Following their excellent live recording “Castles & Dreams”, Blackmore’s Night would once again return to bring your musical mind to a different place and apparently a different time as well. I looked forward to this new studio recording because the live CD/DVD was just incredible and a refreshing change for me as a fan of interesting musical adventures. The accomplishments of Richie Blackmore are well documented and now along with his Partner, the lovely Candice Night he continues to write in this book by bringing Medieval and Renaissance styled themes to a totally modern world. One does need to separate themselves from his work in Deep Purple and Rainbow as while he might surprise you with a rendition or two of a classic, there is a different feel to them under the Blackmore’s Night treatment. Showcasing his skill level as a guitar player and musician; Blackmore finds himself not only handling the traditional guitar, but acoustic instruments and lutes as well as a hurdy gurdy. Candice sings lead and backing vocals, but also plays various tambourines and the recorder and flutes. Together they form the core of this unique troupe of minstrels and the more you listen to the record the more you wish you were outside at a Festival among friends drinking good wines and enjoying stories of life and fun times.
There is a great mix of stuff on the album from moving instrumentals like “The Messenger” to rousing numbers such as “St. Teresa” (originally recorded by Joan Osbourne and a favorite of Blackmore himself). Rainbow gets homage from their leader by including two versions of the mega hit “Street Of Dreams”. Joe Lynn Turner offers some vocal assistance on one version and he still sounds great. “Olde Mill Inn” is the track that just asks for the audience to sing along and this will most likely be the case at concerts when the group performs. Beautiful artwork and photos make up the included booklet and lyrics are provided should you need them. The group also explains a little bit about the songs on the record and where they felt they were going by including this song and that. If the typical standard fare is where you stand then this is not a band for you, yet if you choose to explore many different avenues then this is a perfect choice. Pour yourself a glass of wine, light the candles and enjoy the tales of Blackmore’s Night while the Village Lanterne burns brightly in the distance.
Written By: Ken Pierce (copyright 2006) for PiercingMetal.com