While we were scouring the list of performers at the Voodoo Experience looking for anyone with Mississippi connections, David A. Stewart of the Eurythmics was not someone i expected to end up speaking to. Turns out David spent his early years listening to vinyl sent from his cousin in Memphis - learning to play guitar from the blues licks of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy and others.
Following the Eurythmics, David worked with filmmaker Robert Palmer to produce a documentary about the blues traveling from Memphis to the Delta. They called it Deep Blues and it features some amazing live performances from greats such as R.L. Burnside right on their porches.
We asked him about his journeys with Mississippi blues and also about innovative work he has done with the creative economy and how that relates to work the Mississippi Arts Commission has been doing to illustrate that the arts can be a primary driver of economic growth.
Stewart's recent book and companion iPad app, “The Business Playground: Where Creativity and Commerce Collide” co-authored with Mark Simmons made him a particularly interesting mind to prod on this topic.