Traditional and Folk Music Directory 2002
Edited by Seán Laffey
Anyone tempted by the cover’s promises of ‘A Worldwide Industry At Your Fingertips’ and ‘a comprehensive A-Z of Musicians/Bands’ should elongate their bargepoles! Ireland already has several excellent directories (including The Hot Press Yearbook and Music Network’s Irish Music Handbook) so the need for this other, frankly abysmal addition is beyond reason.
Overseen by Seán Laffey, editor of Irish Music magazine, this new directory is a hapless farrago characterised by sloppy editing, illogical organisation and dyslexic proofreading. Apparently designed by people in league with opticians who believe minuscule fonts are the best way of conveying information, this book contains so many errors and inaccuracies, duplications (in some cases, even triplications) of information, and downright worthless detail as to render it immediately ripe for recycling.
The book’s central problem is that much of the text appears to be based on questionnaires with the respondents’ replies left unedited. As the basic form itself lacks clarity, the information received is inevitably mixed. At least the artists’ section provides some occasionally interesting reading. Melodeon player Johnny Connolly is available ‘worldwide’ (so look out for that forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka) while David Munnelly plaintively describes his availability as ‘Please contact first’. Sorry, Dave, but you’re supporting Johnny at the Trincomalee Pavilion next Tuesday.
This review by Geoff Wallis appeared originally in fRoots magazine – www.frootsmag.com.