And now we continue our summer songs series. We've been talking to Gwen Thompkins - the host of Music Inside Out on WWNO in New Orleans - about current artists who reinterpret old classics. This week she tells us about musician Alex McMurray. He takes us on a little bit of time travel back to the heyday of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Welcome back, Gwen.
GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: Thank you so much, Celeste. It's great to be back.
HEADLEE: So this song is an American version of a tune by a British band.
Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.
"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."
The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.
It takes a bit longer than a full minute before Berkeley, California-based artist Dan Casey's song "Empty City" builds to its gorgeous swirl of vocal harmonies, drum machines and hook-laden guitar riffs, but the sonic pay off is worth every second. At the heart of the song lies a unique mix of bright guitar lines intertwining with up-tempo electronic production that illustrates Casey's mastery at layering the sounds from his head.
Some of the finest Celtic music recorded since it was so labeled has sprung from a few influential musical families. Hear the Brennans, the O'Domhnaills , the Cunninghams, the Fishers, and the Lunnys. Together and individually, they have helped shape the genre.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.