Rachel Horn

We're well past the halfway point of the music portion of South by Southwest, and things are starting to wind down in Austin. But the indefatigable All Songs Considered team (well, mostly Bob Boilen) is still raring to go. Bob, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Colorado Public Radio's Jessi Whitten convened on an Austin street corner Friday night to recap what they'd seen that day.

It had been quite the week for Maren Morris: Four days before the 26-year-old strolled into NPR's offices, she'd pulled off a mighty duet with Alicia Keys during the 59th annual Grammys ceremony and taken home the evening's award for Best Country Solo Performance.

More than 40 years after penning his biggest hit, Don Bryant is back in the game. Bryant — who sang in a gospel quartet before linking up with R&B bandleader Willie Mitchell and becoming a go-to songwriter at Memphis' Hi Records — might be best known for writing the 1973 slow-cooker "I Can't Stand The Rain" with singer Ann Peebles, whom he married shortly afterward. Now, at 74, he's preparing to release a new album of original songs, Don't Give Up On Love.

Prince's music is a guide to this thing called life. Over the course of his impossibly fruitful career, the Minneapolis maestro fleshed out a philosophy grounded in the belief that humanity's purpose is to realize the unity of body and spirit, through pleasure, relationships and music itself. It's all laid out musically in his manifesto "D.M.S.R.," from 1999: "Take a deeper breath and sing along with me," Prince exhorts, "Dance music sex romance!"

Watch live Saturday as Americana musicians of all stripes gather to support the recovery effort after wildfires that ravaged eastern Tennessee in recent weeks. The "Mountain Tough" benefit concert will raise funds and awareness for recovery, with donations going to the Sevier County Community Fund.

Aretha Franklin performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Thanksgiving Day football game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings Thursday afternoon. And, as, the Queen of Soul usually does, she stole the show.

More than a year ago, the world first heard the official cast recording of the most successful Broadway musical in recent memory. The album would ultimately go double-platinum and top Billboard's rap chart, owing in part to fired-up fans hitting repeat, memorizing lyrics and absorbing the show's richly textured world.

When Corinne Bailey Rae played "Hey, I Won't Break Your Heart" at NPR Music's Tiny Desk earlier this year, she introduced the song with a simple, yet meaningful remark. "This is a song that I wrote about love the second time around with the same person," the British singer explained. "So I guess it's about the beginning of trust again." Elegant words for complicated emotions.

Soul singer Charles Bradley is battling stomach cancer and has canceled several tour dates, according to a statement posted on his official Facebook page Tuesday.

The 67-year-old singer issued a statement saying he's determined to come back stronger:

"I'm getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I've fought through the many other obstacles in my life.

For weeks, Bon Iver fans have been tantalized by cryptic imagery, pop-up murals and a symbol-heavy track list that would make any copy editor shudder. Now, the band's long-awaited third album, 22, A Million -- its first in five years — is finally available.

When we invited William Bell to the Tiny Desk, we looked forward to witnessing part of a veteran soul hitmaker's journey back to the spotlight. Bell is known for writing and performing several of the R&B classics that emerged from Memphis' Stax Records in the 1960s, "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "Everybody Loves A Winner" among them.

Julien Baker's music speaks to all of your nagging insecurities, the daily worries that nibble away at your well-being even as you try to suppress them. The title of her debut album, Sprained Ankle, hints at that sensibility: An ankle sprain might be a pretty mundane injury, but it's certainly going to keep you off your feet for a while — especially if, as she sings in the title song, you're a marathon runner.

If you were among those who ate up the fierce blues-rock track "Don't Hurt Yourself" from Beyoncé's Lemonade, then you know Ruby Amanfu's voice.

Elvis Costello might be best known for early-career songs like "Alison" and "Every Day I Write The Book" — literary pop masterpieces he wrote and recorded either solo or with his longtime band, The Attractions. But in more recent years, Costello has become a serial collaborator.

There was barely a cloud in the sky all weekend at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. But the uninterrupted stretch of three gloriously sunny days wasn't the only stroke of good fortune festivalgoers encountered. Each day at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., was filled with surprise guests and moments of serendipity.

Even though Violent Femmes played the Newport Folk Festival midway through a bright summer afternoon, the rock band's new song "I Could Be Anything" made the sunny field feel like a packed pub, where beer has made everyone friends, and revelers bellow out drinking songs with arms thrown across shoulders.

William Bell refers to himself, primarily, as a "ballad singer." "Up-tempos I do," he acknowledges, "but ballads — you can dig deep in a ballad."

After more than four decades away from Memphis' iconic Stax Records, the 76-year-old singer and songwriter has, in a sense, come home. And "The Three Of Me," the opening cut from his new album This Is Where I Live, is Bell through and through: A ballad singer, indeed.

Diane Cluck wrote "Red August" in 2012 for her personal "Song of the Week" project, though it's yet to be officially released. Still, she's been performing the song live for a while, apparently not wedding it to any one set of instrumentation — maybe keyboards one time, cello or toy accordion the next.

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