From Heavy Metal to Renaissance Music
Ritchie Blackmore started off as a blues driven, heavy metal guitarist, known for his days in Deep Purple and Rainbow. Today, however, you will find him playing classic acoustic renaissance guitar accompanied by his wife, vocalist and lyricist Candice Night.
Blackmore was voted #55 top guitarist in Rolling Stone’s list ‘100 Best Guitarists of All Time.’ He was also ranked on Guitar Magazine’s Top 100 Guitar solos at #19 for ‘Highway Star’ and #74 for ‘Lazy,’ both for his work in Deep Purple.
Originally from Weston-super-more, England, Blackmore got his first guitar at the age of 11, and took lessons from the legendary Big Jim Sullivan, who now plays in Tom Jones’ band.
Being instructed in classical music, with influences from Hank Marvin, country artist Chet Atkins and an immeasurable talent, Blackmore was sure to blow away audiences with pronounced versatility. Never loosing his signature sound, the songwriter has evolved through many varied musical genres in the company of his trademark scalloped Fender Stratocaster.
Blackmore started his career in music as a session performer, participating with various different bands of the English music scene. In 1968, while in Hamburg, the guitarist was recruited by keyboardist Jon Lord who was looking to form a band. Drummer Ian Paice and singer Rod Evans were added to the lineup, as well as the bassist of Lord’s former band Artwolf. After touring Denmark as Roundabout the group decided to change their name to Deep Purple in reference to the Bing Crosby song.
From Deep Purple to Rainbow, and Back
Following the release of their third album, the lineup was modified with Ian Gillan replacing vocalist Rod Evans, and bassist Roger Glover covering Nick Simper.
Blackmore remained in Deep Purple until 1975, when he broke off due to creative differences with Gillan and formed a new band: Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Also a heavy-metal, hard rock band, Rainbow released hits like ‘Stone Cold’ and best selling albums, such as ‘Long Live Rock n’ Roll.’ The new group went on to record 8 albums, breaking up in 1984 when Blackmore reunited with former band, Deep Purple.
Reformed, they released ‘Perfect Strangers’, reviewed as one of Deep Purple’s best albums, and followed up with another 5 before Blackmore moved on to restore Rainbow.
t was in 1997 that Blackmore joined renaissance singer Candice Night, on classic acoustic guitar to form Blackmore Night. Their first release ‘Shadow of the Moon’ sold gold in Japan, and was moderately successful in Europe. Since 1997, Blackmore Night have recorded a total of 15 albums.
Starting in July, Blackmore Night will be doing a Summer Germany Tour. With a German TV performance on June 28, the renaissance inspired group will be stopping in the Czech Republic on July 3rd to start off their month long tour.