Almost everyone who listens to country music will not only recognize the song “Carolina,” but they will most likely be able to sing every word from the first note to the last. The song has been filling the airwaves of country music radio stations from coast to coast for several months now, and has climbed into the Top 5 on national charts. The song is by Parmalee, a country group from North Carolina.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had Parmalee in the Top 40. The debut single for the group barely made it into the Top 40 back in 2012. The song was called “Musta Had a Good Time,” and I was actually surprised that it didn’t get up into at least the Top 20. That is especially surprising considering “Musta Had Good time” spent four straight weeks at No. 1 on SiriusXM The Highway’s fan-voted “Hot 30 Live” Countdown. The band has selected that fan-voted favorite the lead track on their debut album, “Feels Like Carolina”, set to release on December 10, 2013.
I listened to the review copy, and while I did like what I was hearing, I had a little trouble considering this ‘country’ music. I’m sure that is because my preference has always been real country music – the kind of music we now refer to as ‘classic country’ or ‘traditional country’ – the kind I still call just country. But, I know we are never going to go back to those days.
“Close Your Eyes for This” sounds like much of what we are getting on today’s Top 40 stations. It is a good song. Probably one of my favorites on the entire CD. Of course, “Carolina” is among the 12 songs on this album, and I think it is the best one. For the most part, I don’t have anything bad to say about any of these songs. My only complaints are that the music really country, and it all sounds a lot like everything else that is on the radio today. But, it is pretty obvious that what we are hearing on Top 40 country radio stations is what country music fans want to listen to. So obviously, Parmalee is doing something right.
Matt Thomas, lead singer for the group, had a hand in writing seven of the songs on the CD. And, he was teamed up with some of Nashville’s best writers. Bobby Pinson, Kyle Jacobs and Chris Janson are a few of my favorite writers, and you will find work by all of them on this new album. Preston Brust, half of the duo LoCash Cowboys, was one of the writers on “Back in the Day", and if it gets released as a single, I believe that one would be a hit for Parmalee. If I could pick for them, I would choose “Already Callin’ You Mine” to be their next single.
Parmalee is a family band comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas (lead vocals/guitar and drums), cousin Barry Knox (bass), and life-long best friend Josh McSwain (guitar). They said their music was heavily influenced by musical heavyweights such as the Allman Brothers, Travis Tritt and Bob Seger. Their name is derived from the small town of Parmele, N.C., which has a population of 262, and is home to a small tin-roofed barn dubbed Studio B, where the band practiced on any given evening.
The songs you’ll hear on the new album are Musta Had a Good Time, Day Drinkin’, Move, Close Your Eyes For This, Dance, Carolina, Think You Oughta Know That, Back in the Day, My Montgomery, Already Calling You Mine, I’ll Bring the Music, and Another Day Gone.
This is a CD that you just might want to pick up for yourself and for the country music fan on your Christmas shopping list. It’s going to spend a lot of time in my CD player, and I think it will in yours as well.
Visit their web site, and be sure to check out their Facebook page, too. Be sure to hit that “Like” button when you go to their facebook page. These guys are already up to nearly 50,000 likes! You’ll want to follow them on Twitter, too, @parmalee.
I’m still playing ‘catch-up’ from my short Thanksgiving vacation. And Christmas is right around the corner! Lots of parties, visiting, gift-buying, wrapping, decorating, cooking….a lot to do right now. But I’ll be back soon with more country music news and review.