33 Women Music Critics You Need to Read

Rebecca Franks

An online editor and staff writer for BBC Music Magazine, Franks’ work can be found all over the site, exploring all manner of the classical world through her reviews, including Beethoven’s fondness for the great outdoors, musician jokes, centuries-old love affairs, space travel, and the chanteuses who influenced Chopin, all adding fascinating context to her reviews.

Donna Gaines

How exactly should you address Gaines if you bump into her? Well, first off, you could call her “Doc,” since she has a sociology degree, or “Prof,” since she’s also taught at Barnard and The New School. Or maybe something more spiritual, since she’s also an Episcopal minister and holistic healer. For our purposes here, you could call her a quality scribe, since her byline’s appeared in Newsday, Spin, Rolling Stone, and the Village Voice. “Author” fits her, too, since she wrote the well-researched and well-regarded Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia’s Dead End Kids and A Misfit’s Manifesto: The Sociological Memoir of a Rock & Roll Heart. Finally, you might wanna yell “gabba gabba hey!” at her since she’s chronicled the Ramones enough to be their biographer. Learn more about Gaines’ multi-faceted life at her website.

Holly George-Warren

You’d have a pretty easy time filing up a bookshelf of work from the award-winning Warren, who’s covered rock, cowboys, the Grateful Dead, Woodstock, punk, stress relief, and children’s literature. She’s written or co-written 13 books and edited or co-edited ten, and then to top all of that off, she was also responsible for publishing 40 more books as an editor for Rolling Stone Press. But wait, there’s more: She’s also worked for Grammy Museum and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, been a lecturer and consultant for a bunch of country-related organizations and teaches (what else?) journalism at CUNY. In short, she makes Stephen King look like a freakin’ slacker. Plus, her liner notes for Rhino’s Gram Parsons collection deserved a Grammy and not just a nomination. Read more about her at her website.