Josh McSwain

Josh McSwain's Biography

Born and raised in Shelby, N.C., lead guitarist and keyboardist of platinum-selling country band Parmalee, Josh McSwain, grew up in a musical home as his father, Bud McSwain, was a musician playing in a bluegrass band known as “Let’s Honk.” Playing the role of his greatest musical influence, Josh’s father taught him how to play both guitar and piano at a young age. After becoming proficient at playing multiple instruments McSwain got his live music chops while traveling and playing with his father in a bluegrass band.

After cutting his teeth on the local club circuit while playing with a local cover band, Amsterdam, Josh often shared the same marquee with The Thomas Brothers Band comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas and cousin Barry Knox. A fan of Josh’s musical prowess, Matt invited Josh to play with Barry, Scott and himself at their practice space in Parmele, N.C. The foursome clicked immediately. Their first gig was held at local watering hole, Corrigans, near East Carolina University where the guys went to school. From that moment in 2001, the band became known as Parmalee, named in honor of the town in which the band originated.

Parmalee’s musical journey took them all over the country including New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta as they tried to find their musical direction. All of the producers, managers, and label representatives said the same thing: "you guys need to be in Nashville."

Matt, Scott, Barry and Josh headed for Nashville. They parked their RV, which doubled as their studio, in the Comfort Inn parking lot located a block from Nashville’s famed Music Row. For the next month the parking lot was both their home and office.

After meeting the right people and creating a few demos in their RV studio, Parmalee was able to impress BBR Music Group President/CEO Benny Brown who then asked to see a showcase as soon as the band returned to Nashville. Shortly after, Parmalee landed a deal with Stoney Creek Records, home to ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Thompson Square and chart-topper Randy Houser.

Parmalee’s debut country album, FEELS LIKE CAROLINA, has earned critical praise from People, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, Billboard and more. In 2016, Parmalee earned a nomination for the Academy of Country Music’s "New Vocal Duo / Group of the Year" award and a 2014 Teen Choice Award nomination for “Choice Country Group.” The band has supported Brad Paisley and Jake Owen on national tours while finding time to perform on TODAY, The Late Late Show w/ Craig Ferguson, FOX & Friends, The Queen Latifah Show, WGN Midday and more. In 2015, "Close Your Eyes" became its second consecutive Top 3 hit at country radio and ending the year by achieving its third consecutive Top 10 hit from its debut album with fastest-rising single to date, “Already Callin’ You Mine.” It was then Parmalee became one of only three groups since 2001 to earn three consecutive Top 10 singles from a debut Country album, including their platinum selling #1 smash "Carolina."

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