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Hear Ritchie Blackmore's Tribute to Jon Lord, "Carry On...Jon"

(Image credit: Ron Howard/Getty Images)

Blackmore's Night released a fine studio album, Dancer and the Moon (Frontiers Records), three 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, 2016), on what would have been Lord's 75th 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.

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.