Drew McAlister has long been recognised as one of the nation’s premier songwriters and performers. In addition to penning scores of enduring country-rock classics as one half of barnstorming duo McAlister Kemp, McAlister has composed hundreds of tunes both with and for artists from Graeme Connors to Luke O’Shea to Tamara Stewart. He’s worked with U.S. songwriting royalty including Brett Jones (Jason Aldean), Brian Maher (Taylor Swift), and Dylan Altman (Tim McGraw), and has performed alongside the cream of Aussie country talent: Beccy Cole, Sara Storer, Melinda Schneider, Adam Brand, Mike Carr, and countless others.
McAlister’s work as composer, performer, and recording artist has all the warmth and healing qualities of the natural hot springs for which his Northern NSW hometown of Moree is known. With second solo outing and ABC Music debut Black Sky – McAlister’s first post-McAlister Kemp release – the versatile star shows off his trademark earthy, anthemic style as never before. Produced by McAlister with input from Ben Robertson, Black Sky swells with the singer’s heartfelt reflections on contemporary Australian life.
The infectious “In a Band” honours those aspects of the musician’s life that most fuel McAlister’s creative fire.
“If you look at the career someone might have in music, what it comes back to is – and I noticed this about McAlister Kemp – the one true thing, the one really real, organic and honest thing about music is, first, the creation of it, and then the actual performing of it,” McAlister says. “That hour-and-fifteen-minutes on stage is still like nothing else you can ever do. It’s like a rush that you can’t not want more of. ‘In a Band’ captures a bit of that journey.”
There’s driving rock in barroom country stomp “More To It” – an impassioned defence of country music – and the electrifying “Clyde”, a cautionary tale of youthful rebellion and escape gone wrong.
‘If I wondered why she ran that night I never thought to ask, we were headin’ into trouble we were goin’ there real fast. Two teenage desperados with my foot down on the gas, I was lookin’ for a future she was runnin’ from her past.’
Black Sky is Drew McAlister at his rousing, honest best – a rare album of both formidable pedigree and boundless immediacy and heart. Above all, Black Sky is an album overflowing with stories of us.
Source: Drew McAlister