For the last few shows of the 'Under A Violet Moon' tour, ex-Mink deVille bass player Bob Curiano was drafted in, under the medieval pseudonym Sir Robert Of Normandie.

Work then commenced on the album 'Fires At Midnight', which proved to be Blackmore’s Night’s biggest seller to date, particularly in Germany, where it reached the top ten. The album was largely recorded by the latest touring line-up, and featured more electric guitar work than previously, including a long solo at the end of the title track. It was launched in late May with a series of invitation only shows at Lumley Castle, in County Durham, England, where a scaled down version of the band was supplemented by three members of English prog rockers Mostly Autumn.



To tie in with the release of ‘Fires At Midnight’, the band undertook a nine date tour of Germany in August 2001, including promotional work for their latest single, a whimsical version of Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A Changing’.

Vita Gasparro (introduced as ‘Lady Vita’) joined the band on backing guitar and vocals for the shows, while drummer Mike Sorrentino was to drop out at their conclusion. His replacement was ex Toy Dolls member Malcolm Dick, who had played on their novelty hit single ‘Nelly The Elephant’. Dick had previously stepped in at short notice to temp for Sorrentino at the last of the Lumley Castle shows back in June. As a result he earned the nom-de-plume ‘Squire Malcolm Of Lumley’.

photo: Ritchie Blackmore, Candice Night & Vita Gasparro on German TV, August 2001


The band returned to the UK in August, for the second leg of the ‘Fires At Midnight’ tour. The continental visit which followed had to be curtailed after only three shows due to illness, leading to the collapse of planned visits to Russia and Scandinavia. Instead, invitation only shows were played at a German castle in mid October and in New England later in the year. For the latter, Mike Sorrentino filled in on drums. Vita Gasparro and Albert Dannenmann dropped out of the band at this point, indeed Dannemann’s commitments with Des Geyers had somewhat limited his appearances during the year.

Vita Gasparro was replaced on backing vocals by platinum selling US Christian hit songwriter Lorraine Ferro - introduced as ‘Lady Rraine’ -  before the band set out for a month long European tour in April 2002. They were recorded in concert at Groningen, Holland, on May 3rd for their first live album ‘Past Times In Good Company’, which concentrated on the acoustic elements in their performance. Before the summer tour Ferro had been replaced by the "Sisters of the Moon" Maddy and Nancy Posner.
As well as featuring new backing singers, the annual German Castle tour saw the introduction of Anglo-American folk music specialist Marnen Laibow-Koser on violin, (known in the world of Blackmore’s Night as"Lord Marnen of Wolfhurst"), who replaced the widely admired multi-instrumentalist Chris Devine. The show at Castle Solingen was recorded to provide an additional track for the forthcoming live album.


A new studio album was begun in late 2002, and released as ‘Ghost Of A Rose’ in June 2003. The music was a similar mix to ‘Fires At Midnight’, but included covers of tracks by Joan Baez (‘Diamonds And Rust’) and Jethro Tull (Rainbow Blues).

It featured most of the 2002 touring band. Classical pianist David Baranowski (aka "Bard David of Larchmont") provided backing vocals for one track, and took over the keyboards for the ensung tour. Keyboards on the album were handled once again by Pat Regan. The 2003 tours began in Poland with a show at the spectacular Kinga Chapel in the Wieliczka salt mines (where the band also filmed a promo for 'Way To Mandalay'). It then wound its way hither and thither across Europe, before finishing with a British tour and two shows on the US east coast.

photo: left to right: Bob Curiano, Maddy Posner, Malcolm Dick, Candice Night, Ritchie Blackmore, David Baranowski, Marnen Laibow-Koser, Nancy Posner.



What was to become the longest running line-up of the band, which now included renowned multi-instrumentalist Tina Chancey (dubbed "Tudor Rose") from the Hesperus early music project, began touring from mid 2004. Their first compilation album "Beyond The Sunset- The Romantic Collection" appeared soon afterwards, featuring new track "Once In A Million Years", and a new version of "Ghost Of A Rose".

