Parmalee Talk Carolina BBQ
We arrived just after lunchtime, and since North Carolina is famous for its barbecue, we figured food was in order. A ten minute drive later and we were seated outside at a local smokehouse called 12 Bones, where Parmalee guitarist Josh McSwain had actually eaten before (his mother lives nearby).
A hard-rocking country quartet, Parmalee features brothers Scott and Matt Thomas, their cousin Barry Knox, and childhood friend Josh McSwain. They formed more than ten years ago, worked nonstop building an audience and honing their sound (along the way they even wrote songs with Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue).
Now they're finishing an album that's due in early 2014 ("everything's recorded" and "we've got the songs picked" they told Radio.com). And they're rising fast on the country charts now, too, thanks to their single "Carolina."
It turns out, though, that the guys in the band also know quite a bit about barbecue.
"In general, barbecue is a big thing in North Carolina," said Matt Thomas. As he explained, though, there are different styles in different parts of the state. "On the east coast, we cook the whole hog on a cooker. Mostly it's chopped, and they use a vinegar-based sauce, some crushed red peppers, and they'll douse the whole pig with that as they're cooking it."
"There's nothing better than going to a good old pig pickin'," he said (also called "a hog maw," added Josh). "It's always the center of every family or community event, concert, Sunday afternoon…whatever it is, everybody's cooking a pig."
Or, as Barry said, chiming in: "You cook the pig first, then the event forms around it."
Josh, who hails from the western half of the state, spoke more about the differences in styles. "The main difference in eastern and western is the sauce," he said. "In the west it's more of a thicker, sweeter sauce. Other than that it's the same method." more on this story
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