Dave Stewart holds a special place in his heart for Nashville. That s where the legendary British singer, songwriter and guitarist has recorded two albums: 2011 s critically praised The Blackbird Diaries and his 2012 masterpiece, The Ringmaster General, released via Weapons of Mass Entertainment/Surfdog. The album was produced by Stewart and Mike Bradford.
A potent and distinctive musical gumbo with rock, blues, country, rhythm & blues and psychedelia, The Ringmaster General was recorded and mixed by John McBride at the famed studio he owns with Martina McBride, Blackbird Studio. It features 13 songs including striking duets with Alison Krauss, Diane Birch and Joss Stone as well as one sung with and co-written by Jessie Baylin. The blistering guitar skills of Orianthi are featured as well. As with The Blackbird Diaries, Stewart is backed by some of the finest musicians in Nashville including: guitarist Tom Bukovac, drummer Chad Cromwell, bassist Michael Rhodes, steel guitarist Dan Dugmore and Mike Rojas on piano.
Says Stewart: “Well to me Nashville has that electric music energy feeling that you get when you arrive in certain cities or towns like Kingston, Jamaica and Havana in Cuba, except Nashville also has the feeling of being in the heart of a huge country (which it is) and it feels kinda like coming home.”
He elaborates: “But it s mainly about the people I work and play with there. I ve been so fortunate as to have landed in the arms of the McBrides and becoming part of an extended family. John McBride and I share the same crazy passion for sound and all the guys in the band I record with (and the girls) are up for that wild adventure I like to bring in the studio. All the musicians know I m going to do lots of different experiments in songwriting and performance and they also know that I don t know what it s gonna be yet so it makes for an interesting time, a white knuckle ride, and a wild party of sound.”