Parmalee to perform at U.P. State Fair Aug. 17

ESCANABA — The U.P. State Fair has announced the next act of its full line-up of grandstand entertainment, presented by Island Resort and Casino. The band Parmalee will take the grandstand stage on Saturday, Aug. 17. As the most-played group/band on country radio in 2023, Parmalee is one of country music’s most successful acts with four No. 1 singles, multiple platinum records, and more than one billion on-demand streams.

Comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas (lead vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), Cousin Barry Knox (bass), and life-long friend Josh McSwain (guitar/keyboard), the North Carolina natives first topped the charts with “Carolina,” followed by their Platinum-certified No. 1 single with Blanco Brown, “Just the Way.” They followed with “Take My Name,” which was Billboard’s Most Played Country Song of 2022.

They recently scored their third consecutive No. 1 single with “Girl In Mine,” which is Billboard’s 8th most played country song of 2023. Those three #1’s and 15 other tracks are available on their new album, “For You 2.”

Known for their distinct family harmony, irresistible melodies, and surefire radio favorites, Parmalee has not-so-quietly become one of the genre’s most undeniable contemporary country hit makers. For more information, visit: http://www.parmaleemusic.com.

Parmalee bandmates went through some tough times together in their earlier days. In September 2010, with “Carolina” a staple in their live shows, Parmalee was playing as many concerts as they could in preparation to come to Nashville and showcase for labels the following month. One night, the band performed a set for 15 people in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and made $15. They were traveling in an RV outfitted with bunks and parked at the venue. Scott was in his bunk when someone knocked on the bus door. Matt opened the door and was met with a gun to his head.

“Two guys in bandanas stepped into the RV screaming, ‘Give me the cash,'” Matt said. “I said, ‘I don’t have any cash. I don’t have any cash.'” The robber fired his gun in the RV. Matt shouted for Scott, who had his carry permit and his pistol tucked under his bunk. Scott emerged from the back to diffuse the situation and while taking out both assailants, was shot three times.

“So here we are at the highest point of our career, just thinking we’re going to get a record deal,” Scott said. “Then this all happens in a flash, and he’s on the couch bleeding out,” Matt added.

Scott was airlifted to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the middle of the night and received two blood transfusions in transit. When his bandmates arrived at the hospital, they were told Scott had a five percent chance of survival. The drummer was in a coma for 10 days and spent another 30 days in the hospital recovering.

Five months later, he hobbled on stage to play a showcase with Parmalee for Stoney Creek Records – who signed them immediately. Matt summed up: “That is just part of our story – what we’ve been through and sticking it out.”

Gold Circle tickets for Parmalee’s performance on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) go on sale on Monday, May 13 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased from the presenting sponsor, Island Resort and Casino, at http://www.islandresortandcasino.com/entertainment. General seating for all grandstand entertainment is free with admission to the fair. To purchase advance gate admission for the U.P. State Fair, please visit upstatefair.net.


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