Stewart Impresses Yet Again On New LP

Courtesy: Weapons of Mass Entertainment/Surf Dog

Dave Stewart still has it.  Every time that the former Eurythmics member has released a new album, he has reinvented himself to great success.  His new album, “The Ringmaster General” is no exception.  While his most recent album, “The Blackbird Diaries” (2011) had a touch of country in it, this new album seems more focused on country, even going so far as to include a song titled, ‘A New Song For Nashville.’  Of course, country isn’t the only style that Stewart covers on this release.  The album opens with the semi-psychedelic radio ready rock song, ‘I Got Love.’  He pairs up with Joss Stone for this song.  The pairing is no coincidence as the pair recently toured together.  And it makes for a fun start to the album.  They sing on this song, “I got love/but I feel so bad.”  The lyrics don’t seem like they’d go with the jamming, up-tempo music.  But all together, it works very well.  The addition of the sax part on this song adds an extra little flare, too.

‘I Got Love’ is followed up with a more mellow song in ‘Just Another Fall.’  Stewart is joined on this song by singer/songwriter Diane Burch.  And just as [Joss] Stone’s vocals were a welcome addition to ‘I Got Love’, Birch’s vocals make ‘Just Another Fall’ work just as well.  This song comes off lyrically as one centered on the topic of relationships as the pair sings to one another, “I could hardly believe it when you said you had an open mind/I was so excited/I was in love/I was so blind/cracks appeared in the ice/ but they were pretty/just like Venice lace/I could see what was gonna happen/as the lines/they appeared on your face.” 

“The Ringmaster General” has its share of fun up-tempo songs.  But it also has more deeply emotional songs such as his duet with country star Alison Krauss on ‘Drowning in the Blues.’  Krauss’ voice is as beautiful and powerful as ever even in its gentility.  Stewart expertly matches her take on the song, too.  The song’s music is a perfect emotional match for the pair’s sound.  It catches every nuance of the song, all while adding its own extra emotion, making it one of the album’s best songs.  It would be no surprise if this song becomes one of the album’s many singles.

‘Drowning in The Blues’, ‘Just Another Fall’ and ‘I Got Love’ are just a few of the songs that make Dave Stewart’s “The Ringmaster General” another great album.  The whole album is loaded with songs that every listener will find to be their own favorite.  Fans will also be excited to know that Dave will be running a UK tour in September.  And as part of that tour, he is giving fans the chance to be his opening act on the tour.  All the information on the contest can be found on his website, http://davestewart.com.  More information on his upcoming tour, his new album and more is also available online at http://www.facebook.com/davestewart, http://www.youtube.com/user/DaveStewartOfficial, http://www.myspace.com/thedavestewart, and http://twitter.com/davestewart.

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The Business Playground is Child’s Play in a good way

Dave Stewart is most commonly known for his role as one half of the pop group, Eurythmics.  But what a lot of people probably don’t know about Mr. Stewart is that he is quite the intelligent businessman.  And his recent book, The Business Playground:  Where Creativity and Commerce Collide shows just how smart he is.  Stewart partnered with Mark Simmons to write what comes across as a textbook, but is easy enough for even a casual reader or even a business student to understand.  From the colors and cartoony characters, and simple writing style (and associated short chapters), it’s likely to become one of the next standards for understanding business success.  It will help businesses succeed both at the employee level, and that of the CEO. 

The Business Playground:  Where Creativity and Commerce Collide has a lot going for itself.  It’s written in the simplest possible terms for its readers.  The writing style used for the book is so simple that it would be no surprise if at least some colleges and universities across the globe were using it in their business management classes.  If not, they should be.  It even includes pre-highlighted sections that point out some important and semi-important facts.  Among those highlighted sections is one statement that expertly sums up the entire book.  It reads, “It’s likely that some people are in fact more creative than other people, but we all have the ability to think creatively and certain activities can bring out that ability”.  Stewart and Simmons attempt to bring out that ability by writing the book in layman’s terms, instead of business legalese that only a select group can grasp.

This may come across as odd, but the book’s simple terms are only a small part of what makes The Business Playground the innovation that it is.  Most books about businesses are as cold as the businesses about which they are written.  This work, on the other hand, is much warmer and more welcoming.  It’s not a standard hardback book with lots of big words in tiny print.  Instead, it’s a paperback book.  It’s not stiff and rigid, like said businesses, and their descriptive text books.  The chapters are relatively short.  And they’re explained in a way that not only students and businesses can understand, but that average readers can grasp. 

Still not enough?  Well how about the fact that it uses bright colors and cartoonish figures throughout.  Yes that’s right.  It incorporates lots of bright colors and cartoonish figures to grasp the rearder’s attention.  One would think it was written for children.  But adults are nothing but grown up children.  Most casual readers don’t want something overly difficult.  And if ever there was something difficult to understand, it’s how to get one’s innovations to be used in business.  By using the bright colors, and cartoony figures, the book is easier on the reader’s eyes.    In turn readers are more inclined to not immediately toss the book aside.

The Business Playground:  Where Creativity and Commerce Collide is one of the best books about the business world written in recent history.  Because of its ease in reading, and general assembly, it could become the model for businesses and business schools alike for many years to come.  And it could make Stewart and Simmons themselves leaders of the business world.