Best of 2002: Staff Picks

Our favorites from the year 2002, the best we can choose on any given day.

Scroll down or jump to:
Delphine Blue | Russ Borris | Darren DeVivo | Dennis Elsas | George Evans | Pete Fornatale | Rita Houston | Claudia Marshall | Corny O'Connell | John Platt | Vin Scelsa | Ceol na nGael | A Thousand Welcomes | Karin Williams | Laura Fedele | Janeen Shaitelman | Julianne Welby | Lottie Leymarie

Claudia Marshall

FUV Weekday Morning Host
My FUV FAVs for 2002:

  • James Taylor: October Road
  • Richard Julian: Good Life
  • Susan Werner: New Non-Fiction
  • Steve Earle: Jerusalem
  • Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Other Great picks:

  • Dayna Kurtz: Postcards from Downtown
  • Anders Osborne & Monk Boudreaux: Bury the Hatchett
  • NRBQ: Atsa My Band
  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet it Is
  • Linda Thompson: Fashionably Late
  • The Flatlanders: Now Again
  • Buddy Milller: Midnight and Lonesome
  • Cliff Eberhardt: School for Love
  • Duncan Sheik: Daylight
  • Jackson Browne: The Naked Ride Home
  • Chuck Prophet: No Other Love
  • Darden Smith: Sunflower
  • Maia Sharp: Maia Sharp
  • Neil Finn: One All
  • Mark Erelli: The Memorial Hall Recordings
  • Mark Olson and the Creek Dippers: December's Child
  • Todd Snider: New Connection
  • Nicolai Dunger: Soul Rush
  • Willy Porter: Willy Porter
  • Delbert McClinton: Room to Breathe
  • Los Fakires: Los Fakires

The best record I missed last year -

  • Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros: Global A Go-Go

Julianne Welby

News & Public Affairs Director/FUV Weekday Morning Host

  1. Los Lobos: Good Morning Aztlan
  2. Beck: Sea Change
  3. Ryan Adams: Demolition
  4. Tom Waits: Blood Money
  5. Josh Rouse: Under Cold Blue Stars
  6. Neil Finn: One All
  7. Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  8. Badly Drawn Boy: About a Boy Soundtrack
  9. White Stripes: White Blood Cells
  10. Frank Black & the Catholics: Devil's Workshop

Darren DeVivo

FUV Weekday Host
In compiling this list, I found that the majority of the albums I enjoyed this year were virtually equal in quality, for one reason or another. For me, only two albums totally rose above the others. They were "Brainwashed" by George Harrison and "The Rising" by Bruce Springsteen. As a result, I present this list in alphabetical order. - DDD

  • The Bears: Live
  • Cornershop: Handcream For A Generation
  • Counting Crows: Hard Candy
  • Cousteau: Sirena
  • Sheryl Crow: C'mon C'mon
  • Joey DeFrancesco featuring Pat Martino, Gary Bartz, Papa John DeFrancesco: Ballads And Blues
  • Peter Gabriel: Up
  • George Harrison: Brainwashed
  • Richie Havens: Wishing Well
  • John Paul Jones: The Thunderthief
  • Diana Krall: Live In Paris
  • Tony Levin: Pieces Of The Sun
  • Tony Levin Band: Double Espresso (Two for the price of one!)
  • Los Lobos: Good Morning Aztlan
  • Branford Marsalis Quartet: Footsteps Of Our Fathers
  • Paul McCartney: Back In The U.S. Live 2002 (Included here for sentimental reasons.)
  • Brad Mehldau: Largo
  • Pat Metheny Group: Speaking Of Now
  • Moby: 18
  • Graham Nash: Songs For Survivors
  • Beth Orton: Daybreaker
  • Robert Plant: Dreamland
  • Pretenders: Loose Screw
  • Rush: Vapor Trails
  • Santana: Shaman (Included here for sentimental reasons. I hope the next album is a real Santana album without the guests.)
  • The John Scofield Band: Uberjam
  • Soulive: Next
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Rising
  • Starsailor: Love Is Here
  • Tom Waits: Alice
  • Tom Waits: Blood Money (Two for the price of one!)
  • Warren Zevon: My Ride's Here
  • ...and, it may not be a full album, but it knocked me out...
    King Crimson: Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With EP

Dennis Elsas

FUV Weekday Host
In alphabetical order:

