Organizers plan to make final artist announcement next week for Aug. 10 concert

A band is joining the lineup for the 2019 Back Road Music Festival.

Event organizers announced the four-man band named after its North Carolina hometown — Parmalee — as the third act in the Aug. 10 festival at the Galva Park District.

Headliner Justin Moore and Clare Dunn have been previously announced, and Back Road leaders Tyler Glaser and Nik Grafelman hope to reveal the fourth and final main stage act on Thursday, March 14.

“We’re really excited about them,” Grafelman said of Parmalee. “They bring a really high-energy show every night.”

Grafelman said Parmalee will play in the second slot behind Dunn.

“The park usually starts filling up around that time, and they are perfect for that slot,” he said.

“They are road warriors,” Grafelman added. “They are a true band. Their road hasn’t been very easy.”


The Parmalee bio

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 the quintessential American Country band. 

Named after the small town where the band started, Parmele, N.C. (population 278), the chart-topping quartet pays to tribute their humble Carolina upbringings with their name and their sound. Raised on a diet of Southern rock, country and blues, they formed in 2001 as a bunch of small-town boys chasing wild weekend nights, but their talents eventually took them beyond the little cement block barn they rehearsed in and onto Country music’s biggest stages, not to mention the top of Billboard’s Country chart. 

The band’s blue-collar persistence made their 2013 breakout single, “Carolina,” into a Platinum-certified No. 1 hit, while their 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 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, all while they kept their noses to the grindstone, touring hundreds of dates a year. Awards nominations from the Academy of Country Music and Teen Choice Awards came rolling in, and headlining tours were launched but the hard-working virtues of their upbringing stand tall.

Now, more than ever, Parmalee exudes the rambunctious spirit that built the foundation of their music. The band brings that same fire with them on stage every night, delivering high-energy shows to enthusiastic fans clapping and singing along, wrapped up in rafter-shaking abandon. Eyeing the crowds’ response, one thing is very clear — Parmalee knows a thing or two about having a good time.

“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 says with a grin.  “And we are incredibly thankful for every night that we get to be on stage sharing our music.”

The band is no stranger to a little creative wording as well. After decades of friendship and endless days spent on a bus together, the four guys nearly have a language of their own. They’ve even begun sharing some of their original vocabulary with fans through a hilarious video series called “Parmalisms,” which shows off their fun-loving nature and routinely leaves their 580,000-plus fans in stitches. “Parmalisms” recently celebrated its 100th Episode. 

 The road to success wasn’t easy for the band. They have come a long way since their modest beginnings, working odd jobs like logging forests, construction, and any other type of manual labor to make ends meet. They’ve also had a few setbacks —  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 gun shot wounds. Despite a five percent chance of survival, he miraculously pulled through and the band went on to secure a record deal just four months later.

No matter the obstacle, the foursome never wavered. Their tenacious work ethic, small-town values and love for each other has allowed them to persevere, grow stronger and rise to where they are today.


Ticket information

Tickets for the sixth annual Back Road concert are available online — — at $45 for general admission and $65 for the Hog Trough.

Tickets can also be purchased locally at the Galva Pharmacy and Hog Country Studios in Kewanee.