Sponsor: Mosaic Life Care & La Fuente Mexican Restaurants & Oak Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care
with Special Guests: State Line Drive
7:00pm Saturday, August 29th, 2015
Price: $35.00 at the Gate
From this tiny town that's home to a gas station, two blinking yellow
lights, and a small tin- roofed barn dubbed Studio B, country rockers Parmalee
launched their long journey to Nashville. The near-fatal robbery Parmalee
experienced after a show would have destroyed most bands. But brothers Matt and
Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knox and longtime friend Josh McSwain didn't call it
quits. Instead it reinforced their intense motivation and dedication to one
another and to their determination to succeed.
Each obstacle that delayed Parmalee's arrival to Nashville was an extra
mile that allowed the groundbreaking sounds of artists like Jason Aldean and
Eric Church to pave the way for the worlds of country radio and Parmalee's
brand of country music to meet at the perfect crossroad.
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."
Matt, Barry and Josh parked their RV, which doubled as their studio, in the
Comfort Inn parking lot on Nashville's
famed Demonbreun Street
near Music Row. For the next month the parking lot was home and office. They
began writing new material and networking. Their new connections led to a
co-writing session with David Fanning, who is part of the celebrated production
team New Voice with Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy and Rich Redmond. "Going into
these appointments, you never know who you're going to meet or how it's going
to go," Matt explains. "But when I wrote with David, we hit it off."
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.
Parmalee put together a short tour in North Carolina
to fund the trip back to Music
City. But after the first
show, plans changed.
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.
Looking back on their experiences, the members of Parmalee have no regrets
about the path they chose. "All the obstacles and craziness we've been through
allowed us to help find our home in Nashville,"
Matt says. "It took us going through all that to mold us," Barry continues. "In
Hollywood and New York we were always pushed in opposite
directions. But Nashville
helped us capture our sound - a sound that's authentic to who we are as both
artists and as people."
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. In 2014, Parmalee earned a semi-finalist nod for the Academy of Country Music's coveted "New Artist of
the Year" award, a 2014 Teen Choice Award nomination for "Choice Country Group"
and toured with one of country's leading male vocalists, Jake Owen, on his Days
Of Gold Tour. Parmalee's latest hit, "Close Your Eyes," recently became its
second consecutive Top 3 hit at country radio. This year, Parmalee hits the
road with Brad Paisley on his "Country Nation World Tour," kicking off Jan. 17,
2015 in Morgantown, WV. The band's new single, "Already Callin'
You Mine" impacts country radio on Feb. 2, 2015.
State Line Drive
Micah Marrs has been singing with his twin brother Mason from the time they
could talk. When he was 11 years old, his parents gave him his first
guitar for Christmas. A few months later the Marrs brothers started
playing for tips as street performers around Kansas City. Their street corner
performances soon led to invitations to play at church services, charity events
and parties. Before making the switch to country music, the Marrs brothers
traveled across the country leading worship for youth ministry events.
When not on the road with State Line Drive, they still enjoy leading
worship for their church youth group, as well as Sunday morning services at
churches around town. Most of the time Micah has a guitar in hands,
but he does sit down at the piano from time to time, especially when writing
Mason Marrs and his brother argued about who would be the drummer when
they first talked about starting a band. Mason won out, and started
playing the drums when he was 11. While Mason spends the majority of his
time behind the kit, or on the cajon, he also dabbles a bit with guitar,
mandolin and keys. When they aren't performing with State Line Drive, you
will find the Marrs brothers running at a local park or working out in the
gym. They also enjoy hanging out with friends at local restaurants or
playing disk golf. When they aren't playing country music, they are listening
to it. They are true country music fans, drawing a lot of inspiration
from artists like Rascal Flatts, Dan and Shay, Jason Aldean and Hunter Hayes.
Joel Mills and his younger brother Jordan have been around music all of
their lives. They both started playing music when they were four years
old. Their father ran a music studio, so they were always around great
musicians who inspired them. The Mills and Marrs brothers first connected
when Mason and Micah recorded their first project at that studio. Like
the Marrs brothers, the Mills boys had also been playing in church and other
venues up to that point. Once the four guys discovered the potential in
the mix of their talents and the blend of their harmonies, State Line Drive was
born. When Joel is on stage with State Line Drive, you'll find
him behind the keyboard or playing guitar. Joel continues to lead worship
in church when he isn't on the road with State Line Drive. Joel is the
oldest member of the band, and is about to finish his senior year of high
school. He also played percussion in the marching band, and
currently plays keys in jazz band. Joel appreciates a wide variety of
musical styles ranging from folk, country, jazz, R & B and
rock. He enjoys gospel music the most.
Jordan Mills started out playing piano, but
soon switched to guitar. He plays lead guitar for State Line
Drive, as well as banjo from time to time. When he isn't on stage
with State Line Drive, he usually still has a guitar in his hands. He is
either practicing, doing session work in his dad's studio or playing in the
worship band at his church. Jordan is the youngest member of
State Line Drive, and is currently a sophomore in high school. He also
plays saxophone in the marching band, and guitar in jazz band. He
draws inspiration from a variety of musicians, including his friends, Dan
Weller and Tyler Chiarelli, who play for Florida Georgia Line, as well as great
guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughen, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He is
also a big fan of John Mayer and the Steve Miller Band. When Jordan isn't on
the road with State Line Drive he enjoys spending time with family and
Jacob Filer cannot remember a time in his
life that he hasn't played music. He comes from a very musical family, so
he comes by it naturally. He started out playing the piano, but has
branched out into several other instruments including guitar, bass, mandolin,
ukulele and drums. The majority of the time he plays bass for State Line Drive,
but does move to the keys from time to time. Before joining State Line
Drive, Jacob played in church, with his dad and in a few different local bands.
Jacob met the Marrs brothers a few years ago when their two different
bands played at a local festival. Jacob joined them from time to time
over the years, and become the missing piece in State Line Drive shortly after
the band was formed. When he isn't performing on stage, he is
in the studio developing his skills as an audio engineer. He hopes
to pursue a career in music production. Jacob appreciates a wide variety
of musical style, drawing inspiration from artists such as Oscar Peterson,
Billy Joel, Hans Zimmer, Keith Urban, Jerry Flowers, Victor Wooton, Benton
Stokes and Jay DeMarcus.