Grayson Haver Currin

Greta Thunberg did not sail across the Atlantic Ocean for two weeks to become a lead singer. But, just days after the 16-year-old proselytizer censured a room of world leaders many times her age for their shared "fairy tales of eternal economic growth," the internet made her one, anyway.

For the first 57 years of his life, Joe Henry rarely worried about his health. As an early teen, he'd suffered the fatigue of mononucleosis and once been in a car crash. A decade or so later, after he hoisted a heavy amplifier the wrong way, he'd required surgery to patch a hernia. Otherwise, for Henry, even common colds tended to be uncommonly brief.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.


Whether hearing The Glands for the first time or singing along again to tunes that soundtracked turn-of-the-millennium summers in the band's Athens, Ga., hometown, there's one question that everyone within earshot seems to echo: Why wasn't this band famous?

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Bandcamp playlist at the bottom of the page.

For someone who has developed a reputation as one of this decade's most erudite and elegant acoustic guitarists, Nathan Salsburg has a curiously slim catalog of solo six-string work. In fact, Salsburg's endearing new album — functionally titled Third, as it's the third set he has issued under his own name — is somehow his first to feature only acoustic guitar.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.