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Blackmore's Night - All Our Yesterdays


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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If you happened to live in medieval times, probably the one time a year that you could forget about the plague and marauding hordes was the day the traveling minstrels brought their show to your village and everyone drank and danced till dawn. No one in their right mind would want to go back to those days but the musical fun of the era can be enjoyed today via era specialists Blackmore's Night and their new album, appropriately titled All Our Yesterdays. With Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow, Deep Purple) playing not only guitar but mandola, nickelharpe and hurdy gurdy while his wife Candice Night channels a fair maiden on vocals (and Renaissance and medieval woodwinds,) the album has an air of authenticity that makes the fairly horrible era sound quite romantic. The album opens with its title cut, a Balkan-leaning bounce suitable for dancing, and Night encourages just that with a vocal chorus of "Hey, hey/We dance the night away." Instrumental "Allan Yn N Fan" is steeped in Celtic tradition, except for Blackmore's brief electric guitar solo mid-song, and it is also meant to be danced to. As its title suggests, instrumental "Darker Shade of Black" is a slow and somber number, performed as a prog rock interlude filled with weepy violin, quavering organ and a lengthy and fluid solo from Blackmore. Mostly though the album is filled with Renaissance Faire-style songs featuring lovely vocals from Night, highlighted by the airy "Moonlight Shadow," the flirty "The Other Side" and the Blackmore slide guitar fiesta of "Where are We Going from Here." Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" and the Linda Ronstadt hit "Long Long Time" seem out of place here even though Night interprets them nicely; they just don't seem to fit the album's overall feeling. That misstep is easily gotten over though thanks to the inclusion of great originals like "Will O' the Wisp" and closing song "Coming Home." A four-piece band backs up Blackmore and Night throughout.

Blackmore's Night - All Our Yesterdays
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