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When Ritchie Blackmore (1945 – ) left Deep Purple under
less than ideal circumstances during their 1993 tour, he made
a final attempt to reunite Rainbow. Blackmore had formerly
been the frontman for Rainbow between 1975 and 1983.
This ensuing reunion was brief, and produced a single album.
In 1997, his next project was to form Blackmore’s Night with
singer Candice Night (1971 – ), whom he’d met in 1989.
The group continues to perform to this day. Blackmore and
Night shared an interest in music from the Renaissance era
(roughly 15th through early 17th Century), and formed a
group that played Folk/Renaissance-infused Rock, thereby
defying categorization.

I recently watched “Paris Moon,” a 2007 release, consisting
of a CD and a DVD, both of which are from their 2006 live
concert at the Olympia Bruno Coquatrix in Paris. At a running
time of slightly more than two hours, the DVD provided me
with a fine introduction to this band. The group consists of
five core members and two backup vocalists, performing
roughly 20 songs. For the most part, these predominantly
Renaissance-inspired, Folk tunes were penned by
Ritchie Blackmore with the lyrics provided by Candice Night,
the lead vocalist for the band. The visual experience was
enhanced by the fact that they all wore “period appropriate”

Musically speaking, although an interesting version of
“Soldier of Fortune,” from Deep Purple’s 1974
“Stormbringer” album was performed, Blackmore has
clearly “moved on,” and anyone expecting to hear
more of the Deep Purple/Rainbow play list would be
disappointed. However, I’d been frustrated by his actual
“playing” with these former bands, which I felt often suffered
at the expense of showmanship (i.e., his on stage destruction
of Stratocasters). With Blackmore’s Night, he does some
fine playing on various acoustic guitars, even using his
Stratocaster toward the end of the show. There were no
gimmicks or sound effects. In addition, there was footage
of him playing a hurdy gurdy during one song, and I was
grateful to finally see as well as hear this instrument.
Although she reminded me of other female singers
I’ve heard, Candice Night clearly has a beautiful voice.
She occasionally accompanied herself on a pennywhistle
or other woodwinds from the Renaissance era.

In keeping with the Elizabethan theme, the names of the
other Blackmore’s Night musicians were prefixed by titles,
such as “Sir,” “Squire,” “Lady,” and “Bard.” In fact, I must
give a special “shout out” to keyboardist, Bard David of
Larchmont. Not only did he have a fine tenor voice, but
he was obviously a classically trained pianist, and performed
a portion of the first movement from Ludwig van Beethoven’s
“Waldstein” sonata for his solo spot. Sir Robert of
Normandie provided bass, rhythm guitar and backup vocals.
Squire Malcolm of Lumley was featured on drums and
percussion, and additional backup vocals were provided by
Lady Madeline and Lady Nancy.

For me, this concert was a welcome change of pace from
the typical Rock fare. I’m glad that I was finally able to
experience a Blackmore’s Night concert. Thomas Roth and
Albert Dannenmann of Die Geyers sat in and contributed to
the merry atmosphere, and Candice poked a bit of fun at
Ritchie and his “ways,” from time to time!

From an audio standpoint, the DVD sound was generally fine;
however, the volume would often fluctuate under the same
setting, which was frustrating. Nevertheless, it did feature a
nine-minute bonus interview with Ritchie and Candice, and
the set included a booklet containing song lyrics, credits
and photos. The 75-minute CD contained nine tracks from
the same concert, with additional studio versions of
“The Village Lanterne” and a radio edit version of
“All Because of You,” songs which were not part of the
concert footage.

Ritchie Blackmore is clearly enjoying this new phase of
his career, and he wed Candice Night in 2008. These
two have carved out an interesting niche in the Pop/Rock
world. I personally hope that those who listen to their music
will also be motivated to hear the various great composers
from the Renaissance era who inspired them!