The Montreal Gazette’s CD weekly page of CD reviews was published for the last time this past Saturday (February 28). I’ve been covering roots (country, blues, folk) albums since the page began back in the late-1990s. Before the Gazette decided to combine all its CD reviews in a weekly page, I wrote a CD review column in my specialty area that appeared once every three weeks for several years. My Gazette reviews were frequently republished in many other Canadian newspapers including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Winnipeg Free Press, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Sun, Halifax Daily News and Kingston Whig Standard.
That run as a Gazette music critic – from 1995 to 2009 – was actually my second. I wrote concert and album reviews – they were LPs in those days – for the Gazette from 1975-1978.
Cutting the CD review page was part of the latest round of severe budget cuts taking place throughout the Canwest chain. At least for the time being the Gazette will continue to run its album-of-the-week feature, and I might still contribute to the occasional review to it, but the weekly collection of CD reviews encompassing all genres of music is gone.
That was part of the impetus for setting up this blog. The reviews I would have done in the Gazette will appear here for the time being. And I’ll have a lot more freedom to say what I want to without the tight word and format restrictions I was under there. I’ll have my first CD review up here soon.