Drew McAlister has long been recognised as one of the nation’s premier songwriters and performers. The former McAlister Kemp mainstay has penned 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 performed alongside the cream of Aussie country talent including Beccy Cole, Sara Storer, Adam Brand and countless others. With second solo outing “Black Sky”, the versatile star shows off his trademark earthy, anthemia style as never before. Recorded in Nashville with the cream of Music City’s mythic session players, “Black Sky” is a landmark release encompassing co-writes with long time creative foil Alan Caswell, along with Kaylens Rain’s, Glen Harrison and Caitlyn Shadbolt. Drew McAlister’s sound is best described, as the singer himself puts it, as ‘organic country rock’: music that moves us both to celebrate life’s greatest joys, and to reflect upon the challenges that confront us all.
“Black Sky” showcases eleven soaring anthems of resilience and love, anchored throughout by McAlister’s incisive reflections on the lessons that bind us together as a people. After winning the Gympie Muster’s prestigious Maton Talent Search in 2003, McAlister netted his first Golden Guitar in 2007, taking home the Vocal Collaboration of the Year Award for ‘A Little Bit of Country in Us All’. He’s since collected Golden Guitars for Song of the Year and Heritage Song of the Year (for Luke O’Shea co-write ‘Lady of the Land’), and garnered scores of APRA, TIARA, and Victorian National Country Music Awards wins and nominations.
McAlister Kemp’s three-album run firmly established McAlister as one of Australian country music’s enduring greats. All Kinds of Tough (2010), Country Proud (2012), and Harder to Tame (2014) stormed the ARIA Country and Mainstream Albums Charts, spawning irrepressible radio favourites such as “It Don’t Buy You Love”, “Something to Build On”, and anti-bullying anthem “Fight Me”, along with a slew of Number 1 hits including “All Kinds of Tough”, “Hell Yeah”, and “Hard Work”. Along the way, MK picked up a Golden Guitar for Best New Talent, took out the 2011 CMC Music Award for Best New Oz Artist, performed at Nashville’s CMA Fest, opened for the legendary Alan Jackson on the megastar’s sold-out 2011 Australian tour, and joined country music giants Big & Rich on the road in the U.S. “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.