Ritchie Blackmore will play a quartet of rock-focused shows in Europe next year, returning to the genre that hurtled him to fame after being away from it for nearly 20 years. Members of his celebrated former bands are also slated to participate, says the guitarist.

“I am doing four dates in June, which will be all rock," Blackmore tells Noisey. "I have the band basically together and it will be [the best of] Rainbow and Deep Purple." Blackmore didn't confirm which former bandmates will participate, though Joe Lynn Turner has already suggested he could be involved. David Coverdale has also previously approached Blackmore about working together again.

Ritchie Blackmore has co-led Blackmore's Night, a traditional folk band, with his wife, Candice Night, since 1997. And that's where he'll be returning after these one-off rock shows are completed. "It’s just having fun, but it’s only four dates in Europe," he noted. "I don’t want to do anymore because I take what I’m doing now much more seriously.” Blackmore's Night will release a new album, All Our Yesterdays, on Sept. 18.

For those of you keeping score, Coverdale played with Blackmore in Deep Purple from 1973-75. Turner joined Blackmore in Rainbow from 1980-84, and was then in Deep Purple from 1989-92. Blackmore led Deep Purple from 1968-75 and then again from 1984-93; stints in Rainbow followed both times, in 1975-84, and then in 1993-97.

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