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Various Artists

Using Your Art and The Media To Comfort People written by Anne Leighton

Review by Gary Hill

This is a little change of pace for MSJ. Normally we review books "about" music. This book however is less about music than it is a resource for musicians. Granted, it is not just a resource for musicians, but also for writers, graphic artists, and any others whose passion involves a form of expression that people would call "art". I struggled for a while with the look of this book. It seems a bit amateurish and almost written for children at first glance. I wondered about this, but finally decided that this was a conscious decision on Leighton's part. If the book looked too scholarly or professional, it might put off exactly the people she was trying to speak to. By presenting the book in this manner it gives the reader the idea that "I, too, can do something like this." That feeling is empowering, which is in many ways precisely what the purpose of this book is.

Leighton's main premise is that all artists are essentially in the business of comforting people, and the book lays out a numbers of ways that by focusing on this principle an artist can advance their profile and career. Leighton is certainly qualified to speak on this topic. She has been a media consultant for years working with such high profile artists as Jethro Tull and Grand Funk Railroad. I can attest having worked with her in regards to many of her clients that she knows what she is doing. Now she is sharing a lot of that knowledge and experience with others.

This book is an easy to read one, and while some of her ideas and concepts might seem obvious, I'm sure there are others you will find that had not occurred to you. More than anything this book makes you feel good, and feel that you can make a difference. It also gives you the beginnings of a map to do just that. We need more of that attitude in this world - particularly in these trying times.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at

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