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Chart-toppers to take festival stage Thursday

Parmalee, owner of No. 1 hit, makes Dixon a stop on national tour

Parmalee, a modern country band with a No. 1 hit, "Carolina," will perform at 10 p.m. July 3 on the main stage along the Dixon riverfront during the Petunia Festival.
Parmalee, a modern country band with a No. 1 hit, "Carolina," will perform at 10 p.m. July 3 on the main stage along the Dixon riverfront during the Petunia Festival.

DIXON – The past year has been a roller-coaster ride for Parmalee, the successful country band set to perform at 10 p.m. Thursday on the main stage along the riverfront during Petunia Festival.

“We’ve been touring away, playing all over the country,” Matt Thomas, vocalist and guitarist, said in a phone interview. “We’ve just been hitting the pavement in support of the album.”

The album Thomas is referring to is “Feels Like Carolina,” released Dec. 10. It boasts a multi-week No. 1 hit on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, “Carolina.”

“We wrote the song while we were out in California and missing home,” Thomas said. “The song is about how special it feels to come back home.”

In fact, the band is named after their hometown of Parmale, North Carolina. The group added an extra “e” at the end to make sure folks pronounced in right.

The band’s small-town roots and family are very important to them, Thomas said.

Parmalee’s other members include his brother, Scott Thomas (drums), their cousin, Barry Knox (bass), and lifelong best friend, Josh McSwain (guitar).

“There’s always a bunch of family at our shows. We’re like a big, traveling family,” Thomas said.

The band has been splitting its time this summer, joining Jake Owen for stops on his tour, and playing festivals similar to the Petunia Festival.

Parmalee has never been to Dixon, but “it’s great to check out a new place we’ve never heard about,” Thomas said. “These type of festivals feel like home to us.”

The group has had some big moments the past year.

“Having a song go No. 1 and getting the chance to tour with Jason Aldean and Jake Owen has been amazing,” Thomas said.

Things don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon, with the band booked solid the rest of the year.

The band also is nominated for the Choice Country Group Award at the Teen Choice Awards, which will air at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 on Fox.

Parmalee hopes to have a few more successful singles from “Feels like Carolina,” Thomas said.

But the band also is looking ahead.

“We’re always writing, because you never know when a good song will pop up,” Thomas said. “But we’re not rushing anything. We’re enjoying supporting ‘Feels Like Carolina’ right now.”

The band do just that, and find out what Dixon feels like, when it helps the city’s marquee celebration celebrate its 50th birthday Thursday.

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