Parmalee Photo Gallery
Parmalee's country rock sound has its roots in the bluegrass, traditional
country, southern rock and blues covers the guys grew up hearing their families
Matt and Scott Thomas grew up near Greenville,
NC watching their father Jerry front a popular local southern rock blues band.
The boys watched and learned, picking up their own instruments and jamming
along with their dad's band. From this they learned how to integrate their own
style into the songs they were playing. Barry Knox, who played drums for the
church choir, loved what his cousins were doing and soon joined them.
All that practice paid off one night when Matt and Scott, then teenagers,
snuck into a club to watch their father perform. "The guitar player got too
drunk before the gig and didn't show," Matt explains. "I knew all the songs so
my dad called me on stage. I was in the band from that point on." Scott
replaced the drummer, and Barry learned bass in order to secure his spot in the
band. The line-up became the newly minted The Thomas Brothers Band.
The Thomas Brothers Band cut their teeth on the local club circuit and would
often share the same marquee with a cover band that starred their friend Josh
McSwain on guitar and keys. Josh's upbringing paralleled Matt, Scott and
Barry's. Josh also traveled and played with his father who was in a bluegrass
band called "Get Honked." A fan of Josh's musical prowess, Matt invited Josh to
play with Barry, Scott and himself. The foursome clicked immediately on stage.
Their first gig was held at local watering hole, Corrigans, near East Carolina
University where the guys
went to school. From this moment in 2001 Parmalee was born.
The band set up camp every Tuesday and Thursday evening in the Parmele, NC
barn they named Studio B after its original builder Mark Bryant. They added an
extra "e" to the band's name to make it easier for those outside the area to
pronounce it. "Tuesdays and Thursdays were the only nights we could all get
together and rehearse - the rest of the time we were each out working in order
to fund Parmalee," Matt says. "Every person in town could hear us practice in
the barn, so we also had to stop at 11 p.m. to be considerate of the
The residents of Parmele weren't the only ones within earshot. The band
developed a devout regional following based on the intensity of their live
shows. But, the guys knew to turn their dreams into reality they would have to
leave North Carolina.
Their journey took them all over the country including New
York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta as they tried to
find their musical direction. All of the producers, managers, and label
representatives said the same thing: "you guys need to be in Nashville."
During the same weekend as the infamous Nashville flood, Parmalee and
Fanning wrote "Musta Had a Good Time" - even recording the demo in the RV's
recording "studio" - oblivious to the devastation that was happening to the
city around them. After the "Flood Sessions," Parmalee went into the studio
with New Voice to record some sides, including "Carolina," and "Musta Had a Good Time." NV
played the songs for BBR Music Group President/CEO Benny Brown who was
impressed and asked to see a showcase as soon as the band returned to Nashville.
After their September 21, 2010 show, Josh and Barry were packing gear in the
venue while Matt and Scott were outside loading their RV when two armed men
knocked on the door. The men put a gun to Matt's head and demanded money. Shots
were fired. Scott, who possessed a concealed weapons license, fired back. One
of the gunmen died and Scott was shot three times. One bullet hit Scott's
femoral artery causing him to nearly bleed to death. "He bled out on the air
flight to Charlotte,
and his heart stopped twice," Matt recalls. "When we got to the hospital, the
doctor gave him a five percent chance to live."
Scott was hospitalized in Charlotte,
NC for 35 days - 10 of which he
spent in a coma. News of the shooting spread like wildfire and the local news
stations carried weekly reports on Scott's progress. Parmalee's fans turned out
in droves to show their support. Through Facebook campaigns and benefits they
raised enough money to help cover Scott's medical bills. The Nashville community also rallied behind
Parmalee donating autographed items and VIP packages to help cover Scott's
medical expenses. "We knew we had a lot of friends and fans," Josh says. "But
we found out exactly how many we had."
By February 2011, Scott was well enough to get behind a drum kit for the
first time and the band finally performed their promised label showcase. "We
wouldn't tell everybody how bad off I was because there was no way I wasn't
going to play that show," Scott says. "I was in a leg brace, but I only had to
get through six songs. Parmalee had fought for so much for so long that we
decided we hadn't come this far to stop now." Through sheer willpower, the band
nailed the set and landed a deal with Stoney Creek Records, home to ACM Vocal
Duo of the Year Thompson Square and chart-topper Randy Houser.
All of Parmalee's hard work, dedication and perseverance is paying off in a
big way. Country fans voted the band's debut single, "Musta Had A Good Time,"
#1 for 4 consecutive weeks on SiriusXM's The Highway "Hot 30 LIVE" countdown
and the song became a Top 40 hit on mainstream country radio. The fun-loving
party anthem has been featured in national sporting event broadcasts from the
PGA to MLB. Parmalee was named a "Bubbling Under Artist" by Billboard magazine
(June 2013) and one of Clear Channel's NEW! Artists to Watch in 2013. MTV
Networks also hand picked Parmalee to perform as part of its 2013 O Music
Awards and the foursome recently appeared on the 4th Annual American Country
Parmalee recently made history when its multi-week #1 smash "Carolina" became the
longest climbing single by a duo or group in the 24-year history of the
Billboard Country Airplay Chart. Parmalee was also the first multi-member
Country act to garner a #1 single on both the Billboard Country Airplay and
Mediabase/ Country Aircheck charts since Florida Georgia Line. "Carolina" was recently
certified GOLD (for over 500,000 in sales) by the RIAA.
Parmalee's debut country album, FEELS LIKE CAROLINA, has earned critical
praise from People, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, Billboard and more.
A 2014 semi-finalist for the Academy of Country Music's coveted "New Artist of
the Year" award, Parmalee recently joined one of country's leading male vocalists,
Jake Owen, on his Days Of Gold Tour as the band's new single, "Close Your Eyes"
climbs the country radio charts.