Blackmore’s Night playing Penn’s Peak July 26
Blackmore’s Night is coming to Penn’s Peak July 26. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
On July 26, Penn’s Peak welcomes Blackmore’s Night for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of its first album release. Show time is 7 p.m.
In honor of two decades of music, the group has recorded and compiled a best-of two-disc work, “To the Moon and Back 20 years and Beyond,” to be released Aug. 18.
The collection features the most popular tracks since its 1997 debut, all remastered.
Ritchie Blackmore, (one of the original members of Deep Purple), moves between electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, mandala and cello, along with his wife, vocalist Candice Night, who will show off her instrumental prowess with several woodwinds including bagpipe, penny whistles and recorders.
The two are rounded out by keyboard and backup vocalist Bard David, violinist Scarlett Fiddler, backing vocalist Lady Lynn, bassist/rhythm guitarist Earl Grey and percussionist Troubadour of Aberdeen.
It’s a collective effort to create songs with an old-world feel, influenced by modern electric elements and the colors of nature. The group plays through Renaissance pub songs to ballads and back to simplistic instrumentals to create a mood that is less of fairies and jesters, but more of the dramatic “Game of Thrones” vibe and feel.
Since its inception, the band has released 10 albums with five singles going gold.
According to Night, the band’s style doesn’t fit neatly into the enchanted meadows label that Renaissance tends to imply.
“I honestly just call it good, melodic music. It’s very hard to narrow down a description of what we do in a few words,” Night said. “You have to hear it and feel it to know. Sometimes we call it castle rock or folk rock, but even that is too narrow a description.”
Night says the group aims to, “kick down the walls of the box and play anything from rock to renaissance to tavern to ballad to instrumental music.”
Night said she was introduced to this style of music by Blackmore.
“It was all he listened to around the house. I was entranced. I had never heard music like that before.”
To create the 20-year anniversary collection, the band enlisted its fan base through social media.
“The hardest part was narrowing down the track list. There were so many that we deeply loved, it was hard to exclude songs,” she said.
“They all seemed to have stories as to which songs got them through the most important times in their lives, made them stronger, watched them fall in love, helped them through hard times or were soundtracks to wonderful moments.”
For this year’s tour, the band is concentrating more on its home base.
“American audiences are just fantastic. They have such a great energy when you perform for them,” she said.
This will be the first time the band has performed at Penn’s Peak.
“Pennsylvania is one of our favorite places to play,” she said. “We go to the Renaissance Faire in Mount Hope every year.”
The band hopes to bring an interactive experience to the picturesque venue.
“We often ask the audience to dress up to feel as if they are part of the show. We hold the first few rows open for people who do that. It’s a great family show, so bring your kids. We love seeing the little ones dressed in fairy outfits or like Robin Hood and singing along. We all have a lot of fun onstage.”
Volunteers from the Carbon County Animal Shelter in Nesquehoning and the Carbon County Animal Rescue Rehabilitation Surgical Center in Waterloo, New York, will be at Penn’s Peak concert night accepting donations of dog, puppy, cat and kitten food, toys, leashes, treats, trash bags and laundry detergent from concertgoers.
Cash and checks are welcome as well.
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the Penn’s Peak box office and Roadie’s Restaurant.
For more information, visit www.pennspeak.com.