The second offering from Cernunnos Rising, Urban Druid, is an inspired collection of original songs from the mind of artist, musician, and activist George Nicholas. With a cast of guest musicians playing on the CD, Urban Druid brings us a more rock feel to the musical styling of the collaborative work known as Cernunnos Rising. The first CD, Wild Soul, was more folksy with a traditional Pagan feel. This second release brings that Pagan feel to a more “pop” sound, without losing the voice that brings us to the Druid context of each song.
Combing the philosophies of Druidic beliefs with the political activism that many modern day Pagans are involved in, Urban Druid takes us from the city to the country side and back with tracks like “The Witches Tree” and “Beyond Us is the Cost”, and of course the title track. “Wise Old Yew” reminds us that the lore of the trees is important even in today’s modern and hectic times. “King of the Forest” tells us how Herne, or Cernunnos, is among us even while many of us dwell in cities.
As Druids often honor the trees in their practices, we learn a bit of lore as we listen to this collection of songs. Like with Wild Soul, we hear some of the lore of the “Hawthorn” and the Yew. And as hinted, with “Beyond Us is the Cost” we are reminded once again, as with “Green Man (Last Tree Falling)”, just how important the environment is to George and to many Druids and Pagans. This seems to be a recurring theme with the music from Cernunnos Rising, one that I am please to hear and to share.
On the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel we’ve had the pleasure to speak with George Nicholas about both these albums. You can hear our conversation about Wild Soul here and our more recent talk about Urban Druid here.
The summer of 2014 saw the release of two singles, and videos, from Cernunnos Rising. Both of which are environmental activist pieces. “Crying for the Honey Bee” talks about the plight of the disappearing honey bee and how the loss of such a wonderful insect could (and will) have dire consequences for mankind. “The Folly of Fracking” is about the oil companies desire to drill and force water into oil shale, often below the level of ground water, and how it has an adverse effect on drinking water, wildlife, and even the lives of humans. See below for those videos.