Wed, Aug 08, 07

If Deep Purple can still rock Montreaux, the group can certainly rock Musikfest in Bethlehem on Thursday night.

The five-piece godfathers of heavy metal still employ singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover, with Ian Paice on drums, Don Airey on keyboards and American icon Steve Morse blazing away on guitar.

Deep Purple’s reputation is built primarily upon 1972’s ‘Machine Head,’ which featured a plethora of hits, including the storied ‘Smoke On The Water,’ along with the follow-up album ‘Made in Japan.’

The band recently released a new CD plus a DVD — ‘They All Came Down To Montreaux: Deep Purple Live at Montreaux 2006’ — from the 40th anniversary celebration of the Jazz Fest in Montreaux, Switzerland, where a recording studio fire served as the inspiration for ‘Smoke on the Water.’

Morse, who has taken over for the legendary Ritchie Blackmore since 1996, cut his musical teeth in the bars of Florida, refining a jazz-rock fusion sound as the leader of the seminal Dixie Dreggs, one of a handful of bands that were blips on the radar from the mid-1970s through the very early 1980s.

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