Blackmore's Night - Past Times With Good Company

Year of Release: 2002
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Catalog Number: 095-74492
Format: CD
Total Time: 94:25:00

Wunerful! Wunerful! If you are old enough to remember, Lawrence Welk used to say that on his TV show. That is what the first live release Past Times With Good Company from Blackmore's Night is. I have often wondered what direction Ritchie Blackmore went after he closed up shop with his successful group Rainbow and his on again off again relationship with Deep Purple finally came to a close. For those of you that have been following his career since those days and have not heard his most recent material you will be in for a big surprise. Do not expect the electric guitar runs soaked in rock and blues. Do not worry folks, he has not completely hung up the electric six-string, but I have to be honest, most of the music caters very strongly to acoustic instruments.

Ritchie's love for days gone past have finally reached their full blossoming fruition with a group of seasoned musicians that play Renaissance-era music with a modern twist. He formed the band with his fianc?e, vocalist/lyricist Candice Night and they released a first studio effort titled Shadow Of The Moon on Intersound in 1998. He handpicked musicians from around the world to merge rudiments of world, Renaissance, new age, folk, and rock. I not only heard all of those genres in all of their gorgeous glory, elements of Middle-Eastern music find its way into some of the tracks as well.

Their repertoire includes uplifting and delightfully rich compositions complimented excellently by Night's sweet vocals. Blackmore's fretwork is as usual, beyond reproach. He really has a found a niche that I think may last until the end of his unparalleled career. I cannot compare their studio efforts to this live material as I have not had the pleasure to hear it yet, although I can tell you that this two CD set will give you a good overview of the all the highlights of that work while bringing each song into a effervescent and most appealing light. The sound is fantastic; I do not think it could be any better for a live recording.

This is as progressive as music can get. It is without any uncertainty worldly in every possible way. I am sure a broad audience will find many hours of enjoyment listening to this 2-disc set. I am not one to listen to this type of music on a regular basis; this however would be the exception to the rule. Any reservations that I may have had about listening to music like this more often are now taking a permanent back seat. I loved all of this. Blackmore may have lost many fans by making this change but he has also created an entirely new audience while bringing along some of the old faithful, like me.

Disc One: Shadow Of The Moon / Play Minstrel Play / Minstrel Hall / Past Times With Good Company / Fire At Midnight / Under A Violet Moon / Soldier Of Fortune

Disc Two: 16th Century Greensleeves / Beyond The Sunset / Morning Star / Home Again / Renaissance Faire / I Still Remember / Durch Den Wald Zum Bachhaus / Writing On The Wall

Ritchie Blackmore - electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, mandola, hurdy gurdy, Renaissance drum
Candice Night - vocals, shawn, raushpfeife, tambourine, pennywhistle, cornamuse
Robert of Normandie - bass, rhythm guitar, harmony vocals
Carmine Giglio - keyboards, harmony vocals
Malcom of Lumley -drums
Kevin Dunne - drums (2:1)
Lorraine Ferro (Lady Rraine) - harmony vocals
Chris Devine - violin, recorder, mandolin

Shadow Of The Moon (1998)
Under A Violet Moon (1999)
Minstrels & Ballads (2001)
Fires At Midnight (2001)
Past Times With Good Company (2002/2003)
Ghost Of A Rose (2003)
Home Again (2003)
Beyond The Sunset (2005) (CD/DVD)
The Village Lanterne (Special Limited Edition) (2006)
Winter Carols (2006)
Paris Moon (2007)
Secret Voyage (2008)
Autumn Sky (2010)
A Knight In York (2012)

Castles & Dreams (DVD) (2005)
A Knight In York (DVD) (2012)

Genre: Progressive Folk

Origin UK

Added: January 19th 2003
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 961
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]