Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart discusses new box set, ‘Ebony McQueen,’ and plans for film based on the project

Bay Street Records

Dave Stewart of Eurythmics has just released a box set titled Ebony McQueen, a 26-track collection that tells the fictional story of a teenage boy from northern England who is visited by a voodoo blues queen, setting in motion a journey of discovery.

The box set is the first of multiple Ebony McQueen projects Stewart is planning, along with a film and a stage musical.

Stewart tells ABC Audio that Ebony McQueen was inspired by his own life story, based on how he developed a passion for music as a teenager in Sunderland, U.K.

“I started to write songs and write a story [about] the [time] in my teenage life when I discovered music for the first time,” he explains. “And it was through playing a blues record [by Robert Johnson] that my cousin had sent from Memphis.”

Dave notes that while recuperating from a soccer-related knee injury, he started becoming obsessed with music, and began learning guitar and tuning in to BBC Radio at the time that The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks were becoming popular.

“In that six to nine months, you have no idea how the radio was so eclectically brilliant,” Stewart declares. “[I]t was…literally like having your mind blown.”

Stewart wound up incorporating various musical styles from that period of his life into the songs on Ebony McQueen.

The box set includes three vinyl LPs, two vinyl EPs, two cassettes featuring acoustic versions of the songs and a booklet with photos, lyrics, drawings and an early script Dave wrote for the Ebony McQueen movie.

Dave says casting has already begun for the movie, which he compares to Billy Elliott and Once, noting, “it’s that kind of film where there’s an epiphany and it changes…your life in a massive way.”

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