Maggie.

A wonderful 82nd birthday to my brother Ted Wierzbicki who will be celebrating his day on October 27th, 2014. Enjoy your life at the Maples in Rutland. Love you, Sis Josie.

Happy Birthday to Tom Severance who will turn age 36 on October 29th.

Happy Birthday on October 31st to an amazing Mom, Gramma and Granny, Barbara Carlson. From Wendy, Ron, Jazz and Gage.

On November 2nd in the year of our Lord 1948, Judy the Fox was born and my life was enriched greatly as a result of it. Happy Birthday Foxy. Love ya, Telly.

Happy Birthday to Norma Dikeman who will be a year older on November 5th.

Mary Jane McCormack will also be a year older on November 5th. Happy Birthday Mary Jane.

103rd Birthday
Card Shower
On October 30, 2014
For Gerda (Nana) Thompson
Please send birthday wishes to Mountain View, 9 Haywood Avenue, Rutland VT 05701.

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