During the last 20 years, as it has become more and more difficult to monetize recorded music, curating a unique experience has become important for artists who want to engage their audiences.
Blackmore’s night was far ahead of that curve.
Following his stint as co-founder of one of Hard Rock’s most influential group, Deep Purple, guitarist, and Rock and Roll of Famer, Richie Blackmore tied together some of his more diverse influences in the rock group Rainbow .
While known as one of rock’s greatest guitarists, Blackmore also took lessons in classical guitar, and Rainbow incorporated elements of his inclination towards baroque and pop music that were a bit more within the hard rock arena was excessive.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Candice Knight, to date, based all of us on the song and backing vocals in the 1995 Rainbow album Stranger, and formed Blackmore’s Knight two years later.
With a focus on medieval and Renaissance music, Blackmore’s Night puts a contemporary spin on the centuries-old sound. Looking at the days of Arena by Blackmore and Knight, its music was chosen to direct fans to fans through theme music in smaller venues, where the music was more likely to resonate, places like castles or Renaissance fairs, In the process a new, crazy pomp that now spans generations. Each Blackmore’s night concert turns out to be a one-of-a-kind experience, with both performers and spectators celebrating the idea of running away on stage each night.
I caught up with Richie Blackmore and Candice Knight for a look at their latest album, Nature Light, which is now available for pre-order via Earmusic before its March 12 release, a conversation that brings out a unique fan experience Hit on the benefits of investing in the mainstream, while looking back at nearly 25 years of Blackmore’s Night. A transcript of our email exchange, lightly edited for length and clarity, is given below.
My father insisted that I take lessons because he felt that this was just another phase I was going through and my interest waned after two weeks. The teacher who was teaching me how to play was equivalent to seven miles away. So I would ride my bicycle, holding my guitar, in place of it for lessons. In the winter when there was snow on the ground, I often dropped the bike in the snow with my guitar.
I was not playing strict classical lessons. These were more standard songs with an inclination towards classical. I took some classical guitar lessons from Jimmy Sullivan who became a very good friend of mine and who, incidentally, was an amazing guitar player. But I realized that the discipline of playing classical guitar was almost out of reach for me. And I wanted to voice the great Holi anyway.
However, much later, around 1972, I was playing the 16th-century composer – Dancer by David Munro and composer Tylman Susatão at London’s Early Music Concert. I would just play that day and night for years. I never thought that I would play that type of music. I am very happy to hear that. In 1986, I met a medieval group in Germany playing in a palace. I realized, listening to them play, that I had to go more into Renaissance and medieval music. So I started playing various pieces on the guitar, which sounded like Renaissance music, which was, in fact, by Susato again. Then I met Candice. His voice was perfect for the music of that period and we started the night at Blackmore.
I was playing hard rock since I was 15 or 16. Therefore, by 1990, I was ready for a change in pace. I was tired of playing riff and heavy music. I still like to bang on [Fender Stratocaster Guitar] from time to time. But this is clearly a completely different way of playing the guitar. Renaissance music is more finger style while strut is more bending and playing blues notes – distortion is very important.
When I first started writing lyrics for songs I created for Rainbow, it was because I loved writing and they needed a songwriter for that album. I had not written professionally in the world of music before. But when I started doing this, I needed to be in the studio in which they were recording. So while Richie had free time and others were doing their tracks, Richie and I would sit by a chimney, look down at the snow and write acoustic music just for ourselves – in our own realm, without anyone ever thinking Haven’t heard It survived the music industry and the stress and pressure that came with that world. Finally, when our friends heard those songs, they told us that if we put them on an album, they would buy them!
At the time, they became our first release of the song Moon. We toured with music then but realized that we needed more upbeat songs to include in the stage show – so Under Violet Moon was created. With this our fans got to sing and participate.