Released by: Spinefarm Records
Release Date: January 18th, 2011
Genre: Folk Rock
Ritchie Blackmore – guitars, mandolin, domra, hurdy gurdy
Candice Night – vocals, chanter, cornamuse, shawm, rauschpfeife, tambourine
Bard David of Larchmont – keyboards
Squire Malcolm of Lumley (Malcolm Dick) – drums, percussionist
Gypsy Rose (Elizabeth Cary) – Violin
Earl Grey of Chamay (Mike Clemente) – Bass, mandolin and rhythm guitar
01 – Highland
02 – Vagabond (Make A Princess of Me)
03 – Journeyman (Vandraen)
04 – Believe In Me
05 – Sake Of The Song
06 – Song And Dance
07 – Celluloid Heroes
08 – Keeper Of The Flame
09 – Night At Eggersberg
10 – Strawberry Girl
11 – All The Fun Of The Fayre
12 – Darkness
13 – Dance Of The Darkness
14 – Health To The Company
15 – Barbara Allen
As any fan of Blackmore’s from his legendary Deep Purple and Rainbow days, I was always skeptical to listen to his own blend of Folk/Renaissance Rock when Blackmore’s Night first debuted back in 1997 with “Shadow Of The Moon”. Yes it’s been that long now? Hard to believe that Ritchie and his wife Candice now have launched in their 8th studio album in 13 years. I know some people out there at one point felt that this moniker was just being exploited, but Ritchie not surprisingly has managed to coup up a nice following of fans who are into this kind of brand.
I guess in a way it works for Blackmore and company, I mean always being the secretive and private person that he was from his more commercial days with his previous bands, the man was a mystery all in itself. As unique and odd as anything you will ever admire, but his guitar playing and musicianship was genius!!!.
I guess you know the story when Ritchie met his wife Candice they both shared the same passion for Renaissance music, quickly thereafter the duo was inseparable and the rest is history. His lovely wife by the way has a very good voice and fits the mold of the groups more folky style quite well. As you can hear on tracks like “Highland” and “Journeyman” Candice does a fine job leading the way, as the band’s backing rhythms add a nice touch as well. The more rock laden track “Keeper Of The Flame” picks up the tempo a bit more and will relate more to the fans that wanted to hear more electric guitar playing from Blackmore itself. The beautiful ballad “Strawberry Girl” dedicated to Ritchie’s and Candice’s daughter Autumn is a classy piece.
If you have heard any of previous material from Blackmore’s Night, then you will no doubt find more of the same type of music here. The soft more classical ballads intertwine with the more folk/rock material to server the overall atmosphere quite well. You have to give it to Ritchie as he has continued to do what he likes best at this point in his life, from his family values to the inspired mythical tales the group has found a niche and fans have responded. If you’re a fan then you probably should pick this up.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 7/10