THE RINGMASTER GENERAL captures DAVE STEWART through the whirlwind recording process at John and Martina McBride’s Blackbird Studios, of two explosive albums, the acclaimed 2011 release, The Blackbird Diaries, and the recently released The Ringmaster General. This tongue-in-cheek documentary follows STEWART’s adventures in songwriting, letting the viewer witness his eccentric but compelling methods of creativity. The days were filled with mayhem and martinis, while a circus of characters cross STEWART’s path; many muses appear to join in the fun including Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Colbie Caillat, The Secret Sisters, Joss Stone, Stevie Nicks, Jessie Baylin, Diane Birch and Orianthi.
The road that led to THE RINGMASTER GENERAL begins in London with the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano. DAVE STEWART was grounded there with no hope of getting home to Los Angeles. A wander down Denmark Street leads him to a vintage guitar shop where an old acoustic guitar catches DAVE’s eye. Learning the previous owner was an eccentric country and western star named Red River Dave, STEWART gets inspired. The next morning a flight opens up, by way of Nashville, and STEWART jumps at the chance to investigate the music city. Magically Big Kenny (Big and Rich) leads the way into adventure, with the documentary capturing a unique moment in time where the music business is locked out and the lunatics take over the asylum.