Australian country music duo McAlister Kemp, featuring Drew McAlister, left, and Troy Kemp will perform a special concert at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Supplied by Universal Music Australia.
Australian country music duo McAlister Kemp, featuring Drew McAlister, left, and Troy Kemp will perform a special concert at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Supplied by Universal Music Australia.

McAlister Kemp to play special concert at Tamworth

IT will be a busy weekend at the Tamworth Country Music Festival for McAlister Kemp.

The country music duo will play a special concert to showcase their new album on SaturdayJan 25 night after the Golden Guitar Awards at the Blazes Showroom at the West Tamworth Leagues club.

Drew McAlister said he and Troy Kemp were surprised to be nominated for an award this year.
"2013 was an off-album year for us, so we didn't expect to get anything," he told APN.

The duo is up for CMC Video Clip of the Year for the title track off their new album Harder to Tame, which was released last weekJan 17.

McAlister is also up for two other awards for his collaboration with Luke O'Shea, one half of the husband-and-wife duo O'Shea.

Their song Lady of the Land has been nominated for Heritage Song of the Year and APRA Song of the Year.

"We've known each other for years; I'm a huge Luke fan," he said.

"He's an incredible songwriter and a great bloke... (the song) is his baby, his idea. I'm just proud to be in the room.

"One award I've always aspired to win or be nominated for is the APRA Song of the Year."

McAlister hopes the industry is able to put the dramas of last year, when John Williamson resigned as the president of the CMAA over the "Americanisation" of Australian country music and Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey withdrew their album from the awards, behind it.

"Hopefully now we've allowed enough time to pass to just focus on celebrating a lot of hard work by a lot of artists to get back to what it is, which is the music," he said.

"I want to see if I can catch up with Luke Austen, Luke O'Shea and Adam Harvey. We don't get to see each other that much during the year. Hopefully I get to catch up with a few of those boys to have a beer."

Win or lose, the weekend is all about the album launch for McAlister Kemp.

The pair spent six weeks in Nashville last year working on their third studio album.

"We sourced a lot of songs in America, more than we have on our last two albums," McAlister said.

"Harder to Tame was one of the first ones we heard in a meeting with our producer Jeremy Stover, and it was pretty obvious we were going to record it. Then it became obvious that it should be the title track and the first single.

It's got a bit of an edge to it, which is what we wanted to do for this album."

The 42nd annual Country Music Awards of Australia take place in Tamworth on Saturday,Jan 25.

McAlister Kemp plays the Coffs Harbour Ex-Servicemans' Club on February 22 and the Charters Towers Country Music Festival on May 3.



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