January 23rd, 2014
For the fifth year, I voted and wrote comments in the Nashville Scene’s Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll (link). My ballot:

TOP TEN COUNTRY ALBUMS OF 2013: 1. “12 Stories,” Brandy Clark  2. “Southeastern,” Jason Isbell  3. “High Top Mountain,” Sturgill Simpson  4. “Like a Rose,” Ashley Monroe  5. “Same Trailer Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves  6. “In Time,” The Mavericks  7. “Spitfire,” LeAnn Rimes  8. “The Highway,” Holly Williams  9. “In the Throes,” John Moreland  10. “Honky Tonk,” Son Volt

TOP TEN COUNTRY SINGLES OF 2013: 1. “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert  2. “Stripes,” Brandy Clark  3. “Railroad of Sin,” Sturgill Simpson  4. “Traveling Alone,” Jason Isbell  5. “Sober,” Little Big Town  6. “Two Black Cadillacs,” Carrie Underwood  7. “Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves  8. “Borrowed,” LeAnn Rimes  9. “Could It Be,” Charlie Worsham  10. “Red,” Taylor Swift

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST MALE VOCALISTS OF 2013: 1. Sturgill Simpson  2. Jason Isbell  3. Gary Allan

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST FEMALE VOCALISTS OF 2013: 1. Brandy Clark  2. LeAnn Rimes  3. Ashley Monroe

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST LIVE ACTS OF 2013: 1. Jason Isbell  2. Sturgill Simpson  3. Taylor Swift

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST SONGWRITERS OF 2013: 1. Jason Isbell  2. Shane McAnally  3. Brandy Clark

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST DUOS, TRIOS OR GROUPS OF 2013: 1. The Mavericks  2. Little Big Town  3. Son Volt

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST NEW ACTS OF 2013: 1. Brandy Clark  2. Sturgill Simpson  3. Charlie Worsham

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST OVERALL ACTS OF 2013: 1. Jason Isbell  2. Kacey Musgraves  3. Taylor Swift

For the fifth year, I voted and wrote comments in the Nashville Scene’s Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll (link). My ballot:

TOP TEN COUNTRY ALBUMS OF 2013: 1. “12 Stories,” Brandy Clark  2. “Southeastern,” Jason Isbell  3. “High Top Mountain,” Sturgill Simpson  4. “Like a Rose,” Ashley Monroe  5. “Same Trailer Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves  6. “In Time,” The Mavericks  7. “Spitfire,” LeAnn Rimes  8. “The Highway,” Holly Williams  9. “In the Throes,” John Moreland  10. “Honky Tonk,” Son Volt

TOP TEN COUNTRY SINGLES OF 2013: 1. “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert  2. “Stripes,” Brandy Clark  3. “Railroad of Sin,” Sturgill Simpson  4. “Traveling Alone,” Jason Isbell  5. “Sober,” Little Big Town  6. “Two Black Cadillacs,” Carrie Underwood  7. “Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves  8. “Borrowed,” LeAnn Rimes  9. “Could It Be,” Charlie Worsham  10. “Red,” Taylor Swift

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST MALE VOCALISTS OF 2013: 1. Sturgill Simpson  2. Jason Isbell  3. Gary Allan

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST FEMALE VOCALISTS OF 2013: 1. Brandy Clark  2. LeAnn Rimes  3. Ashley Monroe

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST LIVE ACTS OF 2013: 1. Jason Isbell  2. Sturgill Simpson  3. Taylor Swift

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST SONGWRITERS OF 2013: 1. Jason Isbell  2. Shane McAnally  3. Brandy Clark

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST DUOS, TRIOS OR GROUPS OF 2013: 1. The Mavericks  2. Little Big Town  3. Son Volt

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST NEW ACTS OF 2013: 1. Brandy Clark  2. Sturgill Simpson  3. Charlie Worsham

COUNTRY MUSIC’S THREE BEST OVERALL ACTS OF 2013: 1. Jason Isbell  2. Kacey Musgraves  3. Taylor Swift