Paris Moon Review
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Music DVD Review: Blackmore's Night - Paris Moon
Written by Scott Deitche
Published January 31, 2008
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Ritchie Blackmore needs no introduction. Besides being, in my
opinion, the most underrated guitarist in hard rock, Blackmore has
been a fixture on the music scene for forty years, from his days with
Deep Purple through Rainbow. About ten years ago the master of
memorable riffs formed a band to explore his love of Renaissance
music. Since that time Blackmore's Night has been a fixture on the
concert scene in Europe, playing everywhere form historic halls and
castles to Renaissance fairs and outdoor arenas in Russia. Last year,
the band filmed its first ever gig in Paris, and has just released a
new DVD of that show, Paris Moon.
It shouldn't work. It really shouldn't. I mean, a Renaissance band?
That dress in period garb? With a rock guitarist? I could have gotten
into this as a kid playing Dungeons and Dragons, but now? I really
shouldn't have liked this. But I did. A lot. And as much as I respect
and admire the virtuosity of Ritchie Blackmore and his frenetic
guitar work, a lot of the credit falls squarely at the feet of
Candice Night, lead singer and longtime girlfriend of Blackmore.
Night is simply an amazing singer, with a pure, melodic voice. She's
at ease with the crowd, conversing with conviction rather than
spewing out the usual crappy stage banter so prevalent at shows.
The "Introduction" starts off like the soundtrack for an 80's sword-
and-sorcery movie, but melds into a re-arrangement of a traditional
English song, written by King Henry VIII. Things take off from there
with a searing rendition of Jethro Tull's "Rainbow Blues". Other
highlights include a cover of "Diamonds and Rust", which Joan Baez,
the original artist, reportedly said was the best version she ever
heard. Another, more obscure cover, is of the Joan Osborne
track "Saint Teresa". Night pulls it off, rearranging the original
melodic structure and working into the Renaissance milieu. "Play
Minstrel Play", "It's Good to Be Back Home Again", and "Under a
Violet Moon" are rousing and upbeat, perfect tracks to accompany a
stein full of mead. The whole band really melds well, and have
evolved into a seasoned live act. It's unusual to see Blackmore
playing mainly acoustic guitar (though he does bring out the Fender a
few times), but his prowess has not faded over the years. His nimble
finger and fret work are at their peak.
The video looks sharp, perfectly capturing the eclectic lights and
stage set. Though the crowd is heard throughout the show, the mix
keeps the music front and center. The DVD has some extras including a
short documentary. Packaging includes a lyric book and separate