  • Counting Crows: Hard Candy
  • Ben Folds: Live
  • Art Garfunkel w/ Maia Sharp & Buddy Mondlock: Everything Waits to Be Noticed
  • Patty Griffin: 1,000 Kisses
  • George Harrison: Brainwashed
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Josh Joplin Group: The Future That Was
  • Van Morrison: Down the Road
  • Beth Orton: Daybreaker
  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is
  • Persuasions: Sing the Beatles
  • Tom Petty: The Last D.J.
  • Chuck Prophet: No Other Love
  • Robert Randolph & the Family Band: Live at the Wetlands
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Rising
  • Susan Tedeschi: Wait For Me
  • Peter Wolf: Sleepless

Corny O'Connell

FUV Weekday Host
In no particular order:

  • Beck: Sea Change
  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is
  • Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • Gomez: In Our Gun
  • Patty Griffin: 1,000 Kisses
  • Norah Jones: Come Away with Me
  • Ryan Adams: Demolition
  • Angelique Kidjo: Black Ivory Soul
  • Mark Knopfler: The Ragpicker's Dream
  • Los Lobos: Good Morning Aztlan
  • Chuck Prophet: No Other Love
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Rising
  • Morcheeba: Charango
  • Susan Tedeschi: Wait For Me

Delphine Blue

FUV Weekday Host
The deeply contemplated year-end list of best music in 2002:

Top Ten LPs:

  • Elvis Costello: When I was Cruel
  • David Bowie: Heathen
  • Karl Denson's Tiny Universe: The Bridge
  • Dirty Vegas: Dirty Vegas
  • The White Stripes: Red Blood Cells
  • Cornershop: Handcream For A Generation
  • Sinead O'Connor: Sean Nos Nua
  • Radio Zumbido: Ultimos Dias Del Am
  • Mali Music: Mali Music
  • Gorillaz: G Sides

Top 5 Songs:

  • Elvis Costello: "45"
  • Tracy Chapman: "You're The One"
  • Johnny Cash: "Personal Jesus"
  • Elvis Costello: "Spooky Girlfriend"
  • Dirty Vegas: "Days Go By"

Rita Houston

Music Director/The Whole Wide World Host
Here's what made my ears happy, in no particular order:

  • Gomez: In Our Gun
  • Moby: 18
  • Beck: Sea Change
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Nicolai Dunger: Soul Rush
  • Badly Drawn Boy: About A Boy and Have You Fed the Fish (2 releases this year/tie)
  • David Gray: A New Day at Midnight
  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is
  • Citizen Cope: Citizen Cope
  • Thievery Corporation: The Richest Man in Babylon
  • Elvis Costello: When I Was Cruel and the Imperial Bedroom reissue w/bonus disc
  • Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Pete Fornatale

Mixed Bag Host

  • Garfunkel/Sharp/Mondlock: Everything Waits To Be Noticed
  • David Gray: A New Day At Midnight
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Josh Joplin: The Future That Was
  • Van Morrison: Down the Road
  • Tom Petty: The Last DJ
  • Kenny Rankin: A Song For You
  • Phil Roy: Issues and Options
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Rising
  • James Taylor: October Road

Thanks to all the "amazing" people who helped me discover this music and compile this list!

Vin Scelsa

Idiot's Delight Host
In alphabetical order:

It's always difficult to put together lists like this. And to limit one's selections to a finite number - 10 or 20, say - is near impossible. I can't do it. So... in alphabetical order, these are some of the recordings which came out in 2002 that I believe I'll be listening to as the years conspire to bury them under the neverending cultural deluge. In any flood, I do believe that these will float.

