Blackmore's Night is a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by Ritchie Blackmore (electric guitar and acoustic guitar) and Candice Night (lyricist and lead vocals).
The origins of the band lie in 1989 when Candice Night was working at a local New York rock music radio station. She first encountered Ritchie Blackmore, then with Deep Purple, at a football game in which he was playing. The two became romantically involved and discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance.
After leaving Deep Purple in 1993 and recording the album Stranger in Us All in 1995, on which Night contributed backing vocals and some of the lyrics, Blackmore became interested in the idea of bringing Renaissance music to a contemporary audience. Night's personality and singing ability made her the natural choice as "frontwoman." In 1997 the pair were ready to launch the band, the name being a pun of their own names, and which would consist of themselves plus session musicians.
Their debut album Shadow of the Moon was a success, particularly in Europe. In subsequent albums, particularly Fires at Midnight, there was an increased incorporation of rock guitar into the music, whilst maintaining a folk rock direction. Over time, Candice Night has increasingly participated instrumentally as well as singing the vocals, and is competent in a wide variety of Renaissance instruments.
The group performs at Renaissance fairs and Renaissance Festivals, as well as in stand-alone concert tours in appropriate venues including 'castle tours' of Europe, where they perform in historic surroundings for an audience dressed largely in period costume. The band has been successful enough to inspire a number of international tribute bands including: Renaissance Night and the Italian Morning Star.
They have also performed the music for MagiQuest, a live simulation game located internationally.
In 2006, Candice performed a duet with Andi Deris on Helloween's "Light The Universe", which was released as a single in certain countries and is available on their album Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy, released in the same year.
On June 27, 2008, the band released its newest (seventh) album called Secret Voyage, a mix of medieval sounding tracks and some contemporary ones. In addition to some covers of some traditional folk music (“Locked Within the Crystal Ball" is from the fourteenth century) and some originals, Blackmore’s Night also threw in a cover of a Rainbow song (“Rainbow Eyes”) and even an Elvis Presley cover.
On October 5, 2008, Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore were married at a Castle on the Hudson after 19 years together. The fourth marriage for the guitarist, Ritchie was quoted to say "This is the first wedding I've been to where I'm not looking for the exit sign."
Ritchie Blackmore - guitars, mandolin, domra, hurdy gurdy
Candice Night - vocals, chanter, cornamuse, shawm, rauschpfeife, tambourine
Bard David of Larchmont - keyboards
Squire Malcolm of Lumley (Malcolm Dick) - drums
Gypsy Rose - Violin
Earl Grey of Chamay (Mike Clemente) - Bass, mandolin and guitar
Lady Madeline & Lady Nancy (Madeline & Nancy Posner) - backing vocals
Lord Marnen of Wolfhurst (Marnen Laibow-Koser) - violin, flute, recorder
Chris Devine - violin, flute, guitar
Carmine Giglio - keyboards
Mike Sorrentino - percussion
Sir Robert of Normandie (Robert Curiano) - bass, guitars
Tudor Rose (Tina Chancey) - violin, flute
Mick Cervino - bassist
Jessie Haynes - guitars, recorder & backing vocals [www.jessiehaynes.com]
Lady Rraine (Lorraine Ferro) - harmony vocals
Baron St James