Grant County Fair visitors were treated to a first-class concert this year, with platinum-winning Parmalee rocking homes throughout the John Day Valley.

Folks from the rodeo bleachers began upgrading tickets to the VIP section following Britnee Kellogg’s opening act, as ticket holders in the VIP section began filling in the dance area in front of the stage.

Kellogg, who hails from Vancouver, Washington, has been singing since she was 3 and opened for Blake Shelton in Pendleton. She competed in American Idol in seasons 11 and 12. In addition to some bluesy songs and rocking hard on others, she sang a few favorite traditional country tunes.

Parmalee’s four band members grew up in the small town of Parmele, North Carolina, but now call Nashville home. They’re the “country side of a rock band,” according to lead singer and guitarist Matt Thomas.

Thomas’ brother Scott was in the back of the stage on drums, their cousin Barry Knox played bass and good friend Josh McSwain switched back and forth from lead guitar to keyboards. Everybody in the band sings.

The crowd joined in with the band as Parmalee performed their first big hit from 2013, “Carolina,” which reached No. 5 on Billboard’s U.S. Indie chart and No. 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Country chart.

Parmalee also introduced their newest song, “Be Alright,” to a cheering audience. Locals hugged the stage, shooting cellphone video and selfies.

The takeaway was a good time for all with a party atmosphere, just as the band promised.


Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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