  • Ryan Adams: Demolition
  • Marcelo Alvarez: Alvarez Sings Gardel
  • Emanuel Ax & Yefim Bronfman: Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances And Suites For 2 Pianos
  • Frank Black & The Catholics: Black Letter Days / Devil's Workshop
  • Jon Brion: Punch-Drunk Love (original score and soundtrack)
  • Laura Cantrell: When The Roses Bloom Again
  • Chumbawamba: Readymades
  • Tom Clark & The High Action Boys: Cross Eyed And Bow Legged
  • John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (deluxe edition)
  • Elvis Costello: When I Was Cruel
  • Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Cruel Smile
  • John Cunningham: Happy-Go-Unlucky
  • The Delgados: Hate
  • Art Garfunkel: Everything Waits To Be Noticed
  • Philip Glass: The Hours: Music From The Film
  • Glenn Gould: A State Of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations 1955 & 1981
  • Robyn Hitchcock: Robyn Sings (Dylan)
  • John Train: Looks Like Up
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Dayna Kurtz: Postcards From Downtown
  • Salvatore Licitra: The Debut
  • Nils Lofgren: Breakaway Angel
  • Aimee Mann: Lost In Space
  • Rebecca Martin: Middlehope
  • Joni Mitchell: Travelogue
  • Mary Lorson & Saint Low: Tricks For Dawn
  • Luna: Romantica
  • Eleni Mandell: Snakebite
  • Mary Lee's Corvette: Blood On The Tracks
  • Marc Olson & The Creekdippers: December's Child
  • Laura Nyro: Live: The Loom's Desire
  • Beth Orton: Daybreaker
  • Joey Ramone: Don't Worry About Me
  • Josh Rouse: Under Cold Blue Stars
  • Kevin Salem: Ecstatic
  • Seanchai & The Unity Squad: I "Shamrock" New York
  • Ron Sexsmith: Cobblestone Runway
  • John Sinclair: Fattening Frogs For Snakes
  • Slobberbone: Slippage
  • Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes: Going To Jukesville
  • Tom Waits: Alice / Blood Money

...plus dozens and dozens of great instrumental jazz recordings from the mid-50s/early 60s

Since I talk about books a lot on Idiot's Delight I'd like to mention my most rewarding 2002 fiction reads -- the kind of novels one can sink into... and become part of another (richly observed) world of believable people, places, emotions, conflicts and dreams...

  • Paul Auster: The Book Of Illusions
  • Mark Costello: Big If
  • Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex
  • Jonathan Safran Foer: Everything Is Illuminated
  • Ian McEwan: Atonement
  • Rohinton Mistry: Family Matters
  • Arthur Phillips: Prague
  • Gary Shteyngart: The Russian Debutante's Handbook
  • Zadie Smith: The Autograph Man
  • Bruce Wagner: I'll Let You Go
  • Tim Winton: Dirt Music

Lists finalized 11/17/02, in the optimistic hope that several more wonderful works will appear in the world between now and 12/31/02...

John Platt

Development and Marketing Director/Sunday Breakfast Host

Is it just me or was it a particularly bountiful year for new CDs? Here are the ones that meant the most to me:

  • Norah Jones: Come Away with Me (Blue Note)
    So young and yet a talent for the ages.
  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is (Compendia)
    Her amazing voice finds the heart and soul of 12 classic songs.
  • Suzzy & Maggie Roche: Zero Church (Red House)
    Musical prayers at a time we can really use them.
  • (tie) Bruce Springsteen: The Rising (Columbia)
    Steve Earle: Jerusalem (Artemis/E-Squared)
    Two very different takes on the world post-9/11.
  • Bobby McFerrin: Beyond Words (Blue Note)
    Bobby uses that magnificent instrument, his voice, to collaborate with Chick Corea and others.
  • Mary Gauthier: Filth and Fire (Signature Sounds)
    If Woody Guthrie wrote with Tom Waits, these might be the songs you'd get.
  • Elvis Costello: When I Was Cruel (Island)
    Just in case you thought he was getting too mellow...
  • Cassandra Wilson: Belly of the Sun (Blue Note)
    A singer equally at home with Bob Dylan, the blues, and Brazil.
  • (tie) Jackson Browne: The Naked Ride Home (Elektra)
    James Taylor: October Road (Columbia)
    Two old pros who still have what it takes.
  • Little Toby Walker: Cool Hand (littletobywalker.com)
    A phenomenal guitarist and storyteller from Long Island who won the 2002 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, but remains largely unknown in his own backyard.

