Even though we've been enjoying the stream of M. Ward's new album, 'A Wasteful Companion' all week over at NPR, we'll be buying it when it comes out on April 10, To us, there's still something special about owning the actual release, whether it's on CD, vinyl or even digitally encoded files, especially when the act is as steeped in American music history as Ward.

The 38-year old singer/songwriter/guitarist recently discussed those influences in depth with the New York Times. Even with the dark acoustic folk/blues found on his records, Ward discussed how it almost always comes back to one rock group.

"The only [guitar] instructor I had were Beatles records," he said. "For some reason I made a point to learn every song from A to Z in the Beatles catalog when I was in high school. When I learned a song I checked it off. That was my education to chord progressions and right-hand technique."

But Ward didn't stop his education there. "[F]or the last 15 years I’ve been listening to all the people who influenced them," he said. "People like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry and Little Richard and the Everly Brothers."

In the rest of the interview, Ward spoke of his love of acts as diverse as soul giant Marvin Gaye, indie icon Daniel Johnston, jazz legend Louis Armstrong and power pop great Alex Chilton.