The chances of bumping into one of Australia’s most well-versed songwriters and performers on your daily train trip to work might seem as likely as finding that missing sock that never came back from the wash.
But country musician Drew McAlister is increasing those odds for his fans, coming to find the quiet carriages of a train to be the perfect writing spot.
“What I do sometimes is I get on a train and I’ll go from the Blue Mountains to Sydney and then I’ll turn around and come back again, just to sit and write lyrics,” he said.
“I sit in the quiet carriage so there isn’t any distractions and I can try and expand on any ideas that I have written down.”
From quiet carriages, regularly having a yarn with people at his local hotel, to a huge car park party in his home town of Springwood, it might seem a little unusual for a four-time Golden Guitar winner.
But McAlister is just a genuinely down to earth guy.
“I’ve been doing music for a long time, it’s sort of something that I have always done, it’s been a constant in my life, but basically what it comes down to is that I’m just a blue-collar guy who writes and sings music,” he said.
His recent album, ‘Coming Your Way’ is also reflective of this as it explores life, love and all the ups and downs in between.
“Songs like ‘Coming Your Way’, I think about my brother who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa and how he has been able to exist and still work despite very difficult circumstances,” McAlister said.
“He was basically one of the guys who was a catalyst for an idea about that particular song.
“It’s all about that hope really, if you can stick it out, not always, but it should get better.”
Composing since the age of 18, McAlister said the changing industry is something that is often on his mind as he works on new material.
Already exploring new ways to produce his future music, his out of the box thinking is starting to flow into his live performances.
“Normally I get someone to open for me and they’ll do a half hour set beforehand, but I’m actually going to open for myself for the first time ever,” he said.
“I don’t really know anyone who is doing that, but I thought man it gives them bang for buck and it gives them both realms of what I do.”
Drew McAlister will be performing live at Rooty Hill RSL on Saturday, July 28 at 8pm. Tickets start at $10. To book or for more information, call 9625 5500 or visit www.rootyhillrsl.com.au.
Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.