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Smoking Ban Is Dandy

Just a quick note to let you know I was disgusted with the Creative Loafing article written by Mike Miliard about the proposed ban on public smoking in Charlotte ("Hey Pols! Leave Us Smokers Alone," May 4).

I am not an avid health nut, I do drink a beer a few times a week but I also try to be as healthy as possible. A few beers, since I do not drink and drive, hurts nor bothers anyone. On the other hand smoking is a huge nuisance to the entire non-smoking public who is forced to inhale second-hand smoke. Even the so-called smoke-free areas are a joke. You're just twenty feet from the smoke which continually drifts over.

We need to wake up and get on the train. The rest of the big cities have done it years ago. I know, I've visited and it was great.

A public smoking ban is the only answer. Hell, I would give up public drinking if it meant no more public smoking. That's how much it bothers non-smokers. This is one of the last things that holds Charlotte back from being the BIG modern city it so desperately wants to be.

— Ken Turco, Charlotte

Christians in Liberals' Clothing

I have just read "Hey Pols! Leave Us Alone." I agree with this proposition even though I neither smoke or drink. But I do sometimes partake in marijuana. I agree that these rights are being dissolved in the mire of conservatism, Christian Fundamentalists, Bill O'Reilly and George Bush voters in general.

With that said, however, when paging through to see what you would say about Rory Lewis being in Charlotte this weekend, to my dismay but not my surprise CL is "mum" on Rory Lewis. Instead, again reviews of musicians who will never become anything. Yes, Christian Dearests¨ let's write about the dregs of music. Why don't we all pretend Rory is dead and not going to be in Charlotte?

Maybe you boys are actually small time fundamentalists cloaked in a liberal guise. The funny thing is that, after Rory's CD release party is over, CL will either write nothing, or something terrible about Rory.

— Esther Baruch, Charlotte

SR. EDITOR'S REPLY: Actually, the Rory Lewis show was designated one of our best bets in the Soundboard in last week's issue. The letter above was one of many received from enraged Rory Lewis fans inspired by a blogger's idea of an important issue.

Gigifest

I read your recent article "Bending the Roots" by Grant Britt (April 27) and found that you missed a huge force at Merlefest from right in your own back yard. You describe Americana as honest music so I will assume that no mention of Gigi Dover was an honest mistake. Gigi's performances were awesome and her own hometown Creative Loafing missed them entirely.

Gigi's music is about as honest as it gets. The audience response to her performances on the Cabin stage, Americana stage and the Lounge at Merlefest were an indication that her music comes from the heart and speaks to hearts. The audience in the Lounge Friday night was totally blown away by Gigi's crisp, clear voice and the style and grace of her delivery. They gave her a standing ovation.

Both Gigi and lead guitarist Eric Lovell participated in workshops at Merlefest to share their talents with others. I am hoping you will give them their fair share of your coverage in the future — Visulite June 3. I'll be looking for something from Creative Loafing very soon.

— JoAnn Smith, Charlotte

Were You There?

What gives with the article about Merlefest, "Bending the Roots"? Did you go to Merlefest or just get information secondhand from band members?

It appears Charlotte has a singer, songwriter that poured out awesome performances at Merlefest and Creative Loafing made no mention of her. Let me introduce you to Gigi Dover. You should check her out — maybe you could do an article and make amends. I suggest you also buy one of her CDs and listen to the hottest, honest Queen of Americana — Gigi Dover!!

— Pat White, Charlotte

MUSIC EDITOR JOHN SCHACHT'S REPLY: Grant Britt's story was not meant to be a comprehensive round-up of all the Charlotte bands and acts playing Merlefest, as the story made clear, from the headline down. Rather, the point was that the Avett Brothers and the Duhks are two bands who don't fit the mold of the bands typically booked at Merlefest and other roots-oriented festivals. Gigi's music — which astute readers could infer we quite like from the 3.5-star review of her latest release we ran in our 12/22/04 issue — doesn't exactly push the envelope of roots music, which was more the focus of the article. Gigi is one among several high-caliber roots acts in Charlotte, and someone we will most likely write about again at some point. But her performance at Merlefest, no matter how stellar, had nothing to do with the subject matter of the article.

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