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Music Review: Blackmore’s Night – Paris Moon

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With apologies to those who coined the motto for Sedona, Arizona, those who attend a concert by Blackmore’s Night should plan to “be” not “do.”

One listen to the Renaissance Rock of Blackmore’s Night – led by singer Candice Night and her partner, the legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore – and it’s obvious the music is a feast for several senses. It’s not just the Renaissance attire or fresh musical approach the band presents, but an entire persona that lures the audience into the ambiance the band creates.

True, the band attracts many that embrace New Age beliefs but a fair number of fans are likely there to see Blackmore the guitar hero and founding member of classic rock bands Rainbow and Deep Purple.

It might even be a fair bet that many have actually discovered Blackmore through this band which melds folk, rock, and Renaissance music into its signature sound.

But can the music really be that compelling?

Doubters need only spin the group’s latest DVD/CD Paris Moon, which features two hours of highlights from the band’s catalog. Besides some of the band’s best-known hits – including “Play Minstrel Play” and “Renaissance Faire” – the minstrels successfully take their own spin on a host of famous covers including Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust” and Deep Purple’s “Soldier of Fortune.”

What’s interesting is that after 10 years, five critically acclaimed studio albums, and numerous awards, Blackmore’s Night seems as vibrant as when it first formed. This Paris Moon set, recorded at the famed Olympia Theatre in Paris, shows the good humor and affection between Blackmore, Night and the other band members.

Interesting that Blackmore, who sharpened his musical skills in the big-ego world of rock, now seems content to take a supporting role in this band. But perhaps that’s the secret. Although the charismatic Night ably fronts the band with a lilting, haunting voice, Blackmore’s Night is a group of equals. Each of the five members more than ably holds his/her own musically; in this case the whole is truly more than its parts. Attention hogs/egomaniacs obviously need not apply.

In an interview in Faerie Magazine, Candice Night noted that Blackmore always had a deep affection for Renaissance music. Indeed, Blackmore said in an interview in Acoustic Music Magazine his love for the genre goes back more than 20 years. Perhaps that deep knowledge of the genre is one reason that the band does such an excellent job on Jethro Tull’s classic “Rainbow Blues,” and other classics that lean toward the Renaissance genre.

“I am kind of a friend, but more of a fan of his,” Blackmore said of Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull’s frontman and founder. “I have been a fan of his for about 20 odd years, and I think that when he (Jethro Tull) did the War Child tour back in ‘74 I was impressed not only by the music but the whole angle of the minstrel look compared to everybody else playing Led Zeppelin. He is so sophisticated and to my thinking one of the only true Geniuses in Rock Music.”

The same could, of course, be true of Blackmore who has received many honors and was named one of the 100 best guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone. Anyone who frets that Blackmore's musical brilliance has been forgotten need only note that his famous Fender Stratocaster received a standing ovation from this audience.

That’s just one of the many highlights in this set which includes a documentary about the band, a photo gallery, a studio version of “The Village Lanterne” and a radio edition of “All Because of You.” A mini tour program is also included.

Track Listing
DVD:
1. Introduction
2. Past Times With Good Company
3. Rainbow Blues
4. Play Minstrel Play
5. World Of Stone
6. Under A Violet Moon
7. Soldier Of Fortune
8. Durch Den Wald Zum Bachaus
9. Diamonds & Rust
10. Minstrel Hall

11. Home Again
12. Streets Of London
13. Renaissance Faire
14. Keyboard Solo
15. Ariel
16. Loreley
17. The Clock Ticks On
18. Fires At Midnight
19. St. Theresa
20. The Village Lanterne
CD:
1. Past Times With Good Company/Rainbow Blues
2. Play Minstrel Play
3. World Of Stone
4. Under A Violet Moon
5. Minstrel Hall
6. Home Again
7. Ariel
8. The Clock Ticks On
9. Fires At Midnight
Bonus Tracks:
10 The Village Lanterne (studio version)
11. All Because of You (radio edit)
12. The Village Lanterne (enhanced video track)

About Nancy Dunham

  • Sherry

    thanks for the heads up on an interesting sound, there are a couple of utubes to take a listen too