Magazine article Guitar Player

Ritchie Blackmore on Electrifying Blackmore's Night

Magazine article Guitar Player

Ritchie Blackmore on Electrifying Blackmore's Night

Article excerpt

OVER RAINBOW, RITCHIE Blackmore formed Blackmore's Night in 1997 to play Renaissance-infused folk-rock with his partner, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Candice Night. Throughout the band's 14-year career, Blackmore has primarily concentrated on acoustic guitar and numerous other acoustic stringed instruments, including mandolin, mandola, mandocello, hurdy gurdy, and nyckelharpa--but he has never lost sight of the electric. "I play at least two or three tracks of electric on every album we do," says Blackmore. "It depends on my frame of mind whether I am going to choose acoustic or electric, and I also have to take into account what the song needs. We are heavily influenced by Medieval and Renaissance music, so we are always torn between making our music more organic sounding or more modern. I sometimes play acoustic and electric guitar on the same track and decide which one is more appropriate later."

During his Deep Purple and Rainbow days, Blackmore played through a Marshall amp customized to crank out 280 watts, and used a "converted tape deck" as a preamplifier. The preamp remains, but for nearly two decades he has favored a "small, 50-watt Engl," and few, if any, effects. "I don't like to play through many pedals," he says. "I prefer a fat, natural sustained sound, which you lose if the signal goes through too many circuits. Sometimes I'll add in a Roland guitar synthesizer, though, to make the sound a little more beefy. …

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