Anyone expecting Ritchie Blackmore’s return to hard rock with a fully electric Rainbow (2016-18) to have curbed his Renaissance troubadour inclinations take note: it didn’t.
Though for any who remember those old instrumental Rainbow B-sides there are hints of a past abandoned... The Hammond organ-laced trio of Darker Shade Of Black (a slow-paced masterpiece sounding like Procol Harum covering Fools Rush In), slow blues shuffle Der Letzte Musketier and closing number Second Element (with a melody approaching latter-day Fleetwood Mac) all feature swaggering Stratocaster workouts.
But it’s clear that in 2021 Blackmore is a guitar hero content to deliver little more than efficient folky picking (Once Upon December, Four Winds et al) while others add jollity with a penny whistle (Going To The Faire) or rousing brass (Nature’s Light).
Which means the fabulously-voiced Candice Night is the true star here, never better than throughout the sublime Blackmore’s Night original Wish You Were Here.