In early 2005 Blackmore’s Night played their first shows on the American west coast, after which work commenced on a new studio album. The band’s first DVD ‘Castles & Dreams’ (centred around a live show at Burg Veldenstein in July 2004) was released around the same time, and proved a healthy seller. The 2005 Geman castle tour saw the unveiling of a new single "I'll Be There (Just Call My Name)", while a new album ‘Village Lanterne’ appeared in March 2006. It included covers of Deep Purple’s ‘Child In Time’, and Rainbow’s ‘Street Of Dreams’, the latter as a duet between Candice Night and Joe Lynn Turner. Members of the current touring line-up took part in the recording of the album, along with Anton Figg (from David Letterman's CBS house band) on drums, Sarah Steiding on violin, and Pat Regan taking the keyboard duties. The album won new admirers, not least because of the high standard of the musicianship, with Blackmore especially cutting loose on a cover of St. Teresa by Joan Osborne

Tina Chancey played her last show on July 30th 2006 in Konigstein. Long serving bassist Bob Curiano announced his departure on September 22nd, at the end of the second European tour of the year. Two days earlier a show in Paris was filmed, and released on DVD in November 2007 as 'Paris Moon'. After the tour Blackmore and Night recorded and released the 'Winter Carols' album; a spirited collection of Christmas carols and hymns, also including Hannukkah song "Ma-O-Tzur".



When Blackmore's Night re-emerged to tour in April 2007 the band included bass player Barry Waller (re-named 'Baron St.James') from Long Island rock band Mazarin, who had once included former Rainbow and Blackmore's Night drummer John O'Reilly in their ranks.

Work began on a new studio album in March 2007. A new keyboard player 'Sir Michael Of Mar' was announced in the same month, but it was still David Baranowski who performed (to much acclaim) in the touring group throughout the year. Live dates included the UK in June, and the traditional German castle jaunt in summer, after which 'Sisters Of The Moon' Maddy and Nancy Posner left the group.


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.... 2000-2007 Blackmore's Night Discography ....


June 2001 - studio album
Issued in Japan first (with bonus track 'Sake Of Song'), then Europe in July. The US version also included the bonus, as did the European single.


October 2002 - live album

The European ltd edition came with 2 bonus tracks, including 'Home Again' sung in Greek. There were different bonus tracks in Japan and the USA.

June 2003 - studio album

The European ltd edition came with 2 bonus tracks and a different sleeve. Tracks include 'Diamonds And Rust' and 'Rainbow Blues'.
March 2006 - studio album
The 2x CD European ltd edition has two bonus tracks and a Blackmore / Night interview. The Japanese issue includes a different bonus track.
November 2006 - studio album
A collection Christmas songs and covers including 'Lord Of The Dance'.

European Singles:
The Times They Are A-Changin' / Sake Of Song : 2001
All Because Of You / Home Again : 2001
Home Again / Waiting Just For You
(remix) / All Because Of You (remix): 2002
All Because Of You
(three remixes) : 2004. Mail order only
I'll Be There (Just Call My Name) / Old Mill Inn : 2006


Completing The Collection:
The bonus tracks on the ltd 'book' edition of 'Past Times With Good Company' were a version of 'Home Again' sung in Greek, and an acoustic performance of 'Fires At Midnight' from Castle Solingen, 2002.. The US edition featured an acoustic performance of 'Mid Winter's Night', while the Japanese edition included a live take of 'Memmingen'. The bonus tracks on the ltd digipack edition of 'Ghost Of A Rose' were 'Mid Winter’s Night' and an edit of 'Way To Mandalay'. The 2004 'Beyond The Sunset' compilation included two new tracks (one a re-recorded version of 'Ghost Of A Rose'), and a bonus disc including three newly recorded Christmas songs. The bonus CD on 'Village Lanterne' includes Joe Lynn Turner duetting with Candice Night on a cover of Rainbow's 'Street Of Dreams'. In early 2007 the band contributed a tracks to a soundtrack CD for online game 'Magiquest'. Aside from previously released tracks, there are three new pieces: 'The Way To Magiquest', 'Magic Wand Tree', and 'Written in the Stars'.

.... 2000-2007 Blackmore's Night On Video ....

SPV - double DVD
DVD 1 includes a live show from Germany 2004, while DVD2 boasts a vast array of promo videos, interviews, live clips, TV slots and documentaries.

RSK - DVD / CD Pack

The DVD features a show from Paris Olympia, on September 20th 2006. The bonus CD includes 9 out of 19 tracks from the DVD, along with some previously available studio tracks.

Completing The Collection:
The 2004 'Beyond The Sunset' compilation included a bonus DVD disc containing five promo videos - 'Play Minstrel Play', 'Under A Violet Moon', 'Minstrel Hall', 'Written In The Stars' and ' Morning Star', none of which are repeated on 'Castles and Dreams'.

.... Blackmore's Night, Further Reading...

Blackmore's Night at
- Deep Purple Family Tree
- click the names on the tree for   individual member biographies
- Features - Blackmore & Night interview, July 2003

- Features - Ritchie Blackmore. Greatest Guitar Solos Poll

Blackmore's Night at ...contd
- News - Ritchie Blackmore News Page
- Photo Gallery - Ghost Of A Rose Tour, 2003
- Tour Reviews - Blackmore's Night

(with thanks to Jose Galvan)

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