Raising a Hand: A Photographic Music Festival with a Cause – by Dave Clements

(Reviewed by Pat Luboff)

Exceptional

“What you are about to see is a collection of…entertainers representing all genres of music from around the world, coming together abstractly “in concert” for the first time.”

If this were an actual music festival instead of a photographic music festival, it would go on for months! There are over 200 photographs! Amazingly, they all have been caught with their hands raised. It’s a unique collection of folks, from the esoterically obscure to the fabulously famous. Each artist has a page with a photograph and an accompanying story. As a songwriter and a fan of music, I totally enjoyed opening the book to random pages and checking out the great photo and reading the interesting tidbit of information about the artist. It’s that kind of a coffee table book.

Rett Syndrome is the cause that all these artists are raising their hands for. I had never heard of Rett Syndrome before seeing this book. It is a devastating genetic disease that affects girls and takes away their ability to raise their hands, their voices and, ultimately, it takes their lives. I wish I never heard of it! How horrible to have a baby girl born and appear healthy until somewhere between the age of 6 months and 18 months, and then to receive a diagnosis that your daughter will become completely disabled and die. This is what happened to Clint Black’s brother, Kevin. His daughter Cortney died at the age of 16. Kevin and Dave Clement took the photos that comprise the bulk of the book. As a former music business photojournalist, I can tell you that getting quality photos like these of artists in action is no mean trick.

The back of the book tells the stories of some of the girls who are living with Rett Syndrome. Since it is such a little-known disease, it’s often misdiagnosed. And research is underfunded. Thus, this book. Here’s what Clint Black says in the Foreword:

“Many believe researchers are on the brink of not only reversing the symptoms, but also possible curing those afflicted–and perhaps even preventing others from developing the disorder. But we are also in the most expensive phase of research, which makes your purchase of this book so much more important to the cause.” 

If you’d like to raise a hand to help, visit http://www.raisingahand.com.  If you buy the book now, you will also receive a copy of Clint Black’s new CD “On Purpose and a free download of A Tear for You, written and recorded by Kevin Black, dedicated to his daughter, Cortney.

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