Once upon a time there was an angry young musician known for his dark moods and smashing guitars, then he met a beautiful fairy princess and lived happily ever after. Well, sort of…
I remember being introduced to Blackmore’s Night by a friend known for his love of hard rock. Proudly declaring it was Ritchie Blackmore’s latest band, he had brought it with him one evening as dinner music. To say I was sceptical would be an understatement, but as I placed the impeccably prepared meal on the table the first strains of “Under a Violet Moon” and I knew this was something magical.
The band is composed of Ritchie Blackmore his wife and lead vocalist Candice Night and a cast of minstrels that has changed over the years but a recent line up included Bard David of Larchmont, the beautiful Gypsy Rose, Earl Grey of Chimay and the ever popular Mistrel Albert who was previously known to Blackmore’s Night fans for his work with the band Des Geyers. While minstrels accompanying the band have changed over the years, their style has been constant – a unique blend rock, pop (for lack of a better word) and instrumentals inspired by traditional renaissance and medieval music. But while the lyrics are velvet and fantasy, Ritchie is not afraid to get the Stratocaster our when the tune calls for it and show again why his name is frequently included whenever lists of guitar gods are compiled.
The band now has 8 full cds available including a beautiful holiday themed album called Winter Carols and they tour frequently with almost annual appearances in the American New England area and Germany. Favourite venues include castles and renaissance fairs where the magic of the setting continues the illusion of being transported back in time. They are an amazing live act and definitely not to be missed, but if you want to get up close you’ll need to lace up that corset or dust off your breeches! The front few rows at every show are saved only for those fans that choose to share in the magic by coming dressed in period garb.
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