McAlister Drive
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McAlister Drive

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Americana

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"McAlister Drive Live In Studio"

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To watch video of McAlister Drive perform “Ocean Skip Away” Click Here!

McAlister Drive, a band founded in New Orleans in 2006, brought an eclectic sound to the WERS studio Monday morning. Fronted by Christoph Edward Rudolf Krey, an impressive multi-tasker on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and piano, with Scarlett Deering on fiddle and vocals and Grace Van’t Hoft on banjo, dobro, and vocals, the three members of the band delivered songs that sampled a variety of genres. It’s been a long-running joke for both the members of the band and their fans alike that the band members themselves haven’t quite figured out how to define their music. In the past, McAlister Drive has billed itself as “rock for people who like Folk, Soul, Blues, and Pop,” and they cite Mumford & Sons and Ryan Adams as major musical influences. While their sound certainly encompasses all of these genres, the band has started to grow in a particular direction.
“I think it’s got a little bit more sort of a full sound,” said Krey, when asked about the evolution of McAlister Drive over the past several years. “We’ve gone more in an Americana type direction instead of the rock direction we used to be. Not to say that we don’t still play a lot of rock music on stage; we’ve just grown to be a band that can kind of play any type of different show and any different type of festival.”

The Americana, folksy element is obvious in their first song, “Ocean Skip Away,” off of their 2012 full-length album The Goddess. It’s a track that’s both sad and hopeful, a song that surely resonates with countless fans. Krey’s performance on harmonica, guitar, and vocals was personal and accessible; there is a genuine emotion in his voice as he sings, and the wistful lyrics of, “Gonna get you back/get you back girl,” were empowered by the vocal harmonies created by Krey, Deering, and Van’t Hoft. The harmonizing of three voices created the full sound Krey referenced, but even in that fullness the sound remained gentle, and all of the components of the song worked together, with Deering’s fiddle playing shining.

Undoubtedly, Krey’s experience in New Orleans has helped immensely in shaping the sound, too.

“New Orleans taught me a lot,” said Krey. “It taught me how to play with a lot of different types of musicians.” He also explained the attitude regarding music in New Orleans, saying that the locals are “very knowledgeable about what good music and good beats are, and they keep pushing you to write better music all the time.”

Following “Ocean Skip Away,” Krey put down his guitar and sat at the piano and started the opening of “Hands In Your Pockets,” a track from both their 2010 EP Missing Figures and their full album. Without the guitar and piano, the song sounds miles away from “Ocean Skip Away,” but it still has the distinct McAlister Drive sound thanks to Krey’s vocals, the harmonizing between band members, and the fiddle. Less Americana than “Ocean Skip Away,” the version of the song performed in the WERS studio veered more to the rock side.

McAlister Drive ended their set with “Path,” also off The Goddess, another piano-heavy track. A heart wrenching songsounding more soulful and with the slightest country traces in Krey’s lamenting vocals, the performance showcased the diversity of the band. While their signature banjo and fiddle do place the band more in the Americana category, there is still a more mainstream, accessible aspect to their music, most likely due to the soul in Krey’s vocals and the harmonizing. The subject matter of the songs also has the ability to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. It is impressive that McAlister Drive is able to so effortlessly alter their sound from song-to-song while still retaining their signature blending of genres. They are musical chameleons with heartfelt, genuine lyrics, and Boston is lucky to have McAlister Drive as a part of the music scene.

By Libby Webster
Photo by Chris Paredes - WERS 88.9 FM Emerson Radio


"Rock n Roll Rumble"

Rumble Crush - WZLX 100.7 FM - Boston Band Crush


"Smoke and Sand @ SXSW 2011"

They have made their reputation for scalding live performances. Led by songwriter Christoph Krey, MD will be featured at the 2011 Canadian Music Week, the historic Boston Harborfest, and will finally live their return to the Crescent City for the French Quarter Music Festival. - Ryan's Smashing Life


"McAlister Drive"

For fans of Tom Petty and Kings Of Leon, they have a pop/rock/retro soul vibe. - Kings of A&R


"CD Review"

The first track, “Best Dressed,” sounds like it could have come from the rock and rollers in Jet if they had taken on some poppier influences. The next track, “Hands In Your Pockets,” hooks the listener before belting into one banger of a pop song with a chorus sure to be stuck in your head for the rest of the week. Do yourself a favor and pick up this album if you’d like to give your vocal chords a workout. - Dig Boston


"SXSW Sound Effects Weekend Recap"

The writer behind the Boston blog Ryan’s Smashing Life curated today’s Smoke & Sand showcase, which registered just north of 8,000 RSVPs for its line-up of hometown heavies like McAlister Drive and The Gallery. The relatively tiny country bar Rusty Spurs quickly filled to capacity, and it was clear that the insanity of coordinating three stages' worth of concerts was taking its toll on Spaulding and his crew. - Boston Globe


