One singer showcases the music he wrote as the longtime lead singer of a top progressive-rock band. Another has gotten a second chance at a career thanks to TV’s “The Voice.” Another, lacking that kind of exposure, sings for the fans he reached through social media.
They and others will bring their rock, country and mixtures thereof to Speed Street this weekend. Here’s a quick introduction:
Parmalee: Two brothers, a cousin and a friend launched their band in 2001, naming it after the N.C. town where they practiced, Parmale – adding a final e to help outsiders pronounce it. The band’s rock-country-bluegrass mix gradually won a regional following. They were raising money for a return trip to Nashville in 2010 when, packing up after a gig, drummer Scott Thomas took three bullets in a shootout with would-be robbers. He spent a month in a Charlotte hospital, and his leg was still in a brace six months later when Parmalee played a record-label showcase. The band landed a contract, and its 2013 release, “Carolina,” won the group’s first gold record. “It took us going through all that to mold us,” bass player Barry Knox says. 9 p.m. Friday, Coca-Cola Stage.
Corey Smith: When Smith was growing up in rural Georgia, there was always a guitar lying around the house, thanks to his father, who played in a local band. Young Smith got serious about music as a teenager. Even though he performed all the way through college, he took the responsible route and got a job teaching high school social studies in the Atlanta suburbs. Winning a coffee-shop song contest landed him studio time that let him record “Undertones,” which became the title song of his first album in 2003. Thanks to social media, word got around, and he finally went for music full-time in 2007. “A lot of people don’t know who Corey is,” says Jay Howard, president of the 600 Festival Association, Speed Street’s organizer. “But he will certainly fill up the street.” 10:30 p.m. Friday, Coca-Cola Stage.
Halfway to Hazard: David Tolliver and Chad Warrix are trying for a comeback. The Kentucky duo’s debut single, “Daisy,” made it to the Billboard country Top 40 in 2007, and they opened the same year for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul tour. But the pressures of success, erupting in the form of alcohol and arrogance, came between them. After working separately for a few years, they’re giving their duo another try. “I still feel like we have some gas left in the tank,” Tolliver says in a video promoting their reunion. “We can do this. We’ve got our heads on right.” 8 p.m. Saturday, Coca-Cola Stage.
Craig Wayne Boyd: Here’s another musician striving to give his career a second act. The Texan moved to Nashville in 2004 and landed a publishing deal, and after several years of songwriting he tried to add a singing career. That fizzled, and by last year Boyd was reduced to sleeping on a friend’s couch. Then he won a spot on “The Voice.” He won viewers’ votes with songs ranging from “The Old Rugged Cross,” a tribute to his gospel roots, to Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and Boyd’s own “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face.” After coming out of the contest on top, it’s Boyd who’s smiling. 9 p.m. Saturday, Coca-Cola Stage.
Dennis DeYoung and the music of Styx: The home page of DeYoung’s website features a video of one of his hits, “Come Sail Away,” being performed by the young singers of “Glee.” The TV celebration of close-harmony vocals had already spotlighted his “Mr. Roboto.” The songs DeYoung wrote as founder and longtime lead singer of Styx have taken on lives of their own. But DeYoung still performs them in shows looking back at the progressive-rock band he helped found as a teenager in the 1960s. Fans can tell him, “Domo arigato.” 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Coca-Cola Stage.
Friday at Speed Street
Sponsored by Circle K and Kangaroo, the uptown street fair runs from noon to midnight, mainly along Tryon Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Food and drink vendors are spread along Tryon between Stonewall and Trade streets. Admission is free.
Classic K8’s NASCAR Speed Dog Show: About 15 high-energy dogs race, do tricks and perform comedy routines; 1, 3, 5 p.m., Levine Avenue of the Arts.
Ford Ride & Drive: Test-drive Ford vehicles including the redesigned F-150 truck; noon-6 p.m.; Tryon Street between Stonewall Street and Levine Avenue.
Revlon Love Is On Pop-Up Shop: The cosmetics maker offers manicure, makeovers and consultations; noon-6 p.m.; Tryon between Stonewall and Levine Avenue.
For racing fans: Christian Eckes, Jimmy Weller, Peyton Sellers, Timmy Hill, Jake Ruggles, Tyler Reddick and other celebrities, 1 p.m., Autograph Zone, Tryon Street between Fourth and Trade streets. Ryan Blaney, Brandon McReynolds, Nick Drake, Joey Gase, Mike Senica and others, 7 p.m., Autograph Zone. Question-and-answer session with Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman, 8 p.m., Coca-Cola Stage, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Blazin’ Wing Challenge: Show off how much food you can put away. 5 p.m., patio of Buffalo Wild Wings, 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Family activities: Ultimate Family Dance Party with Mr. Nigel, 2 p.m., Family Stage, Tryon Street between Fourth and Trade streets. Ultimate Family Concert with Mr. Nigel & Friends, 4 p.m., Family Stage. “Big Hero 6” movie showing, 8:30 p.m. Kids’ Zone, Tryon Street between Third and Fourth streets.