Blackmore's Night

Legendary Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (b. April 14, 1945, Weston-super-Mare, England) shifted his musical focus away from hard rock in the late '90s and started concentrating on his love of Renaissance-era music. He formed Blackmore's Night with his fiancée, vocalist/lyricist Candice Night (b. May 8, 1971, Hauppauge, Long Island, New York), and recruited other musicians from around the world to combine elements of world music, Renaissance, new age, folk, and rock & roll. Blackmore didn't exactly retire his Fender Stratocaster, but he plays acoustic guitar almost exclusively in Blackmore's Night. His acoustic guitar melodies and Night's clear, ethereal voice blend with a host of instruments such as mandolins, keyboards, pennywhistles, violins, tambourines, military drums, and hurdy-gurdies. Blackmore once described the band's sound as "Mike Oldfield meets Enya."