Sunday, November 10, 2013

CD Review – Dancer and the Moon, by Blackmore's Night

Rock guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore and his fair maiden (and wife) Candice Night return with their patented brand of Renaissance-inspired pop-rock.

These are power ballads with a unique twist: They combine elements of baroque, classical, and minstrel music with contemporary fusion and are for the most part played with antique instruments that harken back to medieval times. Blackmore plays guitars and hurdy-gurdy, and Night provides lyrics and vocals and plays woodwinds. The rest of the band includes Bard David of Larchmont on keyboards, Lady Kelly DeWinter on French horn and harmony vocals, Troubador of Aberdeen on percussion, Scarlet Fiddler on violin, and Earl Grey of Chimay on bass, mandolin, and guitar.

Of course, the band's chosen musical motif doesn't preclude Blackmore from breaking out his electric guitar and unleashing all manner of six-string virtuosity throughout the album. The medieval/Renaissance theme is authentic and done very well, but it is Blackmore's excellent axe-work and Night's modern songwriting sensibilities that tie it all together and make it accessible.

Blackmore and Night make beautiful music together, both in real life and in the recording studio.

(By the way, Night has a solo career in addition to Blackmore's Night. It would be nice to have a solo release or a few from Blackmore as well, focusing on his instrumental prowess.)

--Raj Manoharan

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