Past Times With Good Company
Say what you like about Ritchie Blackmore, but you can never accuse him of half-measures. From the hard rock archetypes of Deep Purple to his latest work, the fiery guitarist gives it 110%. His last four releases have been under the Blackmore’s Night moniker, which finds Blackmore further exploring the marriage of modern rock and medieval folk he first touched upon in Rainbow. Blackmore’s Night generally shuns electronics, instead utilizing traditional instrumentation (Blackmore is credited with “electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, mandola, hurdy gurdy and Renaissance drum” on this live recording) along with drums, keyboards, violin and the heavenly vocals of Candice Night. The result? Beats the hell out of Jethro Tull, that’s for sure. Blackmore’s obvious love for, and understanding of the music of Renaissance times is apparent in every note, and thankfully, he doesn’t treat these works as museum pieces, but instead taking traditional forms and expanding them into something new. His guitar playing is as top-notch as ever, and Night is a light and airy choice on vocals, and if you close your eyes, you can almost imagine people dancing about a fire, music in the air. If that is starting to sound too precious for you, put on “16th Century Greensleeves” (from his Rainbow days) and let Blackmore remind of why he’s considered such an influential guitarist. This double live album accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and the result is a unique and enjoyable glimpse of a time forgotten, without mothballs. Rock, elves, rock!
Blackmore’s Night: http://www.blackmoresnight.com