Blackmore's Night - 'Dancer On The Moon'

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THE BAND:
Ritchie Blackmore- Acoustic And Electric Guitars, Nickelharpe, Mandola, Hurdy Gurdy, Tambourine
Candice Night- Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals, All Renaissance And Medieval Woodwinds
Bard David Of Larchmont - Keyboards And Background Vocals
Lady Kelly Dewinter - Harmony Vocals, French Horn
Earl Grey Of Chimay - Bass And Rhythm Guitar
The Scarlet Fiddler - Violin
Troubador Of Aberdeen- Percussion



TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.)  "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" - A Randy Newman cover. "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" is a song written by Randy Newman, and appears on his 1968 self-titled album 'Randy Newman', as well as 'The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. I' (2003) and all of Newman's official and bootleg live albums. It is one of his most covered songs.  Despite the many covers, it appears to have charted only twice, once in Canada in 1970 for Tom Northcott and in the UK in 1980 for UB40. The UB40 single was a double A-side with "My Way of Thinking" which was the first-named track and which received most of the radio airplay: however, the German single (which appeared later) had "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" as the A-side.
2.)  "Troika" - (Troika is a Russian folk dance, where a man dances with two women.  The Russian word troika means three-horse team/gear. In the Russian dance the dancers imitate the prancing of horses pulling a sled or a carriage.  This dance is included into repertoires of virtually all Russian ethnographic dance ensembles.  Similar folk dances are known among other Slavic peoples, e.g., the Polish Trojak.)  This intro consisted of Ritchie playing a very slow acoustic guitar rhythm.  At the ripe age of 68 and Ritchie still has the most nibble fingers of anyone I have ever heard especially on an acoustic guitar!!  There is a small musical rest connecting the rhythm guitar of the intro and the rhythm guitar of the verse.  The way Candice and Ritchie  wrote the acoustic guitar rhythm along with the lyric arrangements consisted of the acoustic guitar underneath the lyric lines and then a small rest connecting each lyric lines.  Her vocal style and sound matches Ritchie's playing perfectly!  Candice repeats Trokia.  On the second repeat the rest of the band kicks-in.  The bass-line gives the chorus a great hook! After the first chorus Ritchie has a short yet huge minor lead guitar solo!  Several of the lead guitar solo notes were double-tracked with an electric solo underneath the acoustic  Underneath  the lead vocals yet over the top of the bass/tambourine and rhythm guitar there is a second rhythm guitar rhythm.  After the second chorus Ritchie plays one hell of a mean acoustic guitar solo.   Though the song is amazing!  I have to say Ritchie's solo is the highlight!!!! 
3.) "The Last Leaf " - Like most of Ritchie's music these days this track opens with a simple acoustic guitar rhythm.  For the opening of the verse Ritchie switched his acoustic rhythm from a strumming pattern to a picking pattern.  Candice's vocals are breath taking!  For the chorus instead of changing the guitar rhythm it sounded as if Candice overdubbed a windwood type of flute (too me it sounded like a shawn

).  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  There is another solo connecting the second chorus with the third verse.  Candace's vocals just put you in an amazing trance!!!!                                           
4.) "Lady in Black" - This is one HELL of a beautiful song Richie and Candice wrote!!!!   
5.)"Minstrels in the Hall" - Instrumental
6.) "The Temple of the King" - Cover of the Blackmore classic song. Released on Ritchie's Blackmore's first solo album. Released on August 4, 1975.  I'm sure the band done this for Dio.  All I can say is Candice does one hell of a job!!!!
7.) "Dancer and the Moon" - This opening acoustic riff is one of the main reasons why I think Ritchie is one of the best guitarist out there!  After the second measure of the intro a bass line and bass drum kick begin.  It is also at this time Candice begins playing a shawn arrangement.  The tom-tom fills of the intro really made the drum line.  There is a rhythm change for the musical verse.  There is a bass drum kick connecting the verse.  The solo was amazing!!!
8.) "Galliard" - Instrumental
9.)"The Ashgrove" - This track opens with Ritchie playing an acoustic lead guitar solo over the top of a acoustic guitar rhythm.  There is no rhythm guitar change underneath the lyric lines of the musical verse.  Underneath Candace's  lead vocals lines Ritchie plays short little lead licks.  There is a minor solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.   
10.) "Somewhere Over the Sea (The Moon is Shining)" - This was a very simple yet cool song!
11.)"The Moon is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea)" - This track opens with a progressive style keyboard riff over the top of a standard keyboard arrangement.  As the intro progresses there is a small vocal accent.  The tom-tom fills leading into cymbal crashes are some of the heaviest I have ever heard!  There are several cymbal crashes connecting the intro with the musical verse.  This may be the heaviest track on the CD.  The opening musical verse had a very Rainbowisk minor solo.  The strange keyboard effect continues through the song.  In between the lyric lines and acoustic guitar arrangement Ritchie plays heavy metal power chords.  Once again as always Candace's vocals are mesmerizing!!!  Her vocals make this track!!!!
12.) "The Spinner’s Tale" - This track opens with a bass line underneath a Ritchie acoustic guitar rhythm. There is a very short pause right before the musical verse kicks-in.  Richie used the same acoustic rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one he used for the chorus.  As the verse progresses Ritchie throws in several different rhythm riffs to the arrangement.  Connecting the first chorus with the second verse Candace plays a shawn arrangement. She plays the same arrangement in between each verse & chorus.
13.) "Carry On… Jon" -Instrumental wrote for Jon Lord former keyboardist for   Deep Purple who passed away on July 16, 2012.

 

    I have been a Ritchie Blackmore fan since my brother gave me his Deep Purple - 'Machine Head' vinyl in the seventies.   I'm dumbfounded that the great Rolling Stone Magazine has him listed no higher than fifty of their 100 All-Time Great Guitarists.  Take that back I'm not dumbfounded I'm pissed about it!  I don't know if it is his love for this style of music or being able to write and perform with the love of his life however, his playing as improved 1000 times!!
    After moving in with each other in 1991.  Ritchie and Candice quickly realized they both had a huge fascination for Renaissance style music (a.k.a. as minstrel music).  After the Rainbow - 'Stranger In All Of Us' Tour the two began working on a Renaissance style project named Blackmore's Night.  Which, as I am sure you can tell is a play on their last names.  'Dancer On The Moon' is the eighth studio release from Blackmore's Night.  The tracklisting is a mixture of cover songs, instrumentals along with their own compositions.  One of the tribute songs they recorded for this CD was "Temple Of A King" taken off of Rainbow 'Rising' and was a song the great singer/songwriter/storyteller Ronnie James Dio wrote when he was with Rainbow.  Candice my dear, "Dio was smiling down on you that day!"  For those that still don't know Candice has the sweetest voice you will ever hear.  They say angel's have the sweetest voice you will ever hear, if that is true she is the first angel on earth!!!  Plus, she's very easy on the eyes!  Throughout the CD Candice plays these real beautiful pennywistle solos. At the age 68 I can guarantee Ritchie's fingers are not only the most nimble of all guitarists however, probably all men!  One of the many reasons I like Blackmore's Night and believe me there are a lot of them.  Are the many musical layers each song has.  It doesn't matter how many times I listen to a song I hear something I did not hear the last time.  If you like actually hearing music and not just listening to it 'Dancer Of The Moon' the CD for you!!!  It would not surprise me if this makes the Blast Magazine top CD's of 2013!!!