acsscoverrbgAround the 1st November last year I pressed the ‘burn CD’ button on my computer that created the final master CD of my new album that would be sent off to be pressed. Cerri had done the artwork, it was finished. 3 years of writing and a year of recording and there it was in my hand.

The last time I held a master CD of my own songs was back in 2008 and it had been The Cauldron Born. Since then so much had happened. My music was now being heard all over the world, and I was travelling to those places and hearing voices sing back the words I had written. I thank the Gods every day for my life, and I thank you all as well for bringing the dream of an 8 year old boy who had just been bought his first guitar and was driving his parents crazy, singing his heart out, dreaming of a day when he might do exactly what I now do for a living, to reality.

But what of this album?

Back in 2008 when I pressed the same ‘burn CD’ button to create the master of The Cauldron Born I was exhausted. When compared to my previous three albums The Cauldron Born was different. It held within it songs that dealt with very human issues, the Pagan songs were personal, the topics sometimes challenging, but it also had anthems a-plenty. The opening songs of the previous 3 albums were anthemic, stirring. The opening song of The Cauldron Born began in a gentler way, and was a deeply personal take on the Pagan view. I sent it off wondering how it would be received.

Now I held in my hand the master of Antlered Crown and Standing Stone. How did this album compare with the other 6? More importantly how did it compare to The Cauldron Born and the previous 3 albums of my own music?

I thought about the journey of writing and recording it.

The first song had been Under a Beltane Sun, written about 7 months after The Cauldron Born had been released. Then came Silent Moon. The others arrived over the next couple of years. My songs obviously come from my own journey as a Pagan Druid. When I listen to the songs on my albums they are like a diary of where I’m at spiritually. The new album had quite a lot of slower more reflective songs on it, and this matched where I was with my relationship to my Path. It worried me a little that it might be too gentle so I played the demos to a few people and it was one of my Czech friends who, when I said I was nervous about the gentleness of the album, said, “It can’t be Beltane all the time.” And in that moment I knew he was right and any fear that this new album might not be as well received fell away.

So I sent off the master. The CDs returned, the album became available on iTunes and Amazon, and CDs began to go out in the post. I was happy with it, but how would you, dear listener, how would you like the new songs? It seems that my initial worry, that the album would be too reflective, was unfounded. Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback. I found a review of the album online during which the writer called the album a ‘devotional’ album. I think that hit the nail right on the head. I called it reflective, but it really is a collection of devotional songs, and I’m really happy with that.

When I finished The Cauldron Born I was exhausted and didn’t write a song for over 6 months. The journey of Antlered Crown and Standing Stone had been different. 2013 marks the 10th Anniversary of Herne’s Apprentice, my debut album. When I look back at my musical journey over those 10 years I am so happy with where it has taken me. I’m more at home with my music than ever before, and I’m looking with excitement to the future and what it will bring.

And I cannot wait to get writing and creating again.

An ancient Triad says that, Those who would be a Bard must take up harp, and sorrow, and the wandering road. I do accept the sorrows of life, but I would also add joy, excitement, wonder, friendship, and peace to that Triad.

Here’s to 2013!