Musician Dave Stewart Unveils ‘Ebony McQueen’ Album, Eyes Movie Version & More Trending News

 

Dave Stewart, the co-founder of the legendary British music duo Eurythmics, had been engaged on a film screenplay based mostly on his youth rising up in Sunderland, England, throughout the Nineteen Sixties, when his cousin despatched him some blues information from Memphis, Tennessee. While he was engaged on the film venture, Stewart struck up a dialog with one of many locals on an island the place he lives half of the time.

“They were talking about their name and how they preferred their maiden name,” Stewart tells Newsweek. “And I said, ‘What’s that?’ She said, ‘McQueen.’ As soon as she said that name, all of this just exploded in my head. I got on my bicycle, I was riding down the road towards my house, and I sang the whole first chorus in my head: ‘Ebony McQueen/I think I met her once inside a time machine.’ By the time I got to the house, I dashed into my little studio and sort of sang that. So that started to put a lot of things into focus about the movie.”

Dave Stewart
Musician and producer Dave Stewart, who simply launched his newest album ‘Ebony McQueen.’
Kristin Burns

The ensuing work is Ebony McQueen, an formidable film, stage musical and album venture concerning the eponymously named fictional voodoo blues queen and the way she impacts a younger boy who finds himself remodeled by blues music. It attracts from Stewart’s personal story of being a youngster raised by his father after his dad and mom cut up up and dwelling throughout a miserable time.

“It’s a coming-of-age kind of movie,” he says. “And she [Ebony McQueen] helps him kind of understand what’s going on with him.”

Last week, Stewart launched the 26-track album model of the venture that includes the catchy, whimsical-sounding title music.

“I play this music [from the blues record sent by my cousin],” he explains concerning the film’s story, “and I just can’t believe it. So I take the cover with me and hide it under my bed. My dad comes in, he doesn’t say much, he’s making a cup of tea. When I go up to my bedroom, Ebony McQueen is sitting on my bed with her guitar in a ghost-like form.

“Of course, I’m like, ‘What?’ I’m having a coronary heart assault, and she or he begins enjoying the blues. I’m like, ‘Shhh, my dad’s downstairs.’ So it turns into humorous, however with a kind of message. She cannot perceive why she’s in Sunderland, I do not perceive what she’s doing there. It slowly dawns on her and she or he goes, ‘Ahh, you bought the blues.’ She explains to him what that feeling is and cope with it.”

Also a part of Ebony McQueen‘s story is a romance that develops between the boy and an Indian woman who lives subsequent door to him.

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“That Indian girl is the only person that understands [what he’s going through],” Stewart explains. “The boy doesn’t dare to tell anybody that there is this woman sitting next to him all the time, passing quite comedic comments, and leading him through life. But he decides to tell the Indian girl because they’ve now fallen for each other. Her reaction is, ‘Yeah. Oh, we have lots of deities in India.’ To her, it was just normal, so he was totally relieved.”

A theme of perseverance runs all through the storyline.

“I just didn’t see any hope, and it was gray, cold, raining, and there was a very somber feeling in the town,” he remembers about his Sunderland upbringing. “Everything was sad. I wanted to get that across, and then how to get out of the well. What is it that allows you to climb out of that hole? In the film, Ebony McQueen, the character, explains not by just teaching and telling [the boy], but by guiding him in a brilliant way towards the light.”

Featuring music from a solid of session gamers, singers, and the 60-piece Budapest Scoring Orchestra, the music of Ebony McQueen attracts from quite a lot of musical influences that knowledgeable Stewart’s youth: the American blues; ’60s British rock, pop and psychedelia; and Broadway musicals.

“So I hear this blues record and it awakens me to music,” he remembers. “Before that, I just wanted to play soccer. Of course, this is 1964, and I’m 14 years old. I listened to the Beatles, the Kinks and the Rolling Stones and it blew my mind. So I got my brother’s guitar out of the wardrobe and started to try and play a few notes. And then I really got into it, obsessed with it, and didn’t know how to really tune it but started to work out Beatles songs and everything.”

On the Broadway affect, Stewart additional explains: “I didn’t realize until I was 30 the influence my dad had. He bought all the Rodgers and Hammerstein [records]—South Pacific, Oklahoma—anything that came out that was a musical, he kept buying it. And so at breakfast, he always put them on and would sing at the top of his voice to Oklahoma or The King and I—all of them. What I realized was they were stuck in my head, not only just songs, but the arrangements, and how amazing they were.”

Dave Stewart and Ebony McQueen
An picture from the album ‘Ebony McQueen’ by musician/producer Dave Stewart.
Image supplied by Milestone Publicity

Now that the Ebony McQueen album is out on this planet, Stewart is concentrating on getting the movie model made—which is at the moment within the pre-production levels. Stewart knew he wished to get the music out first because the engine for the film and musical variations to come back.

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“It’s like having a lot of plates spinning in your head,” he says concerning the course of. “Because movies and musicals take a while, I decided, ‘Okay, I’m just gonna put my own version out first.’ Instead of just sitting here with all these songs in my head and trying to then get somebody to finance a movie and a musical about them, I’ll make them into these great produced pieces of work and do all the orchestrations. I thought, “I’ll simply make it and have it exist.’ It has already grow to be a catalyst for all these different issues: assembly the movie firm to provide, having Lorne Campbell [artistic director of National Theatre Wales] assist write the script. They all got here on board due to listening to the music: ‘Oh, he is truly doing it.'”

It’s a been a busy interval lately for Stewart, who, along with his solo music, has additionally been an in-demand report producer. His earlier credit included Stevie Nicks, Jon Bon Jovi, Ringo Starr, Daryl Hall and Joss Stone. Later this 12 months, he and Eurythmics associate Annie Lennox shall be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In an extended music profession that has seen vital and business successes, Stewart acknowledges that Ebony McQueen is a particular venture for him each personally and professionally.

“It’s funny—it’s like my homecoming,” he says. “It’s resolving many things about how sort of shaken I was about when my mom split from my dad and recognizing how much anxiety I had about it, and how [my] teenage years were traumatic. And then how music helped to heal me in so many ways and introduced me to the fact that things can happen—you’re not stuck, you’re not in a downward spiral—and how music saved my life basically.”

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