By Lindsay Owens Times herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — The Montgomery Turkey Trot is known for its great music entertainment and the 42ndt edition of the festival dedicated to the bird will be no exception. This year country music artists Parmalee and John Michael Montgomery will be featured.
Parmalee, an up and coming group from Parmele, NC, will perform Friday 8:15 p.m. The band consists of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, their cousin Barry Knox and Josh McSwain.
"We play a little bit of everything sound wise," said Matt Thomas. "But 90 percent of what we play is our music during our shows."
"We do a few covers in our 90 minute shows but the advantage of us being a band is that we can do a variety of things. We do a lot of three part harmony and use a lot of guitars," said Scott Thomas.
Parmalee, whose current single "Carolina" is number 24 on the Billboard Country Airplay Charts this week, has overcome some major hurdles since coming to Nashville. Three years ago, the band was involved in an attempted robbery and shoot out that left drummer Scott Thomas in the hospital for 35 days. He was only given a five percent chance of survival.
"I think we all multiplied our push and determination for success after that," said Matt. "Once you go through so much together, you feel the need to push for more success. I feel like it's strengthened everyone's desire to be successful."
"Carolina" which pays homage to the the band's home state, is their second single. Their first single "Musta Had A Good Time" spent four consecutive weeks at number one on SiriusXM The Highway's "Hot 30 LIVE" countdown and has been featured on national sporting event broadcasts ranging from the PGA to the MLB.
The group recently played on the Grand Ol Opry stage for the second time as well and was selected by Southwest Airlinesas the first act to perform on its Southwest Airlines Travelin' Taylor Tour series sponsorerd by Taylor Guitars. "It's definitely a right of passage or a check point. When they invite you back there and you get in their good graces it's a life time achievement kind of thing," said Matt.
Parmalee's music has been described by Matt as being," the country side of rock and Jason's Aldean's music is the rocking side of country."
Members of the band all agree that current country music found them. "We were always influenced by the country music around us," said Scott. "And having people like Jason (Aldean) and Eric (Church) come into play has really helped us out."
The group,which is currently working on its first album due out later this year on Stoney Creek Records, has been playing a festivals, fairs and other venues throughout the summer.
"Festivals are always fun because you get to play for all new people," said Matt.
John Michael Montgomery on Saturday
Veteran performer John Micheal Montgomery will take the stage Saturday at 8:15 p.m. Montgomery, whose career has spanned nearly two decades, has put several songs at the top of the charts in the last twenty years including "Life's A Dance","I Swear", "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident", "Be My Baby Tonight" and more recently "Letters From Home" a touching tune about soldiers overseas and their families.
Montgomery, whose brother is Eddie Montgomery of the duo Montgomery Gentry, has been honored with sever Country Music Association (CMA) awards as well as an ACM award for top new vocalist and a Grammy nomination.
His music, which varies from tender love songs to upbeat tunes like "Sold" , has helped Montgomery relate to his fan base.
"You get to know your fans and what they like more and more through the years and you kind of gravitate to towards one another," Montgomery said in a press release.
Daily admission to the Turkey Trot is $10 per person. Children under 12 are free. For more information visit www.montgomeryruritanclub.com.