Tarrytown Music Hall, NY

May 2011: Your All-Access Pass to Tarrytown Music Hall

This month, we profile husband-wife Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night of 'Blackmore's Night.'

May is here and so are the spring-summer concert series. This means Tarrytown Music Hall has your ticket to the hottest live shows coming your way!

Blackmore's Night Live at Tarrytown Music Hall May 2011This month we profile the band, Blackmore's Night, featuring former Deep Purple, Rainbow, and The Outlaws guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore and his wife Candice Night. They have a special connection to Tarrytown because they were married at The Castle. They will make an appearance at the Music Hall on May 21.

PATCH: Candice, how did you and Ritchie meet and team up in a band for Blackmore's Night I understand you're Ritchie's wife?

Candice Night: We'll I was his fiancee since 1993 until 2008. Longest engagement ever. We met while I was working for a radio station on Long Island and he was in Deep Purple. They came to town and challenged our team to a charity soccer match. After they beat my team senseless I went to ask for an autograph. He asked me to meet him later on and we talked all night. Became good friends before it turned into anything more. I went on the road with him in 1993 and sang back up, then co-wrote some of the songs on his 1995 Rainbow cd. Then we started writing songs just for us and those songs later became the songs on our 1997 cd debut: Shadow of the Moon.

P: Is this your debut performance at Tarrytown?

CN: Its the first time we have played a concert there, though we were in Tarrytown not too long ago. In 2008 we got married at the Castle on the Hudson, so it will be great to get back there and reminisce.

P: You used to be in Rainbow, The Outlaws, Deep Purple and now Blackmore's Night. Why did you want to cross over to Renaissance Music?

Ritchie Blackmore: I always loved Renaissance music since 1972 when I first heard it by David Munrow. When I wasn't playing rock music I was listening to renaissance music. Through the years I slowly started playing it. Now I play rock and renaissance music combined.

P: Who are your musical influences?

CN: I am a fan of Maggie Reilly, Sarah Brightman, Stevie Nicks, All About Eve, Joan Osborne, and a variety of genres. I listen to everything from ethnic music to music from the 70's and 80's.

RB: Started off with Buddy Holly and Duane Eddy and moved on to Chet Atkins and Les Paul. Now its Des Geyers and nothing but.

P: Since you are a part of Deep Purple and Rainbow, and the Outlaws, what did you like most or least about being in those bands?

RB: In the Outlaws we were a session backing band. Sometimes we'd have to back people I didn't like and their music. In DP I liked the freedom of playing whatever we wanted to, however, the band never wanted to do any covers of any other music from other bands. Rainbow I liked being in because I had complete control. Didn't like the fact that we had to keep changing personnel.

P: In Blackmore's Night, what are some of the instruments used and who else is in the band?

CN: On the cds I play about 10 different medieval and renaissance woodwind instruments at this point. On stage I scale it down because you cant sing and play those instruments at the same time! So, I only play a few shawms, a rauchepfife, a bombard and pennywhistles or recorder. The renaissance woodwinds are all double reed instruments. Ritchie plays all the electric and acoustic guitars, mandola, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, and nyckelharpa. Gypsy Rose plays violin and rauchpfife as well as backing vocals, Squire Malcom does all percussion and full drum kit, Bard David plays keyboards and has a great opera voice, Earl Grey of Chimay does rhythm guitar and bass, and Minstrel Albert does backing vocals and bagpipes as well as a multitude of renaissance woodwind instruments.

P: Besides the tour, are there any upcoming projects coming up for you like a new CD or DVD?

CN: We just contributed to William Shatner's new cd and Ritchie did electric guitars while I did backing vocals on a Space Oddity for him. We will be recording some of our shows for a live dvd and cd later on this year while on tour in the castles in Germany and Czech. And I will be releasing a solo cd later on this year as well. We are in the studio recording songs for the next Blackmore's Night cd right now, so we're always doing something!

P: Was there an unusual or funny moment that happened on stage or while on tour?

RB: We punish people who have fun in our presence now. If they're caught having too much fun we halve their wages.

CN: Ritchie is a great practical joker. There is always funny moments going on. He's taken 300 year old stuffed bears that were on display in castle hotels and put them in people's beds on the road- you never know what he's going to do next.

P: With social networks taking over the media and no record labels anymore, how do you think the music industry has changed for better or for worse? How have the tours been going do you have a large fan base?

CN: I think the fact that the record companies are losing control is a good thing. They are so money oriented that for many years it was all about how they could control the artist and they would change any artistic output from image to clothing to songs to what they would say in interviews. The only problem I see now is that there are so many people in bands that you get lost in the shuffle. People have to either know of you already or stumble across you in a search. But we are lucky because our fans are amazing. They are so loyal and get involved in spreading the word of our music to people who would not usually hear it. They don't tend to follow trends or fashions, they are just looking for something they enjoy - something different than what they would hear on the radio.

P: Out of all the albums you released, which one would you consider your finest accomplishment the latest one?

RB: All of them for various reasons. I like Winter Carols because I always wanted to do those Christmas songs since I sang them when I was 10 years old. They are all from the medieval times, just the words have been changed. We like to feel that our music is a bit more nourishing than the ice cream that is usually force fed to people through the radio.

CN: I agree that its hard to choose a favorite. Its like choosing a favorite child. I love them all for different reasons. But Autumn Sky is a true representation as to where we are right as a band and as people. Autumn Sky will always hold a special place as I recorded it while pregnant with our daughter Autumn.

P: Anything else you would like to add about the Tarrytown show?

RB: We are looking forward to playing Tarrytown as that is where we got married. It is a magical place.

Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow, NY