The Countrytown & KIX Country Centre Stage Artist is Drew McAlister

5 December 2022 | 8:15 pm | Staff Writer

Countrytown in partnership with KIX Country is proud to announce Drew McAlister as our ‘Centre Stage’ artist of the week.

Countrytown in partnership with KIX Country is proud to announce Drew McAlister as this week’s ‘Centre Stage’ artist. Every week we'll be shining a light on a single artist across all platforms including online features, airplay, and social support.

Drew’s love of music began at a young age, and he started singing at seven-years-old. He later took up playing guitar and won the Gympie Music Muster Talent Search in 2003.

As a teenager, he travelled the country with the cast of the Broadway hit, Jesus Christ Superstar, alongside John Farnham, Jon Stevens and Kate Ceberano in the principal roles. He later performed as part of Johnny Cash tribute show, Aussies Walk the Line, and with various bands over the years. Originally being signed as a pop-soul artist with EMI, a trip to Nashville shifted his focus, steering him towards his home-grown roots in country.

He released his debut solo album, There To Here, in 2008 before teaming up with Troy Kemp to form McAlister Kemp. From the immediate, breakout success in 2010 (which saw them take home the award for ‘New Talent of the Year’ at the 2011 Golden Guitars) through to disbanding in 2015, the duo earned their stripes as one of the highest selling and most loved touring acts in country music.

The powerhouse duo released three studio albums – All Kinds of Tough (2010), Country Proud (2012) and Harder to Tame (2014) – produced number one video and airplay hits including Country Proud, Hell Yeah, It Don’t Buy You Love, Harder to Tame, Fight Me and All Kinds of Tough. Throughout their five years together, the duo also toured extensively, playing to big crowds on large festival stages, and opening for the likes of Adam Brand and international acts Alan Jackson and Big & Rich. 

After the split, Drew released his second solo album, Black Sky in 2015. 2017’s Coming Your Way followed, which was nominated for ‘Contemporary Country Album of the Year’ at the CMA Awards the following year. 

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In 2016, Drew also became a member of Adam Brand and The Outlaws, alongside Adam Brand, Matt Cornell, Mike Carr and Travis Collins. The album peaked at #6 on the ARIA Charts, earned them an ARIA nomination and was awarded the CMC Award for ‘Highest Selling Album’ in 2017.

Drew reunited with Troy in 2020 to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of McAlister Kemp’s debut album, All Kinds Of Tough. Originally announced as a one-off special concert for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, they broke a new record at the Longyard Hotel when their show sold-out within four days, leading to a second show announced for the following day. They shortly reformed and released their fourth studio album, We Roll On. Recorded between Nashville and Sydney, the album features the singles After The Breakdown and Paid For Drinking Beer – their first new releases in over 7 years.

Produced by Robert Mackay at his studio in Hervey Bay, Drew’s fourth solo studio album, Fabric of Life was released earlier this week on CD.

“On this solo album the stories are about… well, basically you, and me and people you know in your life, and your stories, their stories and my stories! It’s an album that is acoustic and stripped right down so the lyric does the work and not big production. This is an album you listen to in the car when you’ve got time to reflect,” Drew shared. “I’m proud to say, this is an album I've always wanted to make, and it has been years in the making.”


Keep up to date with Drew McAlister on his Facebook page here.