Dancer And The Moon

Blackmore's Night

Frontiers Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Who knew that when Ritchie Blackmore was the lead guitarist for the hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow that someday he would find contentment and love as a part of the rock/renaissance band Blackmore’s Night? But here he is 16 years and a dozen or so albums down the road.

Their albums tend to have a flow to them. They have fused a modern rock sound with elements of renaissance music into a unique and many times brilliant mix. They have not veered from that approach, so if you like one album, you will probably like them all. Their latest release, Dancer And The Moon, , is mostly more of the same (except for two tracks), which should please their ever-growing fan base.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Blackmore’s Night has covered a number of songs by outside writers with varying results. Songs such as “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (Elvis), “First of May” (Bee Gees), “Diamonds and Rust” (Joan Baez), “The Times They Are A Changin’” (Bob Dylan), and “Celluloid Heroes” (The Kinks) have, for better or worse, graced their albums. This time they have recorded the best cover song of their career. Randy Newman’s “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” is the album’s first track as the band veers from their usual approach. It is more of a pop song as they change the song’s tempo, plus Candice Night’s vocal brings a polish to the track. Blackmore guitar play is sedate, which provides a subtle foundation for the performance.

The second track, “Troika,” finds the band back in familiar territory. It is English renaissance music meeting the sounds of the Russian Volga boat men. The music then settles in to their well-known style. It is not their most energetic release but after several listens the music sneaks up on you to create a pleasant flow. “The Last Leaf,” “Dancer And The Moon,” “The Spinner’s Tale,” and “The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over The Sea)” all fit in with their previous work. There is also a beautiful take on the traditional Welsh folk tune, “The Ash Grove.”

The second song that is outside the norm is the album’s last track and is one of the more poignant of Blackmore’s career. “Carry On…Jon” is an instrumental tribute to his old Deep Purple band mate Jon Lord, who passed away last year. It is an extended guitar solo with a melancholy feel that is a fitting farewell to a person with whom he spent a lot of years.

I tend to like Blackmore Night’s music, and Dancer And The Moon is a satisfying release. They may have some creative twists and turns in their future, but for now this album will do just fine.

Rating: B

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