Honorable mention: Ryan Adams, Blind Boys of Alabama, Greg Brown, Tracy Chapman, Mark Erelli, Indigo Girls, Jorma Kaukonen, The Kennedys, Phil Roy, Michelle Shocked, Linda Thompson, Susan Werner

Russ Borris

Assistant Music Director

  1. Peter Gabriel: Up (Real World/Geffen)
  2. Beck: Sea Change (DGC)
  3. Andy Stochansky: Five Star Motel (RCAVictor)
  4. Citizen Cope: Citizen Cope (Dreamworks)
  5. Solomon Burke: Don't Give Up on Me (Fat Possum)
  6. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: The Last DJ (WB)
  7. Joseph Arthur: Redemption's Son (Real World/Enjoy/Universal)
  8. Ramsay Midwood: Shoot Out at the OK Chinese Restaurant (Vanguard)
  9. Elvis Costello: When I Was Cruel (Island)
  10. Gomez: In Our Gun (Virgin)

Ceol na nGael

Celtic Sunday afternoons with Deirdre McGuinness and Liz Noonan, 1-4pm
In no particular order:

  • Saw Doctors: Villains
  • The Chieftains: The Wide World Over
  • Solas: The Edge of Silence
  • Niamh Parsons: Heart's Desire
  • Rig the Jig: Stormy Brew
  • Danny Quinn: Vacant Chair
  • Shilelagh Law: Together in the End
  • Liz Carroll: Lake Effect
  • Winfred Horan: Just One Wish
  • The McCabes: Whatever Makes You Tick

A Thousand Welcomes - Kathleen Biggins

Celtic Saturday mornings, 9am-Noon
In alphabetical order:

  • Altan: The Blue Idol (Virgin)
  • Bohola: Bohola (Shanachie)
  • Paul Brady: The Liberty Tapes (Compass)
  • Liz Carroll: Lake Effect (Green Linnet)
  • Brian Conway: First Through the Gate (Smithsonian Folkways)
  • Liz and Yvonne Kane: The Well-Tempered Bow (Dawros)
  • Alan and John Kelly: Fourmilehouse (Compass)
  • Niamh Parsons: Heart's Desire (Green Linnet)
  • Mary Rafferty: Hand Me Downs (Larraga)
  • Niall and Cillian Vallely: Callan Bridge (Compass)

Others definitely worth mentioning:

  • Ronan Browne & Peter O'Loughlin: Touch Me if you Dare (Claddagh)
  • Maeve Donnelly: Maeve Donnelly (ind.)
  • Tony McManus: Ceol More (Compass)
  • Marie & Martin Reilly: Marie & Martin Reilly (ind.)
  • Mick Moloney: Far From the Shamrock Shore (Shanachie)

Janeen Shaitelman

Promotions Director
In alphabetical order:

  • The Blind Boys of Alabama: Higher Ground
  • Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head
  • Elvis Costello: When I Was Cruel
  • Art Garfunkel w/ Maia Sharp & Buddy Mondlock: Everything Waits To Be Noticed
  • David Gray: A New Day At Midnight
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Jorma Kaukonen: Blue Country Heart
  • Los Lobos: Good Morning Aztlan
  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is
  • Van Morrison: Down The Road

Karin Williams

Membership Director

  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Angelique Kidjo: Black Ivory Soul
  • Ed Harcourt: Here Be Monsters
  • Gomez: In Our Gun
  • Indigo Girls: Become You
  • Various: 1 Giant Leap (DVD & CD)
  • Jorma Kaukonen: Blue Country Heart
  • David Gray: A New Day At Midnight
  • Elvis Costello: When I Was Cruel
  • Beck: Sea Change

Honorable mentions... These amaze me:

  • Cassandra Wilson: Belly of the Sun
  • Citizen Cope: Citizen Cope
  • Kenny Rankin: A Song for You
  • Kinky: Kinky
  • Medeski, Martin & Wood: Uninvisible
  • Speech: Spiritual People

Laura Fedele

Web Site Director

The undisputed kings of my CD player:

  • Gomez: In Our Gun
  • Citizen Cope: Citizen Cope

What great songs!

  • Patty Griffin: 1,000 Kisses
  • Indigo Girls: Become You

Better heard horizontal:

  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
  • Badly Drawn Boy: About a Boy
  • Beck: Sea Change

Turn 'em up!

  • Joan Osborne: How Sweet It Is
  • Los Lobos: Good Morning Aztlan
  • Various: 1 Giant Leap

Lottie Leymarie

Music Manager
In no fancy order!

  • Beck: Sea Change
  • Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
  • Andy Stochansky: Five Star Motel
  • Badly Drawn Boy: About a Boy Soundtrack
  • Beth Orton: Daybreaker
  • Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  • Ben Folds: Live
  • Tori Amos: Scarlett's Walk
  • Ed Harcourt: Here Be Monsters
  • Susan Tedeschi: Wait For Me