GRAMMY-winning artist Dave Stewart is set to release his latest solo album, The Ringmaster General, on Sept. 4. Ahead of the album's release, GRAMMY.com has your exclusive first listen to "Drowning In The Blues," a duet with the top all-time female GRAMMY winner (27 awards) Alison Krauss, which Stewart describes as "a love song to a stranger."
Listen to "Drowning In The Blues" below and read a brief GRAMMY.com interview with Stewart:
How would you describe the songwriting process for The Ringmaster General?
It was as chaotic as usual. I wrote and recorded 13 songs in five days in Nashville. I never sit in front of a piano with a blank piece of paper and stare. I'm more like a crazed filmmaker/poet who crashes into a room and falls on the floor singing a chorus.
What was the creative spark that ignited "Drowning In The Blues"?
It was the thought of meeting Alison Krauss. I wrote it about her so I used hoodoo or my mojo — a kind of juju — in order to visualize her singing with me.
How did Alison end up appearing on the song?
Well, because I concentrated all my powers on the idea of it, the song spilled out and like magic Alison appeared. She was even more than I expected — a genius. She's like a feral child, she has huge magical powers and I saw a bit of it. She has it under control but there are flashes that light up the room.
As a member of the groundbreaking pop duo Eurythmics with Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart won a GRAMMY for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Missionary Man" in 1986. Most recently, Stewart produced Stevie Nicks' 2011 album, In Your Dreams. That same year, Stewart recorded an album with SuperHeavy, an all-star project featuring Mick Jagger, Damian Marley, A.R. Rahman, and Joss Stone, and released a solo album, The Blackbird Diaries.
Produced by Stewart with Mike Bradford, The Ringmaster General was recorded at Blackbird Studio, a Nashville-based facility he owns with Martina McBride. In addition to Krauss, the album features collaborations with Diane Birch ("Just Another Fall"), Stone ("I Got Love"), guitarist Orianthi ("Girl In A Catsuit"), and singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin ("God Only Knows You Now"). Musicians contributing to the album include guitarists Tom Bukovac and Orianthi, drummer Chad Cromwell, bassist Michael Rhodes, and pianist Mike Rojas.