Geelong-based Alister Turrill has become a distinctive, familiar figure around the Bendigo music scene these past 18 months or so. “Such a beautiful, welcoming town!” says Alister, “I first came for the Blues and Roots Festival in 2013. In three days I played some of my favourite shows to date and met people who I hope will become lifelong friends.”
I’ve seen Alister play a number of times, most memorably at the Gold Dust Lounge at last year’s Festival – his distinctive sound captivating the packed late evening bar.
Alister’s debut release Reverence & Resonance, produced by Lloyd Spiegel, came out in 2013. He regularly plays many tracks off the album though he’s keen to warn Bendigo fans “some of those songs have changed pretty dramatically” in their live delivery.
He also has a new single out – Road to the Grave which was launched at this year’s Port Fairy Folk Festival. “I was ready to try something a little different,” he explains, “I formed Alister Turrill & The Vagabond Brothers” with Jaron Mulholland on bass and Toby Johnson on drums. The new band will be headlining the Ewes, Brews, Stews & Blues showcase event at The Goldmines Hotel on 19 July.
“Where did you get your love of music?” I asked. “My parents for sure… from a young age. They have an amazing CD and record collection. They first took me to the Queenscliff Music Festival when I was 11, and I remember seeing Xavier Rudd for the first time. I was in awe! I’d never seen or heard anything like it. But it was a few years later when I first heard Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young that I knew I had to learn to play the guitar.” Alister also cites Charlie Parr, Lloyd Spiegel, Chase The Sun, Kim Churchill, Steve Smyth, Nick Cave and Lamb of God as influences.
I’m not alone in being pleased that Alister did learn to play the guitar and I’m looking forward to seeing him play long into the future.