A brilliant, fanciful example of what boundless musicianship can produce.
How can I describe BLACKMORE’S NIGHT to the uninitiated? Well, it’s pop-infused folk Renaissance music played with authentic Medieval instruments…and electric guitars…and drums. Metal convert Ritchie Blackmore plays mandolin and guitar supporting his wife Candice Night’s wonderfully folksy pop voice.
Their 2010 album ‘Autumn Sky‘ remains their most accessible. The infectious, inviting opener is a beautiful cover of the Swedish pop band ONE MORE TIME’s single “Highland“. Easily one of the best songs I’ve ever enjoyed, from any genre.
The rest of the album flows along organically. Pop anthem “Strawberry Girl” is another fanciful gem. While “Night At Eggersberg” showcases Ritchie’s best instrumental in a long while.
None of these songs depress. That’s one of the appeals of Renaissance music–even (most especially!) songs about war and death lead into drinking and dance. With “Health to the Company” offering a reflective, somber tale of fallen comrades. And “Barbara Allen” as the ideal upbeat closer.
The eclectic instrumentation present on a BLACKMORE’S NIGHT album could compete with any masterwork of 1970s-era Prog Rock–guitars, mandolin, domra, hurdy gurdy, chanter, cornamuse, shawm, rauschpfeife, tambourine. WTF is a rauschpfeife?
Candice Night’s strong voice has matured steadily since her debut in the mid 90s. While the only thing I can say about the 60+ year old Blackmore is that he doesn’t appear to have lost any of his legendary talent. And he refreshingly sounds happy playing this music; something often noticeably absent from his Hard Rock output.
‘Autumn Sky‘ is BLACKMORE’S NIGHT’s most contemporary album to date (circa, 2010). More electric guitar and with themes that relate directly to the modern world. Yet, it still retains the charm inherent to this highly specific genre of folk. If you’re a Rock fan willing to try something different give it a shot. A blend of Pop, Folk, Renaissance, and Heavy Metal guitar that only seems ridiculous. Trust me.