Parmalee to headline Regatta’s music lineup
WORTHINGTON — A band that has charted six Billboard Country Airplay Top 40 singles and received multiple Academy of Country Music Awards and Teen Choice Awards nominations is headlining this year’s Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Parmalee, a chart-topping quartet that may be best known for their 2013 breakout single “Carolina,” a platinum-certified No. 1 hit, will take the Sailboard Beach stage for a concert at 9 pm. June 8. Parmalee is just one of five bands scheduled for this year’s event; the remainder of the concert slate will be announced later this month.
Barry Roberts, who heads the Regatta’s music committee, is excited about securing Parmalee for this year’s 20th annual festival, which will also be a showcase this year for the Windsurfing Course Racing National Championship. It marks the fourth year the national competition will take place on Lake Okabena.
“Since the Regatta ended last year we started looking for great national entertainment for our 20th,” Roberts said. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring in this young country group to Worthington on June 8. These guys are a great summer band, and they won’t disappoint.”
Comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas (lead vocals and drums), cousin Barry Knox (bass) and their best friend Josh McSwain (lead guitar), Parmalee are a quintessential American country band. Named after the small town where the band started, Parmele, N.C. (population 278), the quartet pays tribute to their humble Carolina upbringings with their name and their sound.
Raised on a diet of southern rock, country and blues, Parmalee formed in 2001. The band’s blue-collar persistence eventually led to the hit “Carolina,” while its debut album landed in the Top 10. Two more singles (“Close Your Eyes” and “Already Callin’ You Mine”) rose to No. 3 and No. 10, respectively, on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, and the band continued to tour hundreds of dates a year.
Both singles from their second album, “27861” — “Roots” and “Sunday Morning” — enjoyed time on Billboard’s Top 40 Country Airplay chart and have seen more than 30 million combined streams on Spotify. The band’s latest release, “Be Alright,” is an emotionally driven song about hope, knowing that when a relationship is struggling, things will work out for the best in the end.
“The first time we heard the song we loved it,” Matt Thomas states of “Be Alright” in a Parmalee biography press release. “We knew immediately we wanted to record it Parmalee style. It’s such a relatable song. We are just glad to have the opportunity to reimagine and record this for the country music fans.”
Australian singer and songwriter Dean Lewis originally recorded and released the global hit in 2018. Until now, it had never been recorded and released as a country song.
Parmalee promises to exude the spirit that built the foundation of their music and bring a high-energy show each performance to enthusiastic fans clapping and singing along.
“We love bringing people together for a good time and we hope they'll clap, sing along, and raise one up — that's what our live show is all about,” Matt added. “And we are incredibly thankful for every night that we get to be on stage sharing our music.”
Parmalee is also known for its video series “Parmalisms,” which shows off both the band’s fun-loving nature and an original vocabulary its has created for more than 580,000 fans.
The band’s road to success hasn’t been without obstacles. In 2010, two men attempted to rob the band at gunpoint after a show, which led to Scott being hospitalized for 35 days — 10 of which he spent in a coma — for multiple gunshot wounds. Despite a 5 percent chance of survival, he pulled through, and the band went on to secure a record deal just four months later.
“This free event wouldn’t be possible without our great sponsors, including our event sponsor Marthaler Automotive and our music sponsor Sanford Worthington,” Roberts said. “We are excited to announce the rest of our musical lineup in a few weeks. Be sure to join us on the beach for another great weekend of windsurfing, food, drinks and live music June 6-9.”