Music

John Prine never really liked his singing voice. "The only reason I figured out I didn't like my old records to listen was I could hear how nervous I was, and how uncomfortable I was," the venerated musician says. "And who would want to sit around and listen to yourself being uncomfortable?"

Today, Prine is releasing The Tree of Forgiveness, his first album of new material in 13 years, to an audience that spans generations.

NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers join host Robin Hilton for a quick run-through some of the most essential new albums out on April 13, starting with the Korean surf-rock band Say Sue Me and their wistful and gritty album Where We Were Together.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's electric gospel sound was crucial in paving the way for rock and roll, and the late singer and guitarist is finally getting her day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She joins this a class of inductees that includes big-name rock bands like Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and The Cars.

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya has eclectic taste, and you can hear it in his music. "I have a very Muppet-like energy when I talk that can go from zero to 100, real fast," the rapper says.

Last year, from spring to summer, two organizations — the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) — made their case to the Copyright Royalty Board that Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora weren't paying songwriters enough when people streamed their compositions, a process that NMPA head David Israelite likened to "war." Those compositions, which are legally discrete from the recordings of those songs, are covered by "mechanical" licenses, a term that's roughly 100 years old and originally referred to the punch-card c

Yvonne Staples, a member of the renowned soul, gospel and R&B group The Staple Singers, died Tuesday in Chicago at the age of 80, representatives for her sister and band mate Mavis Staples confirmed to NPR Music. No cause was given, and the Staples family has yet to issue a statement.

There's few people who enjoy telling a story as much as Kyle Craft, and boy, does he have plenty of inventory to keep you engaged. There was that one time he was stranded while working on an illegal pot farm. Then there was the moment he contemplated a different career path other than music — working in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles, because he was really good at catching and identifying snakes as a kid. There's also the story about his good female friend who breaks men's hearts for fun.

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