"Big Night in Boston"

They're one of those bands known for their on-stage epiphanies... Having built a solid reputation as a smoldering live band, McAlister Drive are set to release a new album that promises to win their new audiences. Missing Figures could be the band's finest work to-date. Missing Figures was produced by Ed Valauskas @ the legendary Q Division. - Ryan's Smashing Life


"Local Boston Bands on Booking A Tour"

What does it take for an independent band, without the help of a label, to go about booking a tour? Well, a good musician will tell you that you need to know when to answer the door when opportunity knocks, learn to collaborate with others in the industry, utilize every tool you can, and to always show love to your fans.
I have interviewed two rad dudes in up-and-coming bands based right here in Boston, Massachusetts. The first was Owen Ross, guitarist of the electrified Hip-Hop/Jazz ensemble known as Re-Up. Then I had the privilege of talking to Christoph Krey of the Indie/Rock ‘n’ Roll powerhouse, McAlister Drive. Originally hailing from New Orleans where Christoph lived on a street called McAllister Drive, these guys have been rocking Sonicbids for the last three years.
Re-Up is an eight-piece group formed about two years ago after meeting, jamming and gathering in the hallways of Berklee College of Music. They have been a member of Sonicbids since the time of their formation and they just recently booked a tour stretching from Mass, to New York, to Canada, to Michigan, Illinois, to Pennsylvania and back to Mass. I asked Owen how they managed to accomplish this extensive booking and if he had any suggestions for other artists trying to book tours.
Owen: “We booked the tour entirely on our own. At least initially…Basically, we just got on the phone and the internet and reached out to as many people as possible. Craigslist was a big help! It was a lot of work but we made a lot of great connections and we are looking forward to a great tour. (Also) It’s important to cater to the diehard fans above all. Those are the ones that are going to tell all of their friends about you and bring people out to your shows. Show your fans love and they will send it back.”
It’s important to remember that reaching out to external sites like Sonicbids and even Craigslist can help your band book a tour. There are also a ton of other websites out there like MusicNomad and ArtistData who have a ton of really great and useful tools that artists can use to book shows, as well as promote them.
After speaking with Owen I got in touch with Christoph of McAlister Drive. I asked Christoph what he has found to be the most effective method for booking shows in cities and towns that you are unfamiliar with. He replied:
Christoph: “The most effective method of booking shows is very black and white, PERSISTENCE and hard work. Every musician should think of a band as a corporate business. There is always a hierarchy from the label to the roadie or the CEO to the office assistant. We have found that the best method of getting the contacts for clubs and venues is through other bands/managers/agents that are local to those areas. The important thing is to listen to the people who have experience and don’t let an ego get in the way. (Also) You need to be a unit and all of you need to have a role in the process, whether it’s booking, promoting, driving, design work, networking, selling, whatever, you all need to be working hard for the same goal. Make your band accessible! If someone calls/e-mails/texts/comes to your show, follow up with them within the day or within the hour.”
These two guys have offered some very good suggestions here, which actually seem to overlap. So let’s recap. Some things to remember when attempting to book your own tour:
Reach out to other bands and people in the local scene, persistently
Utilize tools like Craigslist, ArtistData, MusicNomad & Sonicbids
Your band IS your business, treat it as such
Don’t think you’re too good to listen to advice and ask for help
Always be ACCESSIBLE and PROFESSIONAL - Adam Kipfer - Sonicbids


"iRock Ourstage.com Featured Artist"

Massachusetts has long been know for various acts who bring something unique to the music table. With the western and central cities of MA controlling a large portion of the hardcore and metal scene, the east is brimming with some great rock and punk acts, such as the Dropkick Murphy’s and Piebald. That’s only two so let’s add another rock band to the list. Soon be making waves and finding a home in our itunes (if they haven’t already) is McAlister Drive. The group was founded by Massachusetts native and singer songwriter Christoph Krey, who mashed up many different styles into a single, groove-producing factory. Don’t take my word for it, check out their tracks “Drowning,” ”I Wish I Knew” and “Got It Right”. One listen and you’ll know that they definitely got it right.

I’m happy to announce this week’s iRock featured artist: McAlister Drive!
- Rob Petrini - Ourstage.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

McAlister Drive is ROCK for people who like Folk, Soul, Blues, and Pop. With a sound that inspires Dave Grohl and Tom Petty to walk down the aisle during a Zac Brown Band song, you might find McAlister Drive to be the newborn lovechild or participating in the open bar at the reception. Some would say its called Americana and others believe its a new sound, capturing followers around the world who have an infused genre mindset.

Band Members