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The 12th Annual Country Music Critics' Poll: The Results



1. Pistol Annies, Hell on Heels (Columbia Nashville)

2. Miranda Lambert, Four the Record (RCA Nashville)

3. Eric Church, Chief (EMI Nashville)

4. Hayes Carll, KMAG YOYO (Lost Highway)

5. The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow (Sensibility)

6. Gillian Welch, The Harrow and the Harvest (Acony)

7. Brad Paisley, This Is Country Music (Arista Nashville)

8. Sunny Sweeney, Concrete (Republic Nashville)

9. Lucinda Williams, Blessed (Lost Highway)

10. Matraca Berg, The Dreaming Fields (Dualtone)

11. Vince Gill, Guitar Slinger (MCA Nashville)

12. Glen Campbell, Ghost on the Canvas (Surfdog)

13. Alison Krauss and Union Station, Paper Airplane (Rounder)

14. Steve Earle, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (New West)

15. The Dirt Drifters, This Is My Blood (Warner Bros.)

16. Merle Haggard, Working in Tennessee (Vanguard)

17. George Strait, Here for a Good Time (MCA Nashville)

18. Various artists, This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark (Music Road)

19. Connie Smith, Long Line of Heartaches (Sugar Hill)

20. Randy Montana, Randy Montana (Mercury)

21. Emmylou Harris, Hard Bargain (Nonesuch)

22. Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party (Broken Bow)

23. Various artists, Hank Williams: The Lost Notebooks (Columbia/Country Music Hall of Fame)

24. Buddy Miller, Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

25. Toby Keith, Clancy's Tavern (Showdog/Universal)

26. The Drive-By Truckers, The Go-Go Boots (ATO)

27. Sarah Jarosz, Follow Me Down (Sugar Hill)

28. Blake Shelton, Red River Blue (Warner Bros.)

29. Chris Young, Neon (RCA)

30. Jason Boland, Rancho Alto (Apex)


1. Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter, "You and Tequila" (Blue Chair/BNA)

2. Pistol Annies, "Hell on Heels" (Columbia)

3. Miranda Lambert, "Baggage Claim" (RCA)

4. Ronnie Dunn, "Cost of Livin' " (Arista)

5. Taylor Swift, "Mean" (Big Machine)

6. Zac Brown Band, "Colder Weather" (Southern Ground)

7. Eric Church, "Homeboy" (EMI Nashville)

8. The Civil Wars, "Barton Hollow" (Sensibility)

9. Miranda Lambert, "Heart Like Mine" (RCA)

10. Jason Aldean, "Dirt Road Anthem" (Broken Bow)

11. Chris Young, "Tomorrow" (RCA)

12. Brad Paisley, "This Is Country Music" (Arista)

13. Sunny Sweeney, "From a Table Away" (Mercury Nashville)

14. George Strait, "Here for a Good Time" (MCA Nashville)

15. Hayes Carll, "KMAG YOYO" (Lost Highway)

16. Dierks Bentley, "Home" (Capitol Nashville)

17. Toby Keith, "Red Solo Cup" (Showdog/Universal)

18. Taylor Swift, "Sparks Fly" (Big Machine)

19. (tie) Keith Urban, "Without You" (Capitol Nashville)

19. (tie) Sara Evans: "A Little Bit Stronger" (RCA)


1. Johnny Cash, Bootleg III: Live Around the World (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Mickey Newbury, An American Trilogy (Saint Cecilia Knows/Mountain Heart)

3. Various artists, The Bristol Sessions 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music (Bear Family)

4. The Louvin Brothers, Satan Is Real/Handpicked Songs (Light in the Attic)

5. Johnny Cash, From Memphis to Hollywood (Columbia/Legacy)

6. Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Tell My Sister (Nonesuch)

7. Buck Owens, Bound for Bakersfield 1953-1956: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection (Rock Beat)

8. The Drive-By Truckers, Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009 (ATO)

9. Hank Williams, The Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings (Time-Life)

10. Loretta Lynn, Your Squaw Is on the Warpath/Fist City (Raven)

Male Vocalists

1. Eric Church

2. Brad Paisley

3. George Strait

4. Blake Shelton

5. Ronnie Dunn

6. Chris Young

7. Hayes Carll

8. Vince Gill

9. Jason Aldean

10. Dierks Bentley

Female Vocalists

1. Miranda Lambert

2. Sunny Sweeney

3. Alison Krauss

4. Taylor Swift

5. Gillian Welch

6. Connie Smith

7. Martina McBride

8. Emmylou Harris

9. Sara Evans

10. (tie) Jennifer Nettles

10. (tie) LeAnn Rimes

Live Acts

1. Brad Paisley

2. Taylor Swift

3. Eric Church

4. Miranda Lambert

5. Zac Brown

6. Keith Urban

7. Kenny Chesney

8. Jason Aldean

9. The Drive-By Truckers

10. Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings


1. Miranda Lambert

2. Matraca Berg

3. Hayes Carll

4. Gillian Welch

5. Eric Church

6. Taylor Swift

7. Guy Clark

8. Lori McKenna

9. (tie) Brad Paisley

9. (tie) Angaleena Presley

Duos and Groups

1. Pistol Annies

2. The Civil Wars

3. The Band Perry

4. Zac Brown Band

5. Alison Krauss & Union Station

6. Sugarland

7. Lady Antebellum

8. Little Big Town

9. (tie) Chris Thile & Michael Daves

9. (tie) Thompson Square

9. (tie) Eli Young Band

New Acts

1. Pistol Annies

2. The Civil Wars

3. Randy Montana

4. Thompson Square

5. Sunny Sweeney

Artists of the Year

1. Miranda Lambert

2. Taylor Swift

3. Pistol Annies

4. Brad Paisley

5. Hayes Carll

6. Eric Church

7. Jason Aldean

8. The Civil Wars

9. Blake Shelton

10. Zac Brown Band


Don Allred, Brian T. Atkinson, Tim Basham, Michael Berick, Leslie Berman, Jim Bessman, Matt Bjorke, Jon Black, Blake Boldt, Bliss Bowen, Jon Bream, Allison Brock, David Cantwell, Robert Christgau, Carol Cooper, Kandia Crazy Horse, John T. Davis, Stephen M. Deusner, Kerry Dexter, Anthony Easton, Chuck Eddy, Dan Ferguson, Ben Foster, Jon Freeman, Sam Gazdziak, Holly George-Warren, Gary Graff, Joey Guerra, Vernell Hackett, Rob Harvilla, Dave Heaton, Will Hermes, Chris Herrington, Jewly Hight, Geoffrey Himes, Lorie Hollabaugh, Joseph Hudak, Edd Hurt, Josh Jackson, Karlie Justus, Jonathan Keefe, Hunter Kelly, Frank Kogan, Tom Lane, Randy Lewis, Alan Light, Jim Macnie, Lynne Margolis, Barry Mazor, Michael McCall, Dan Milliken, Fred Mills, Rick Mitchell, Ken Morton Jr., Stuart Munro, Ralph Novak, Meredith Ochs, Rob O'Connor, George A. Paul, Chris Riemenschneider, Sarah Rodman, Dave Royko, Lloyd Sachs, Tara Seetharam, Ed Shane, Sylvie Simmons, Scott Stem, Rob Tannenbaum, Juli Thanki, Ken Tucker, Ellis Widner, C.M. Wilcox, Kent Wolgamott, Mikael Wood, Ron Wynn, Greg Yost, Lee Zimmerman.


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More coverage at the links below

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