Blackmore's Night - ‘Autumn Sky’

Fontana/Spinefarm Records

Ritchie Blackmore - guitars, renaissance drum, nyckelharpa, hurdy gurdy, mandola, mandolin
Candice Night – vocals, harmonies, penny whistle, gemshorn, rauchepfife, shawms, bombards, chanters, recorders
Bard David of Larchmont – keyboards, backing vocals
Squire Malcolm of Lumley (Malcolm Dick) –drums & percussion
Gypsy Rose (Elizabeth Cary) –Violin, harmony vocals
Earl Grey of Chamay (Mike Clemente) -Bass, rhythm guitar

1.) “Highland” – This track opens with a renaissance drum beat playing the measure of (1+a2+a3+4+a).  On beat two the horns and tambourine rhythms kick-in.  It should be noted that the tambourine was following along with the opening drum beat.  About a half a measure into the horn arrangement a violin and recorder join in.  It sounds like there is a small backing vocal over the top of the intro.  Instead of altering the intro for the chorus the band used the same intro as a bass however added acoustic & electric guitar riffs.  They bring the music down to let Candice’s sweet vocals carry the chorus. There was a small rhythm guitar and violin change for the musical verse. There is a recorder connecting the verse with the chorus.  Ritchie does a solo in the only way he knows how.  After the last verse Ritchie plays a minor solo over the top of the coda!    
2.) “Vagabond (Make A Princess of Me)” – This track opens with Ritchie playing an arrangement on either mandola or Spanish Guitar.  Underneath you can hear a second guitar that is playing mainly bass notes.  There is a small harmonic that leads into a drum playing 1e&, 2e&.  For this section the band added a hudy gurdy…very…cool.  The musical arrangement pulls back letting the percussion and Candace’s vocals carry the verse.  Candace’s vocals of the chorus had a small hollow effect to them.  After the second chorus there is a minor recorder solo.  There is a recorder solo after each chorus and through the outro.  The last two measures consisted of a full minstrel arrangement. 
3.) “Journeyman (Vandraren)” – This intro opens with two flute arrangements. Underling the arrangement has a bass instrument playing the same arrangement.  There is a switch for the musical verse this musical switch gives the song a Japanese feel.(I was not expecting this at all!!!)  Sounds like the opening credits to a 1950’s war movie.  The musical verse consisted of a standard drum line.  This acoustic drum line drastically changes the Japanese feel the song had.  The musical verse is very up-tempo letting Candace’s sweet vocals carry the verse.  The band adds a couple fill-in instruments for the musical pre-chorus.  The choruses are huge.  There is a small breakdown connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus consisted of the Ritchie electric guitar solo that we all feel in love with!!!  There is a second solo after the third chorus this on runs up to the fourth chorus.              
4.) “Believe In Me” – This intro consisted of an acoustic guitar arrangement.  There is no rhythm change between the pre-musical intro and musical pre-verse.  For the musical verse Candace added a very subtle backing harmony in between her lead vocals and music arrangement.  There is a small acoustic guitar riff leading into the chorus.  The choruses of this track are some of the best I have heard from the band!  There is a minor solo after each chorus. 
5.) “Sake Of The Song” – A tambourine kicks off this intro section.  The musical intro consisted of a very simple gypsy musical arrangement.  There is a small arrangement change for the musical verse.  Her vocals will have you hooked at the chorus. After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo. 
6.) “Song And Dance” - Instrumetal
7.) “Celluloid Heroes” – Released on The Kinks 1972 release titled, ‘Everybody’s In Show-biz’.
8.) “Keeper Of The Flame” – This intro has the feel of as if king Arthur returned with the golden chalice.  There was a small arrangement change for the musical pre-verse.  There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the pre-verse and verse.  There is a small lead guitar solo leading into the second verse.  There are little lead licks in between the led vocal lines.  There is a lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  There is a Blackmore solo it ranks up there with some of his best vwork!!!! 
9.) “Night At Eggersberg” -Instrumental
10.) “Strawberry Girl” – This is just a very simple loving song!
11.) “All The Fun Of The Fayre” –A beautiful Arabic sound song!!!!!!
12.) “Darkness” – This is CANDICE!!!! 
13.) “Dance Of The Darkness” –Instrumental
14.) “Health To The Company” – This is Richie & Candice at their best by the fire-side.
15.) “Barbara Allen” – One of the greatest love songs ever written!!!!!


     ‘Autumn Sky’ is the eighth studio release from the now husband & wife duo of Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night.  Hence the band name Blackmore’s Night.  For those that do not know Blackmore’s Night is a complete step away from anything that Ritchie as ever done.  Blackmore’s Night is not have a heavy sound such as Deep Purple or Rainbow they are a Renaissance/folk based duo.  I own every Blackmore’s Night release and have listened to every one of them backward, forward and upside down.  With ‘Autumn Sky’ the duo wrote the songs with the renaissance sound underneath as a base instead of the forefront.  These songs are songs that allow you to put the CD in kick back open a bottle of wine (or whatever you do to relax)and just mellow out in amazement! This is a release everyone should own!!!!         

Track 7 the cover song of The Kink’s “ Celluloid Heroes” completely blows the original to shreds!!!