Q&A With Musical Duo McAlister Kemp


Australian Country music fans and the industry are buzzing on news that duo McAlister Kemp announced their return to action after a five year hiatus and now with their comeback show sold-out in a matter of days. The duo are proud to announce a second show to take place at the Longyard Hotel on Sunday 26th January at 12pm.

We caught up with the guys on a QA.

1. With such amazing success why did you break up and how was the last 5 years been apart?

  I guess after 5 yrs of such an amazing ride we were just both feeling a little burnt out and needed to step away from it for a while. It had been 3 studio albums, a Best of Album, non-stop touring and creatively we were both a little drained. We also both had a bit of an itch to do some ‘solo’ stuff again as that’s where we started before MK and the break allowed us to do that, both releasing solo albums and getting that out of our systems so to speak.

2. What brought you back to perform for 2020 concerts ?

We reconnected a few months ago, had a good long chat over a few beers, we wrote a new song and joked about maybe doing something again down the track. The very next day CMAA Chairman, Dan Biddle rang to advise us it had been 10 yrs since the release of our first album and stated that he’d like to Manage us on a Reunion Tour in 2020. Crazy timing! The day after that we obtained 700 of our old CD’s from ABC records that were about to be destroyed ‘if not wanted’ so we bought them. So suddenly with a Manager and stock to sell it only made sense to book a gig. We set our sights on Tamworth for the 2020 Festival and secured a spot at The Longyard Hotel straight after the Golden guitar awards on January 25. The show sold out in record time ( 4 days ) and we are now selling tickets to a second, Acoustic duo show on the Sunday.

3. Will, you be likely to return for special gigs and record again?

At this stage, nothing is set in stone. I (Troy) am heading to live in Nashville early next year and both of us are still working on our solo projects. McAlister Kemp is a brand with a good following and it’s been very humbling to see that our fans have stuck by us both as a solo artist and obviously with this MK Tamworth show. But never say never. If more big opportunities present next year for MK I’ll be happy to fly back from Nashville and do them. As for new music, no album plans as yet but we ‘may’ drop a single prior to Tamworth and see how it floats.
4. How do you see the music scene nowadays?

The Australian Country music scene is looking very healthy these days. A lot of new Festivals emerging that are drawing ‘sold out’ crowds, great new artists popping up all the time and the overall quality of recordings and performance is definitely improving. Country is becoming very broad with a lot of sub-genre country sounds. Pop country, in particular, is really working and crossing over seamlessly to commercial radio. Add all that to the big list of country stars Australia already boasts and we think country music really is in a great place right now.
5.  Who is your favorite artist at the moment that you listen to? 

Probably for both of us, no one in particular. We just keep our ear on Spotify and listen to what is current. As songwriters ourselves it’s important to move with the times so listening to everyone is key. That being said, McAlister Kemp have built a reputation writing songs that connect with the everyday person so we’re mindful to keep the song story ‘real’. Actually, if there’s one act we both really dig it’s Luke Combs, we ‘believe’ that guy!
6.  Are there any special highlights you can share that you be doing on stage?

There’s probably too many to mention but one that definitely stands out for us is sharing the stage with Big & Rich at the ‘Country Thunder’ Festival in Wisconsin USA in 2014. We played our song ‘Country Proud’ to 35,000 American country fans and it went off !!

check it out here. :
7.  Best advise you give to writers/artists in the music industry?

Rule number 1 – “The song is king” . Like Adam Brand told us, write songs that ‘connect’ with people and your career will happen. Country music fans can see straight through ‘Fake’. Also, spend your money on your project wisely. Don’t fork out thousands of dollars on record favorite ideas unless you know you have a definite way of having them heard and seen. Work hard, be smart and your day will come.
8.  What are your favorite pastimes and what do you value the most in life?

  Our favorite pastimes are always anything to do with working on our music and obviously spending quality time with friends and family.
Oh and of course reading Hush Hush Biz !! :-). Nice thanks Guys :))

McAlister Kemp at The Longyard Hotel – Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 25th January 2020 – Doors open at 11.00pm – SOLD OUT
Sunday 26th January, 2020 – Doors open 11.30am
Tickets on-sale 9am, Tuesday 10th September.
Tickets available here.

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  1. Barbara Rolls on October 10, 2019

    Looking forward to Tamworth, prob see second show, luv you guys.

  2. karen on October 10, 2019

    can only make it to second show as wont go to late show as Adults only and a little girl would not be happy with me so we have tickets for second show cant wait ❤❤❤🎤🎸🎶🎵