Blackmore’s Night - The Dancer and the Moon

Blackmore’s Night The Dancer and the Moon cover
Blackmore’s Night
The Dancer and the Moon
Frontiers Records
I need hardly give an intro for this band as they are of great renown… but I’ll do it anyway. “The Dancer and the Moon” is Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night’s 8th original studio album since they got off to a good start in 1997. The album combines classic rock with folk, neo-Medieval, neo-Celtic and pagan melodies.
Undoubtedly, Night’s fruity voice and Blackmore’s distinctive guitar playing are indeed marvelous but I can’t say I was utterly ravished by all of the songs.  “The Dancer and the Moon” starts out with “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” a cover by Randy Newman, quite pleasing as you drift along with this mellow tune. Russian themed “Troika” – albeit a forbidden word here in Greece – is an apposite song for a night of dance and booze. “The Last Leaf” is a nature-inspired melodious tune and perhaps one of the best songs here. The fourth one is a rather interesting version of Uriah Heep’s “Lady in Black” followed by the first instrumental “Minstrels in the Hall”. Number six is “The Temple of the King”; the original is more to my liking but this one is not bad at all. “The Dancer and the Moon” is a catchy, uplifting, pagan song; dedicated followers will surely revel in listening to it. “Galliard” is next; a two-minute instrumental waltz. “The Ashgrove” reminds me of some lullaby and I could only characterize it as a song which passes largely unnoticed. On the other hand, the acoustic “Somewhere Over the Sea (The Moon is Shining)” and the rocking track “The Moon is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea)” are both wonderful, especially the latter in that Blackmore appears to be something of a maverick in the way he delivers those musical solos. Definitely my favorite song. “The Spinner’s Tale” is the penultimate song of the album which I found deeply emotional owing, mainly, to the lyrics. Lastly, “Carry On… Jon” is a tribute to the late Jon Lord. At the beginning, it was a reminiscent of “The Loner” by Gary Moore but as it drew to a close it had more of a Deep Purple aura. A truly touching instrumental song.
The question remains though… is it good? A work signed by Ritchie can’t be something less than good. Is it recommended for all listeners? No, not really… since it is mostly targeted at folk rock devotees. If you are one of those however, do take a taste and go for it.