JR Blackmore And Friends: Voices Part 1

A chip off the old rock.

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Oh boy, the psychologists could have some fun with this one... Glancing moodily down from the back cover is a familiar figure: hair and shirt of jet black, Fender Stratocaster in his hands. Yes it’s Blackmore, but it’s not Ritchie, it Jurgen ‘JR’ Blackmore, Ritchie’s son from his first marriage.

Not only is JR a lookalike guitarist, he has also assumed the role of his father in tribute act Over The Rainbow, and in Voices 1 has produced a record heavily in debt to the classic rock sound of the 1970s that his old man did so much to create. JR’s no nipper, either – he’s a man in his mid-40s – so it is hard to appraise his music without its attendant Oedipal baggage.

The Friends are a variety of vocalists, including Oliver Hartmann and Michael Bormann, who wail their way through these wordy epics. Bormann has his work cut out during Beethoven, where he has to cram in the couplet ‘Gershwin, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Zep/Wouldn’t have been here without him’.

Yes, JR shares a classical bent with his father, as well. It’s all a little too close for comfort.

Jon Hotten

Jon Hotten is an English author and journalist. He is best known for the books Muscle: A Writer's Trip Through a Sport with No Boundaries and The Years of the Locust. In June 2015 he published a novel, My Life And The Beautiful Music (Cape), based on his time in LA in the late 80s reporting on the heavy metal scene. He was a contributor to Kerrang! magazine from 1987–92 and currently contributes to Classic Rock. Hotten is the author of the popular cricket blog, The Old Batsman, and since February 2013 is a frequent contributor to The Cordon cricket blog at Cricinfo. His most recent book, Bat, Ball & Field, was published in 2022.