The biggest concert of the music-filled 2009 Chasco Fiesta happens Saturday at the Chasco Country Concert with up-and-coming singers Jimmy Wayne and Jason Michael Carroll.
Before and after that, though, Sims Park in New Port Richey will be an intense flurry of fun, as the annual Chasco Fiesta celebrations end Sunday. (Highlights and schedule are in today's Pasco Times).
Tonight's concert, True Oldies ($5), features the Dixie Cups (Chapel of Love) and Legends of Doo Wop with Tommy Mara, with opening acts Ken Brady (of the Original Casinos) and the Saints.
The Saturday concert starts out with local favorites Wiley Fox and 11-year-old singer-songwriter Suite Caroline.
Headliners Wayne and Carroll take the stage from there.
Wayne, a native of North Carolina, had two songs from his debut album reach the Top 10 on Billboard's country chart: Stay Gone and I Love You This Much.
Three of the songs were unusual for a country singer: Paper Angels, about his troubled life on the streets; Blue and Brown, about an encounter with a foster brother who became an inmate at the prison where Wayne worked after he graduated from college; and The Rabbit, which was described in Billboard as "a devastatingly honest revenge fantasy."
"Wayne's album turned a small-industry buzz into a wildfire of publicity and speculation about the new directions he was using in country music and pop," wrote Thom Jurek in Billboard's online newsletter. "Wayne may be pretty, but he is substantive and presents an entirely new twist on the entire country tradition."
Billboard's Matt Collar describes Carroll as "a rootsy artist with a rocker's edge." The son of a conservative Christian minister who wouldn't allow secular music in the home and a mother who encouraged her son's interest in all kinds of music, Carroll struggled with composing and singing until the age of 26, when he entered and won a radio singing competition.
By the next year, he was a regular on the Nashville Music Row scene and soon signed a record deal with Arista Nashville.
He was named Billboard's Top New Country Artist of 2007, charting in the Top Five with Alyssa Lies and Livin' Our Love Song. His soon-to-be-released album has already charted with a single, Where I'm From.
His 2007 album, Waitin' in the Country, was No. 1 on Billboard's U.S. Country chart and No. 8 overall. He has two videos, Livin' Our Love Song and I Can Sleep When I'm Dead. His next CD, Growing Up Is Getting Old, is due to be released April 28.
Let there be grub
In addition to the West Pasco Sertoma Chicken Barbecue today through Sunday and the Cotee River Lions Club Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, 15 other local civic organizations, churches, high school music booster clubs and caterers will sell food from 5 to 11 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
That includes corn dogs, hot dogs, hamburgers, onion rings, cheese sticks, fish sandwiches, smoked turkey legs, strawberry shortcake, funnel cakes, meatball subs, Italian subs, Cuban sandwiches, jerk chicken, kettle corn, chicken wings and pork sticks.