Ritchie Blackmore’s drummer David Keith says he always hoped to get the chance to play rock music with the guitar icon.
Blackmore has lined up three rock shows for next year, during which he will play hits from his career with Rainbow and Deep Purple. Keith is joined in the lineup for the shows by bassist Bob Nouveau, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson and Lords Of Black vocalist Ronnie Romero.
Keith works with Blackmore in his folk project Blackmore’s Night and he says he’s thrilled to be part of his return to rock.
Keith tells Deep Purple Italia: “There is a section of the Blackmore’s Night live show where Ritchie puts on the Strat for a few songs, and we crank up the rock’n’roll. The energy on stage is amazing, and I often found myself thinking, ‘Man, I wonder if he’s considering doing some rock shows, because this is fucking fantastic.’
“I guess you could consider the last few years with Blackmore’s Night my audition. Ritchie approached me one night recently after a show, and casually mentioned that he was thinking of doing some rock shows, and that he’d like me to play them if I was interested. I was in shock. I thought, ‘He’s really going to do this, and I get to be a part of it.’ Unbelievable.”
He adds that his rock playing style is not vastly different to that of Blackmore’s former Rainbow bandmate Cozy Powell.
He says: “My primary intention is to play the music as authentically as possible. I will be pulling parts from both studio and live recordings – anything I change or play differently will be with the original drummer and feel of the song in mind.
“Of all the other drummers Ritchie has played with, I would say my style is probably closest to Cozy’s, but they have all brought different things to the table. I have the good fortune to draw from this vast well of drumming history, and create a new blend of parts for people to enjoy.
“I will add some of my own flavour to the mix, of course, but in subtle ways, always within the context and spirit of the original performances.”