Blackmore's Night — All Our Yesterdays
(Frontiers Records FR CD 703, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-11-16
Anyone not familiar with this band certainly should be; there’s a lot here to appreciate on many levels. This is a six-piece band led by singer / woodwind player Candice Night and guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Ritchie Blackmore, who a near lifetime ago rose to fame with another great band we all know and love. The band is rounded out by a group of top-notch players on bass, additional guitars, keyboards, violin, drums, and percussion, with some providing harmony and backing vocals. While the opening title track might remind listeners of the classic Mary Hopkin song “Those Were the Days,” the band pulls in a mix of styles ranging from more contemporary folk rock (think Steeleye Span, Fairport, or Iona), medieval folk, classical elements, a mix of originals and some superbly arranged cover tunes. The Blackmore-penned classical choral piece “Darker Shade of Black” is absolutely stunning, with a beautful classical guitar solo, followed by an electric solo, all reminiscent of the classicality and grandeur of vintage Procol Harum. Some cover tunes of note include a heartfelt and sensitive arrangement of “Long Long Time,” a song made famous by Linda Ronstadt back in 1970, a gently lilting rendition of the 1965 Sonny & Cher classic “I Got You Babe,” and a rousing version of Mike Oldfield’s “Moonlight Shadow” (originally from Crises); in all three cases, Blackmore and Night make these songs their own, far exceeding the power of the original versions. The Blackmore-Night original “Where Are We Going from Here” is as close to an all-out rocker as one will find here, but even as such it has some beautiful melodic passages for strings and guitars. “Earth Wind and Sky” is a strong folk piece full of melody and beautiful arrangements that brings all of the band’s best tendencies together, as well as being a powerful showcase for Night’s voice. “Coming Home” closes the album nicely on a foot-stomping Celtic traditional sounding note. What can I say? The more I play this disc the more it grows on me.
Related artist(s): Blackmore's Night
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