Written by James Killen

I like keeping a music oriented coffee table book out on the table for the occasional visitor to peruse in my sitting room. I was lucky enough to acquire one that was put out by photographer, Dave Clements, and Houston singer songwriter, Kevin Black (yes, he is Clint’s brother). It’s over two hundred pages of excellent photos of musicians that Dave has been able to photograph over the years, each with a brief blurb about the musician and the situation in which the photo was taken. Artists that are featured range from Willie Nelson and George Strait to BB King and Keb Mo to the Eagles and the Zombies to Joe Ely and Guy Forsythe to…well you get the picture…

As nice as the book is, there is more to it than the photos. Dave and Kevin have put “Raising a Hand” together to raise money and awareness for Rett Syndrome. Rett is caused by a genetic mutation that occurs in girls and generally manifests during the child’s toddler stage. The syndrome is a severe form of autism that causes the girls to lose control of hand movements and be rendered unable to talk. The disease occurs in varying degrees, but most are totally debilitating and many are fatal. In fact, Kevin Black lost his daughter to the disease at the age of sixteen.

There is hope. There have been recent advancements in reversing the symptoms of the mutation in mice and the pace of research is picking up momentum. With this in mind Dave and Kevin have begun putting together a volume two of “Raising a Hand”. Volume one is such a fine production that I can’t wait to see how Volume two comes out. It is certain to be worth more than the modest contribution that is being requested.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this pre-production offer and throwing in for Rett Syndrome research, go to www.RaisingAHand.com and get all of the details. It’s a great deal for a great cause.

(Dave Clements has been a frequent contributor to Houston Music Review with his photographs and reviews)