By Damian Fanelli
Blackmore's Night released their latest studio album, Dancer and the Moon (Frontiers Records), two years ago, right around this time of year.
Among the album's highlights is an instrumental track called "Carry On...Jon," which Blackmore's Night guitarist and co-founder Ritchie Blackmore wrote as a tribute to his former Deep Purple bandmate, Jon Lord, who died July 16, 2012, at age 71.
Today (June 9, 2015), on what would have been Lord's 74th birthday, we present "Carry On...Jon" for your listening pleasure.
On the nearly six-minute-long minor-key track, Blackmore employs a creamy, overdriven Strat tone. The track has an organic, almost live feel to it; you can even hear what sounds like Blackmore flipping his five-way pickup switch at the 1:01 mark.
Blackmore recently discussed the track with New Jersey's Star-Ledger newspaper:
"We were snowed in ... the engineer and myself, the producer, we had nothing to do. I said, ‘I have an instrumental I’ve vaguely finished. Do you want to try it?’
"I wrote it on the spur of the moment. I had a very melancholy kind of tune. Then I started thinking about Jon. I thought maybe we should do an organ part at the end, as a tip of the hat to Jon. Pat Regan is an accomplished organist. We put the organ sound on, and off he went. I guided him on a few things, like riffs and how Jon played syncopation with his right hand.
"It was a throwaway idea that turned into something. It was something to Jon, a way of saying thanks for the years. It’s hard to talk about, when someone says, ‘What did you think of Jon?’ I’d rather play a tune. We wouldn’t have put it on if we hadn’t been snowed in. Maybe Jon caused the blizzard."
Regan's keyboard work can be heard on albums by Blackmore's Night, Warrant, Billy Sheehan, Vanilla Fudge, Mr. Big and more.