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Momentum is building for Carolina’s Parmalee

Thursday, May 29, 2014

By John Benson

Parmalee bassist Barry Knox said the North Carolina band will never forget the Dusty Armadillo.

“Oh, man! The Dusty Armadillo is fantastic,” said Knox, calling from Nashville, Tenn. “When we played there last fall, that was our first sellout since we got a record deal. That place will always be special to us. It has really cool crowds who get packed in there. And it’s real intimate because the ceiling is really low in there. It’s just a fun place to play.”

He added: “I’m not sure the sellout was because of our success or just that people love to come and see shows there. I think it was a little bit of both.”

The group will be able to find out the answer tonight when it returns to the Rootstown venue in support of its debut album, “Feels Like Carolina,” which was released in December.

The group has enjoyed plenty of momentum of late, leading to an opening slot on Jake Owens’ recent spring tour. Looking ahead, it’s not too farfetched to think a year from now Parmalee could be playing large outdoor sheds.

“I hope so,” Knox said. “We’d really like to go out with Jason Aldean. That would be our dream tour, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. We’ll see. I think next year we hope to see some good offers come in. And with more success will come those big tours.”

As for the new album, the CD includes consecutive hit “Carolina,” as well as radio song “Musta Had a Good Time” and new single “Close Your Eyes.”

It’s been quite the year for Parmalee, which watched “Carolina” enjoy multiple weeks as a No. 1 hit at country radio. As for the current single, “Close Your Eyes,” the sing-along tune is climbing the charts and earning critical praise.

Among Knox’s favorite new songs are the self-explanatory “Day Drinking,” to which he said the good folks at the Dusty Armadillo can relate, as well as the female-friendly “Dance.” The latter tune, naturally, creates plenty of booty shaking on the dance floor. There’s also “Think You Ought To Know,” which Knox said is somewhat of a curve ball for Parmalee.

“I don‘t know what it is about that song, maybe the melodies or the way it was recorded, but it always sticks out to me when I listen to the record,” Knox said. “We get a great reaction from that song live. It’s kind of a rocking ballad.”

Knox promises Parmalee fans will hear all of the new tracks, as well as a covers medley including tunes by the Allman Brothers Band and the Marshall Tucker Band. There’s also another cover that is not only unexpected but acts as a tribute to the group members’ favorite drink.

“We actually redid Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball,’” Knox said. “We call it ‘Fireball.’ We’ll be playing it at the Dusty Armadillo. We haven’t heard from Miley yet about it, but I’m sure we will.”

It’s quite likely that the former Hannah Montana will stick out her tongue when she finds out.

“Yeah, that’s right,” Knox said, laughing.