Ritchie Blackmore is now firm and focused on Renaissance and Medieval music and together with his wife, the lovely Candice Night and their merry band of minstrels, brings you a Holiday album unlike any other. “Winter Carols” is an album that takes a number of the classic Christmas standards and blends their basics and warm melodies with their Renaissance flair. The beautiful voice of Candice is complimented by Blackmore’s guitar work along with the flutes, horns, and bagpipes that are often used to majestic success and make songs like “Lord Of the Dance/Simple Gifts” one of the most powerful numbers on the release. Other standout numbers were “I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” as they hold such a spirited feel and seem a perfect fit under this setting. There are some slower, more vocal and acoustic guitar based numbers like “Ding Dong Merrily On High” and of course the straight guitar instrumentals “Winter” and together the whole album brings an overall warmth on a cold and blustery day. This charming recording is just perfect for those holiday occasions with friends and family as you gather in front of a warm fire and revisit good times of the past while raising your glass to the future. It is different from that which you will experience in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but on the whole is a truly enjoyable piece of music that works best for the season.