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DIRECT ROOTS 2 "Mrs Casey Publications"

Now, it'll come as no surprise to those that know me that I have always felt that a directory is a reference source and should be just what it says on the cover. I don't mean to be churlish but 'The White Book' has to be the UK music industry bible in as much that it provides what it says - a directory of contacts in the business - pure and simple. By that I mean that it is a record of just addresses of contacts and nothing else (apart from the advertising boxes).

I will therefore try to approach this review with an open mind. Directs Roots 2 is a book of contacts that includes pages of useful hints in editorial format with a focus on educating the reader in the art of say. how to run a folk club/stage management and the role of the MC. etc. Now I'm not saying this isn't worthwhile but surely it would be better to produce a separate 'book' with this kind of information? I would like to point out at this stage that every article is relevant to anyone in the business and that I found them all interesting (particularly the Show Of Hands piece) but unfortunately I found it all a bit distracting. Distractions apart, the contents are well laid out and include categories ranging from Artists, Agents, Venues and Festivals through to Organisations and Services. OK, so whatever my reservations, Alan Bearman, has to be wildly applauded for at least getting the product out there and in my mind I don't think we could find a better ambassador for the music he so obviously loves. Another round of applause goes to designer Brian Ledgard, who never puts a foot wrong. Take my word for it (whatever reservations I may have) if you are in the business of 'folk' you cannot afford to be without a copy of this impressive tome.

Pete Fyfe

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This album was reviewed in Issue 53 of The Living Tradition magazine.