This month, Great Music Stories is releasing a new CD sampler album celebrating some of the brightest names in the grassroots rock scene. Last year, ‘Modern Rock Volume 1‘ proved to be a be a great success, introducing people to new and unsigned acts, so the project is back with Volume 2 for June 2020.
A limited-run free sampler CD, fully supported by all the artists, ‘Modern Rock Volume 2‘ is a non-commercial exercise from the heart: A thank you to the listeners that that have been an active part of the Friday rockshow from the rock caravan project during lockdown – plus additional free copies will be available each week to people new to the music each Friday night when the rockshow is on.
From England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland – spanning aggressive pop to southern rock influences – there is something for everyone on this collection and the eclectic range of styles underlines the ‘broad church’ strength of the rising scene. Many of the songs on ‘Modern Rock Volume 2‘ have had long runs on the Friday rockshow powered by requests, some were tracks Great Music Stories was fortunate to premiere – and there are some tunes previously unreleased.
For the length of the pandemic and successive lockdowns, Great Music Stories has done its little bit to help keep the lights on for rising and unsigned artists. Music has helped people get through an unprecedented time and this new collection celebrates a number of the artists that have been the soundtrack of hope and enduring tough times. The sampler is a ‘thank you’ to those people that have been an active part of what we have done together – plus we hope to introduce new fans to the artists and do our bit to make the audience a little bit bigger.
The music fans reaction:
Already, early reaction to ‘Modern Rock Volume 2‘ from music fans has been emphatic.
New music fan and Friday rockshow participant Julie Gray says: “The artists and tracks featured on Modern Rock Volume 2 have been an integral part of my lockdown. From the sobering Covaid collaboration, featuring Copperworm, to the heart-warming ‘Keep Calm’ from Thirteen Stars, mixed in with amazing music from new (to me) bands and also firm favourites – such as Twisted Illusion – this is snapshot of how music helped us all. Being given a platform to perform their music when gigs were off, this CD will mean so much to everyone featured, and the soundtrack not just to those Desolate Days, but also our Road To Recovery. Another outstanding collection, brilliantly curated by Guy B.”
Sara Johnson adds:” This is such a wonderful compilation of modern rock artists, showcasing contemporary music and showing a glimpse of future stadium-fillers. All the bands and songs Guy has chosen for the CD have a special place in my heart and mind – from the fighting-talk, angsty ‘Puppy Squad’ to the sexy, sublime ‘Alibi’. It opens with Covaid’s ‘Desolate Days’, which is our Single of The Year and ends with Thirteen Stars‘ ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’, a band which has rounded off more Friday night’s than I can say. ‘Modern Rock Volume 2‘ is more than just a CD, it’s music, memories, friendship and camaraderie, a snapshot of the last 12 month’s fight to keep some sort of normalcy, utilising what has been and will continue to be, my medicine of choice. It’s all about the love, never about the money. GuyB‘s only reason for doing this is his passion and love of the music and desire to help spread that love as far and wide as possible. The CD is to be given free to those he knows shares his passion, they’ll get two copies, one to keep and one to give away to spread that love a little further. How’s that for a concept? Generosity and altruism at its finest. TF for Fridays, that’s all I can say!”
Regular Friday listener since 2016, Wayne Dobb adds: “As a listener for more than six years to GuyB’s show, I’ve lost count of the amount of outstanding artists that he’s introduced me to. This new edition of Modern Rock is very special though – from the sublime ‘Desolate Days’ to the anthemic ‘Apathy Killed the Artist’ it’s a who’s-who of the best the rock scene has to offer.”
Jo Wright comments: “This CD is an amazing piece of work for all the bands involved, many of which are unsigned. It gives the band a step up into the public eye, giving them a push to be discovered for their other tracks. It’s a win/win for all concerned.”
Matt Simons from Dead BlondeStars said: “It’s great to be part of such a fantastic project. It’s been a tougher year than normal for independent music, so we’re very happy to be involved in such a positive venture. We’ve certainly been made aware of a number of great bands courtesy of Volume 1, so it’s a privilege to feature on Volume 2 alongside more superb artists.”
Ian George from Amongst Liars said: “We are so proud to be on this awesome compilation album amongst so many amazing artists – and we hope that you discover your new favourite act on the CD. Here’s to a great rest of 2021 and to the resurgence of live music!”
