Ritchie Blackmore's latest version of Rainbow continues to have some unexpected shine.
After putting the band together for a three shows during 2016, Blackmore has confirmed he's recorded a pair of new songs with current Rainbow frontman Ronnie Romero from Lords Of Black. The group also has four shows planned for the U.K. this summer, and Blackmore confirmed the new songs to Burrn! magazine in Japan.
"Rather than make an album, we may release as singles," Blackmore said. "We have no plans for release right now, we were just having fun, but we may release when the right time comes -- but not right now."
Blackmore also praised Romero in the interview, saying "he can sing like Freddie Mercury or Ronnie James Dio or Graham Bond."
The guitarist also confessed that he was "very surprised" by the popularity of last year's shows; "It was nice to know so many people wanted to hear Rainbow at this time." The reunion spawned two live albums -- last year's "Memories In Rock: Live In Germany," and the upcoming "Live In Birmingham 2016," which is due out June 9.
Blackmore told us before last year's shows that,
"One of the reasons I was doing it is, one, for the fans, two, for nostalgia, and the singer I found is very exciting. He's a cross between, like, Dio meets Freddie Mercury. He's got a great voice. I wasn't too fond of doing it with the old (Rainbow) guys 'cause I've done that and I would like to go forward in whatever way I can."
This year's Rainbow run starts June 17 at the Stone Free Festival in London.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.