Dancer and the Moon
For those not familiar with where the old Deep Purple/Rainbow electric guitar God has been these past years (or trying to ignore Ritchie Blackmore’s more Renaissance-influenced noodlings with his wife, vocalist Candice Night) I can say that this new album from their band, Blackmore’s Night, showcases electric guitar playing from Mr. Blackmore like we haven’t heard in too long a time.
There’s the Russian-flavored, mid-tempo stomp of “Trioka,” featuring Candice’s soft voice. “Lady In Black” is a minstrel’s dance around a Uriah Heep classic, complete with electric lead. “Minstrels in the Hall” features Blackmore’s sparkling acoustic fret work and the remake of Rainbow’s “Temple of the King,” one of two tributes to older Blackmore bandmates, this one for Ronnie Jame Dio, has nice vocals from Candice with well-produced strings, and again that R.B. lead.
“Somewhere Over The Sea (The Moon is Shining)” is a great use of Candice’s vocal, but it’s synth-led “The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea)” reprise moves much better and has Ritchie leading again.
The second of the tribute songs here, “Carry On…Jon,” ends the album. It’s a moving electric guitar solo for Jon Lord, the dearly departed Deep Purple organist. This is what we have all ached to hear from Blackmore for so long.