When you come from a teensy town with a three-figure population, bonds develop. Growing up in Parmele, North Carolina, brothers Matt (vocals, guitar) and Scott (drums) Thomas started out in a band featuring their dad; they then formed Parmalee with their cousin Barry Knox on bass and childhood pal Josh McSwain on guitar in 2001. They developed a mix of country, pop and rock that had a bit more guitar grit than most of what was coming out of Nashville, and they released their first EP, Daylight, in 2002. Parmalee spent the next several years slogging it out on the road and releasing music on the small Deep South label before things finally started clicking with 2013’s Feels Like Carolina on the larger Stoney Creek Records. That album’s raucous, hard-riffing “Musta Had a Good Time” had already become their first charting single the previous year, and the album’s second single, the roots-rocking power ballad “Carolina”, became ubiquitous on the radio and went all the way to No. 2 on the country charts. The follow-up LP, 27861—named for the postal code of Parmele—arrived four years later and marked a maturation and refinement of the Parmalee sound without abandoning the band’s roots.