The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

August 11, 2013

Parmalee (like family)

No matter where you are or what you’re doing, it’s all fun and games when a hog breaks loose.

Amid the blue-ribbon pig picking and swine-racing action scheduled for the West Virginia State Fair, a group famous for its feel-good post-party amnesia video “Musta Had a Good Time,” featuring a hog in the kitchen and all other manner of skin, takes to the stage. They are as Carolinian as Carolinian gets, with a surprising edge — a sound first cultivated inside a tin-roofed barn in a town that is the inspiration for their name (with an extra “e” for ease in pronunciation), Parmale, N.C., … population 278 or so at last count and two traffic lights (blinking yellow).

On their eve of country stardom, Parmalee is rock-and-roll hectic right now. Set to perform Saturday to culminate the week of fairgrounds performances, they’re shouting “Go Mountaineers!” to one of many summer 2013 stops in between recording their debut album, slated for release later this year.

 “We cruise in our own lane,” lead singer Matt Thomas is overheard saying on a live radio broadcast scheduled back-to-back with this interview. “Thank God we have a venue in country.”

“We all started performing together as teenagers,” he explains of the family nature of their group (in relationship, not musical content). Matt’s brother Scott is the drummer; both watched their father play front man in a popular southern rock blues band where they grew up in Greenville, N.C. Barry Knox (bass) is a cousin to the two, while Josh McSwain (guitar and keys) is a friend who sticks as close as a brother.

However far they travel, their music is always respectful of their roots. Newest single “Carolina” pays tribute to their home state and to life on the road. “Carolina” landed in the top 30 on mainstream country radio.

While there isn’t a release date yet, their debut country album is highly anticipated by a growing fan base, courtesy of YouTube, a packed performance schedule earning listeners one audience at a time and their website www.parmalee.com.

Wherever they ultimately land on the road (today, it’s Starbucks between interviews) or the music charts, what is clear is the group’s enjoyment of what they will one day reflect on as the ride of their lives.

“We’ve actually been to more places and been busier this last year than ever,” says Barry. “It’s great to be in this position with an opportunity to do something like this. We’re just enjoying the ride — the festivals, big amphitheaters and getting to go to places and perform on-stage is amazing.”

One of those hallowed stages is the Grand Ole Opry, where the group has performed twice this year.

If their music happens to bridge genre divides (people not only say to lead singer Matt Thomas, ‘Hey, you sound like Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty’ — they skip right to asking if they’re kin), then “We’ll take that,” comments Matt.

For those who like their country like they like their coffee — half-and-half — this hybrid of country boys with rock influences in their DNA will be a favorite, a band that doesn’t really sound like any other in county today.

For those hard-core 100 percent Colombian drinkers and country lovers, well, Barry suggests give the new sound a double-shot.

“I think country radio has opened up. You’re hearing a lot of different mixes of genres in country — from hip-hop to rock to pop — but I think that’s good for listeners. It gives them something new, and people are really diggin’ it. We consider ourselves lucky to have a slot in country music.”

— E-mail: lshrewsberry@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Life!
  • life dr Wellness Wednesday: Adding an ‘I’ to TEAM

    Erica Tuckwiller is pediatrician with a deep-seated passion for changing the course of the childhood obesity epidemic.

    “As a physician, good nutrition is one of the biggest challenges I face in the care of our children and I actually have been involved in the fight against childhood obesity beginning with my senior thesis early in my college career at WVU,” she stated.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.

     

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.

     

    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014