For this year’s poll, the Scene asked critics who write about country music to rank their Top 10 albums and singles from last year, using a descending point scale of 15-14-13-etc.; critics were also asked to vote on their top five reissues using a scale of 10-9-8-etc., and their top three choices in eight artist categories using a 4-3-2 point scale. On unranked ballots, we assigned a set number of points to each entry: 10 for albums and singles, 8 for reissues and 3 for artists. Point totals then were tallied to determine the results.
How did we define country music? The purpose of this poll was to reach a critical consensus not only about the year’s best music and performers, but also about what constituted country music in 2003. To that end, we left matters of definition to the voters, most of whom viewed country music on a continuum that encompasses mainstream country, bluegrass and alt-country, while some made cases for rock and rap acts who exhibited sensibilities that might be construed as country.
We defined a single as any recording released commercially as a single or promoted as a stand-alone airplay track in 2003. We defined an album as any audio recording that contained at least 25 minutes of music. We defined a reissue as any album on which at least 50 percent of the performances were more than five years old. Live albums, tribute albums, soundtracks and multi-artist compilations competed in the album category.
Voters in the 2003 Country Music Critics Poll
Grant Alden, Don Allred, Billy Altman, David Baxter, Mike Berick, Leslie Berman, Jim Bessman, Stephen Betts, Peter Blackstock, Charlene Blevins, Bliss Bowen, Jon Bream, Jim Caligiuri, Paul Cantin, David Cantwell, Jon Caramanica, Nancy Cardwell, Keith Ryan Cartwright, Matt Cibula, Joshua Clover, John Conquest, Carol Cooper, Rick Cornell, Kandia Crazy Horse, Dan DeLuca, Kerry Dexter, Danielle Dreilinger, Dan Durchholz, Chuck Eddy, Dan Ferguson, Chet Flippo, Bill Friskics-Warren, Tom Geddie, Holly George-Warren, Gary Graff, Michael Gray, Marc Greilsamer, Frank-John Hadley, Eric Hage, Neil Haislop, Russell Hall, Keith Harris, Craig Havighurst, Will Hermes, Geoffrey Himes, Silas House, Josh Jackson, Paul Jonker, Roy Kasten, Frank Kogan, Miriam Longino, Brian Mansfield, Barry Mazor, Michael McCall, Dave McGee, Don McLeese, Fred Mills, Rick Mitchell, Darryl Morden, Stuart Munro, Jim Musser, Chris Neal, Dan Ouellette, Bob Paxman, Tim Perlich, Rick Petreycik, J. Poet, Bobby Reed, Wayne Robins, David Royko, Lloyd Sachs, John Schacht, Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, Craig Shelburne, Hazel Smith, Anders Smith-Lindall, David Sokol, Michael Streissguth, Bruce Sylvester, Bob Townsend, Shannon Wayne Turner, George Varga, Jeff Wall, Ron Warnick, Jon Weisberger, Ellis Widener, Tom Wilk, Kent Wolgamott, Mikael Wood, Ron Wynn, Lisa Zhito.
The voters in this year’s poll wrote about country music for the following outlets:
Acoustic Guitar, All-Music Guide, Amplifier, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Austin Chronicle, Austin Woman, Baltimore City Paper, Billboard, Bluegrass Now, Bluegrass Unlimited, Boston Globe, Buddy Magazine, CD Now, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Clink Webzine, CMA Close Up, CMT.com, CMT Radio Network, Country.com, Country Music Hall Of Fame, Country Music, Country Music Today Magazine, Country Standard Time, CountryStars.com, Country Weekly, Dirty Linen, Disney Magazine, DownBeat, Entertainment Weekly, Fade In, Folkwax, Gig Magazine, Goldmine Magazine, Harp, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, ILX, Iowa City Press-Citizen, Independent Weekly, InkBlotMagazine.com, Jazz Times, Journal of Country Music, Lincoln Journal-Star, Metroland Newspaper, Minneapolis Star Tribune, MoMzine, MTV/VH1.com, Music-Critic.com, Music Monitor, Nashville Scene, National Public Radio, New York Times, No Depression, NOW Magazine, Oxford American, Pasadena Weekly, Paste, Performer Magazine, Performing Songwriter, Pop Culture Press, PopMatters.com, Portland Mercury, Road King, Rock and Rap Confidential, Rolling Stone, Rootstown Music of Belgium, Salon.com, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Weekly, Sing Out, SonicNet, Southern Rhode Island Newspapers, Spin, Strings, Tracks, Stereophile, Trouserpress.com, Village Voice, Washington Post, WBUR Arts Online, Women Who Rock, Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Who in their right mind would try to please everyone. It is accomplished in all…
Human beings are making such extraordinary demands on the environment that the natural cycles can…
I dunno--I thought of it as Wrath of Khan meets Groundhog Day, writ over 300…
They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged…
Another great work by Hannah Kahn
My name is Eve