Please Read the Letter: Vol. 1, No. 1

A new, not-exactly-innovative feature in which I publish unedited email from readers who rant and rail about my work. This one comes from Joanne Schreiner of Damascus. She hated my O'Malley's March piece.

Regarding J. Freedom du Lac's March--th review of O'Malley's March and their newly released CD, Galway Races, I simply must respond. I am admittedly a big fan of O'Malley's March. I have seen them perform many times and miss them. I miss them since O'Malley has given up his time with the band, for the most part, to devote his efforts to governing our state. Mr. du Lac acknowledges this in passing, but for the rest of his review he looks hard for things to criticize about a group that cannot practice or perform together as often as they once did because O'Malley is serious about his responsibilities.

Mr. du Lac even feels the need to quote a political adversary of O'Malley's in order to clinch his review. He quotes no fans. In fact, it seems from Mr. du Lac's comments like he has never actually seen O'Mally's March in a live performance, although he feels free to predict exactly what our governor will wear to a concert not yet performed. I attended the CD release concert on March-- in Baltimore, and du Lac's prediction was incorrect.

(Read the rest of the letter after the jump.)

This is an audacious and smug critique. To describe O'Malley as "the group's weakest link" tells me that clearly this reviewer is too unfamiliar with O'Malley's March to claim the right to review them in a major newspaper. Governor Martin O'Malley is not only a "draw" because he is famous. He is the rightful star of the show and was the group's star long before he became governor. This is a talented group of seven diverse musicians, but O'Malley clearly is the strongest link that makes this group more entertaining than any other Irish group I have ever seen perform. They have a unique way of mixing the traditional Irish music with modern tastes to create a show that audiences could listen to all night long.

Regarding du Lac's other very personal dig at O'Malley, the "relatively flat and faceless" vocals do not describe the voice I have been listening to on this or O'Malley's other CDs. He sings with a smooth and rich tenor, and if he chose to sing a softer version of the song "So Do I" than Mr. du Lac would have liked, well, that comes under the category of personal preference and not professional critique.

I think Mr. du Lac owes Governor O'Malley an apology for being too anxious to criticize before letting himself see and hear O'Malley's March in action for himself. He would be pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, they don't perform many gigs anymore since O'Malley is too busy trying to fix problems for Maryland and can't be bothered with the naysayers like J. Freedom du Lac, who probably doesn't even live in Maryland and probably doesn't even like Irish music anyway! Put that in your bagpipe!

By J. Freedom du Lac |  March 25, 2009; 4:07 PM ET
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so... she can assume that you don't like Irish music, but gets upset when you assume that the O'governor's band sucks? That seems a bit hypocritical... also, what does living in Maryland have to do with the right to critique a band?

Posted by: msto | March 25, 2009 5:27 PM

This is like reading one of those Jonas Brothers fan letters to you (minus the correct use of grammar and finely tuned points of contention). I like this lady!

Posted by: around | March 26, 2009 4:41 PM

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