Loz Campbell, appeared on Earache’s ‘New Wave of Rock n Roll’ vinyl compilation last year and for this project she comments: “I’m so grateful to be a part of this compilation album, the last time we did something similar to this we gained lots of new contacts and made friends with bands who we are now going on tour with – so hoping the same comes from this! Thanks a million to GuyB for keeping that rock n roll ball rolling.”
Jason Sweeney from Scotland comments: “It is a phenomenal pleasure to be included in the Modern Rock CD with so many great artists and not to mention the wonderful Mr GB… can life get better?”
The stories behind the music: An overview by GuyB
Our last two bands of the year, As Sirens Fall and Scarlet Rebels return for Volume 2 and the album opens with our Single of the Year – ‘Desolate Days‘ by CovAid2020. This song was a collaboration during the darkest days of the first lockdown, featuring our friends from Copperworm. The song captures how it felt to live through such uncertain times, and today is a tribute to the people we lost and a thank you to the frontline heroes that did some much to help others.
Amongst Liars embody the very essence of modern rock. Dark Days has grit, edge, an emotive video – this is rock testifying again on the big issues of the big issues of the day.
DeadBlondeStars and Twisted Illusion are bands totally focused on the song writing and they were show-stealers during our two summer festivals in 2020. Each act has already been voted Band of the Month so far in 2021 and momentum is building for both acts.
Beyond the Scarlet Rebels, two other Welsh bands appear – Ravenbreed a band that has had a big resurgence during the rock caravan year of lockdown – and The Starling Radicals, an act we have championed since 2017.
Empyre and Jason Sweeney have been busy writing and recording during lockdown – there is real thought and intelligence in the arrangement of the music, the messages and presentation.
Verity White and Loz Campbell are two of a number of female artists on the collection. I make a point of supporting lots of female artists on Great Music Stories and there is a lot more than can be done to strip away dated thinking and tokenism here and ensure rock today better represents society and the fairness, inclusion and diversity issues that are part of today’s world. Verity was one of the headliners of our Modern Rock Wellbeing Fest last year and she’s just been voted Band of the Month for June 2021.
Fallen Mafia bring drama, one of two fine bands from the marvellous WDFD label that are represented on ‘Modern Rock Volume 2‘.
HAVR have really grown with our listeners over the last year and have spoken so well about the issues that matter – a great exactly of modern rock holding a mirror up to the world, music rooted in ‘the now’ rather than nostalgia. HAVR are one of a number of Scottish bands celebrated on this collection
Northern Irish rockers, Safire, return for Volume 2 with ‘Miracles‘ – previously unreleased but a song we have been supporting on Friday nights for three years. A real fan favourite and, fittingly, uplifting at a time when we re-emerge from lockdown.
Little Red Kings did three sets for our Modern Rock Wellbeing Fest – in audience terms, the highpoint of our year of lockdown broadcasting. Unknown Refuge and Devilfire draw on classic influences but the way the bands operate and engage in a changed world is unquestionably modern and forward-looking. Music to celebrate.
The album ends with the band that has closed more of my rock shows that any other since 2015. From Album of the Year, we finish with the Thirteen Stars opus ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ – for many, an anthem that has helped them get through the dark days of Covid.
CovAid2020 – Desolate Days
Amongst Liars – Black Days
Twisted Illusion – Apathy Killed The Artist
DeadBlondeStars – Jesus Fly
As Sirens Fall – Puppy Squad
The Starling Radicals – Whatever Makes You Happy
Loz Campbell – What You Doing It For
Ravenbreed – Wasted (Over You)
Verity White – Alibi
Jason Sweeney – She’s A Fighter
Scarlet Rebels – Practice Run
Empyre – Stone (acoustic)
Fallen Mafia – Stars
HAVR – A Moment Of Clarity
Little Red Kings – Harry’s Town
Safire – Miracles
Unknown Refuge – Shadows
Devilfire – Chasing The Pain
Thirteen Stars – Keep Calm And Carry On
Discover the music and get a copy
A dedicated ‘Modern Rock Volume 2‘ web page will go up on the Great Music Stories site in the coming weeks with info on all the bands and direct links to their stores for merch and physical music.
Thanks to all the artists for choosing to take part in this project.
The Friday rock show airs weekly on greatmusicstories.com, Fridays from 5pm. A wide-ranging archive of 400+ artist interviews since 2015, plus monthly album reviews can also be found on the site.