Dave Stewart Gets the Blues for ‘Blackbird Diaries’
Dave Stewart. Photo by Kristin Burns.
Dave Stewart has a new solo album out this week called “Blackbird Diaries.” For the former musical partner of Annie Lennox in the band Eurythmics, it’s the first solo album in nearly 13 years, and the songs, recorded in Nashville, Tenn., are heavily influenced by the Blues and Americana music.
“When I am making my own music, I like to play the guitar, because that is what I started off doing, learning Blues music from my cousin who sent records from Memphis to northeast England,” Stewart said.
Stewart recorded the album in five days, writing most of the songs during that span, with the exception of “Worth The Waiting For,” which he co-wrote with Bob Dylan. They started that song years ago, with the two musicians sitting and singing around Stewart’s kitchen table. Stewart also teamed up with others for “Blackbird Diaries,” including duets with Stevie Nicks and Martina McBride.
Stewart’s recent collaborations don’t end there. He’s started a so-called super group called SuperHeavy with Mick Jagger, whose lineup includes Joss Stone, A.R. Rahman and Damian Marley. They’re set to release their first album in September.
It isn’t Stewart’s first experience with a super group: The ultimate example, the Traveling Wilburys, which included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison, recorded its eponymous album at Stewart’s home in England.
“After a while everybody feels like experimenting, doing something different, and just playing,” Stewart said. “I just want to play. I saw that happen with the Wilburys in the beginning and SuperHeavy was the same. We were jamming in this huge room and experimenting with different music and cultures… just having a really good time doing it.” In other words, even rock stars need some time off from their day jobs.
I talked to Stewart by phone in Los Angeles:
[A transcript will be added soon.]