Album of the year
1. Wilco “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (Nonesuch)
A surprising winner given the obvious “love it or hate it” nature of the album (see below), which could only be tenuously described as Americana. Still, well done to them for lasting a change of label and resonating with at least a large part of our audience. Elsewhere in the top ten, credit to the Vessels and the Guthries for coming from relatively nowhere onto the scene and rivalling established favourites. And to Ryan, for even managing a top three placement with a collection of out-takes.
2. Bruce Springsteen “The Rising” (Columbia)
3. Ryan Adams “Demolition” (Lost Highway)
4. The Vessels “The Vessels” (Gravity)
5. Josh Rouse “Under Cold Blue Stars” (Rykodisc)
6. The Guthries “The Guthries” (Circus 65)
7. Chris Mills “The Silver Line” (Loose)
8. Lambchop “Is a Woman” (City Slang)
9. Tift Merrit “Bramble Rose” (Mercury)
10. Dan Bern “New American Language” (Cooking Vinyl)
Artist of the year
1. Ryan Adams
It could have gone either way, but for all his faults, there’s still a large group of devoted fans who think he’s a star regardless. Elsewhere, the return of politics to music seems to have paid dividends for artists such as Springsteen and Earle - really great too to see Laura Cantrell and Chris Mills gain some recognition for their vastly underestimated talents.
2. Steve Earle
3. Bruce Springsteen
4. Laura Cantrell
5. Chris Mills
Event of the year
1. Ryan Adams Live / = Americana One
There were all different Ryan Adams gigs mentioned, but they all amounted to one thing - wherever he is, you love seeing Ryan play live. Alternatively, we genuinely had no hand in the number of votes our own festival Americana One received, and we can only assume the people who went did actually enjoy it, so thanks, geunuinely. And talking of “genuine,” seeing a Tory go to prison was indeed a delightful occasion, and a good few of you picked up on it.
3. Further Beyond Nashville
4. Bruce Springsteen Live
5. Jeffrey Archer’s Imprisonment
Television Programme of the year
1. The Office (BBC 2)
It’s amazing that given that the Office still only had BBC2 type viewing figures, it’s now difficult to find anyone who didn’t watch it. Truly magnificent British comedy, but elsewhere the best US drama in years, Six Feet Under, makes a respectable appearance, as does the still ever popular Friday evening music show from Jools Holland.
2. Later with Jools Holland (BBC 2)
3. Six Feet Under (Channel Four/E4)
4. League of Gentlemen (BBC2)
5. 24 (BBC2)
Radio Programme of the year
1. Captain America (Virgin Radio)
It began on January 6th this year and has quickly grown into the definitive national focus point for all things Americana on the radio. Even just a year ago, it’d be wishful thinking to believe a radio show on a national commercial station could devote three solid hours that weren’t at four o’clock in the morning to alt-country. Nick Stewart’s done it, and so long as it keeps growing in popularity like it has been, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be around for a long time to come.
2. Bob Harris (BBC Radio Two)
3. John Peel (BBC Radio One/Four)
4. Jonathan Ross (BBC Radio Two)
5. Ricky Gervaise (XFM)
Publication of the year
Beating the competition by more votes than in any other category, “Uncut” may have changed format and condensed its Americana coverage into a column, but you still love it. Congratulations though too to all of you who go out and find (and presumably then buy) “No Depression” and “Comes with a Smile.” Excellent stuff worth seeking out.
2. No Depression
4. Comes with a Smile
Most disappointing album of the year
1. Ryan Adams “Demolition” (Lost Highway)
In case you thought the Adams backlash was non-existent in this poll, here’s the evidence to the contrary. It wasn’t a huge number, but obviously enough people bought it to be dissapointed by it in the first place - still, in reality it can’t compare to the awfulness that is the latest record by Neil Young, and if anyone deserved to be at the top of this particular category, it’s Young himself - maybe not enough people heard it. Hint - save yourself the trouble!
2. Wilco “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (Nonesuch)
3. Neil Young “Are You Passionate?” (EMI)
4. Marah “Float Away with the Friday Night Gods” (Artemis)
5. Oasis “Heathen Chemistry” (Big Brother)
Person of the year
1. Michael Moore (US activist/film-maker) / = Barry Everrit (London Borderline Americana promoter)
Two men from presumably totally different backgrounds, one connected with America, the other to Americana. but both totally devoted to their respective drives. Moore’s latest film “Bowling for Columbine” was a brilliant indictment of Bush’s violence-obsessed America, while Everitt’s constant promotion of some of the best acts to ever grace these shores from the US obviously hasn’t gone un-noticed.
3. Steve Earle
4. Bruce Springsteen
5. Johnny Cash
And finally, this was written by someone who voted in this category, and given the ethos of the site, we thought deserved a mention here: “Person of the Year: Ben and Kelly, two ordinary people with no experience of putting out records, who in the short space of a few months came up with the idea to do a "peace not war" compilation CD, got loads of artists such as Massive attack, Billy Bragg, Asian Dub Foundation, Ani DiFranco and many others to contribute tracks, and got Shellshock to press and distribute the 2-CD set and get it in the shops before Christmas. Most major labels probably would have taken a year to accomplish such a feat and the result probably would have reeked of self-promotion.” We second that.
Thanks for voting!