The American country band Parmalee will perform a high-energy show as the headliner at the Grant County Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, in John Day. The show starts at 7 p.m. with Britnee Kellogg opening. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Parmalee band members are ready to liven it up at the Grant County Fair when they take the stage Friday, Aug. 16, in John Day.

“We just like to have a good time,” said lead singer Matt Thomas in a phone interview with the Eagle. “It’s a lot of energy, and we try to keep it fun.”

The band’s name gives a nod to Parmele, North Carolina, a one-stoplight town where the band members grew up, including Thomas and his brother, drummer Scott Thomas. The Thomas brothers’ cousin Barry Knox is bass player, and their best friend Josh McSwain is lead guitarist.

“We’re the country side of a rock band,” Matt said. “We’re a rock and roll band at heart with country influences and upbringing.”

Britnee Kellogg will open for Parmalee at 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Concert tickets are $35 for adults, and admission for children 12 and under is $15. VIP tickets are $70.

The band wrote “Down Town” last year as a Hurricane Florence relief song that shares the resilience of the people with neighbors helping neighbors.

There is strength in the lyrics: “We’ve all weathered our fair share of storms, ain’t nothing we ain’t seen before, we get hit get knocked down, get back up for another round ‘round here. This ain’t no going ‘down’ town, when trouble comes around town.”

Based in Nashville, the band has been “all over the map” this summer performing in several states from coast to coast.

“We’re thankful to be able to tour,” Matt said, adding they have many more shows coming up, and they’ll perform — for the eighth time — at the Grand Ole Opry in September.

Parmalee’s first big hit “Carolina,” which came out in 2013, reached No. 5 on Billboard’s U.S. Indie chart and No. 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Country chart.

The band will also play newer songs, including “Be Alright,” which was just released.

“We’re excited to have it on country radio,” Matt said.

He said the “Be Alright” video can be viewed online. Learn more about the band at

Matt said the band has several songs “people are diggin’” and the audience can sing along.

“We’re here to party,” he said.

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.


Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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