• Last modified 50 days ago (May 30, 2024)


Donahew is 2nd repeat headliner

Chingawassa Days’ headline performer this year will be Casey Donahew, who will take to the stage at 9 p.m. Saturday.

It’s the second time in Chingawassa Day’s 27-year history that a headliner has been invited back. Donahew also appeared at the festival in 2015.

A Texas native, Donahew was influenced by 1980s and 1990s performers Garth Brooks and Pat Green.

His top hits include “He Ain’t a Cowboy,” “White Trash Story,” “Drove Me to the Whiskey,” “Bad Guy,” “What Cowboys Do,” “3 a.m.,” “Kiss me,” “Stockyards,” “Queen for a Night,” and “Built Different.”

Donahew lived on a farm during the early years of his life and learned to love riding and team roping.

“Genres are all over the place these days, but I play Texas music because that’s where I’m from.” Donahew said in an interview before his first appearance here. “But mostly we just play Casey Donahew music, and it’s rooted in country for sure.”

His band built its fan base “the grassroots way,” by keeping a rigorous tour schedule, playing throughout much of the Midwest and across the U.S.

Donahew is no stranger to hard work. In 2015, he recalled starting out.

“We always said we would drive farther and play for less money than anyone else. It seemed to work for us,” he said. “We just go with the flow and keep on being us.”

As a proponent of the right to bear arms, it is only natural he also finds time to hunt.

“I hunt everything,” he said, “whitetail, black buck, doves, big bird, and I spend a lot of time hunting Texas boar. We barbecue some, but some wild pigs get pretty dirty.”

When he’s barbequing, don’t expect to find an exotic imported beer or a hipster microbrew in his hand.

“I keep it real with Coors Light,” Donahew said. “I get on the vodka train sometimes.”

Donahew said audience members who haven’t heard his music would be hooked once they hear the band play live.

“Big light, big stage, big sound, the bigger the better,” he said. “I love playing live music. We feed off the crowd. I don’t talk a lot, but we like to keep the fans involved. My foot’s on the gas, and I have a heavy foot. I keep the hammer down.”

Donahew’s current album is “Built Different,” released in 2022.

Songs on the album include “Built Different,” “Beer Taste Good,” “Starts in a Bar,” “Telling on My Heart,” “83 Chevrolet Time Machine,” “Getting Even,” “Legends,” “One Foot in the Grave,” “Jackson Davis,” and “Just One Beer.”

In earlier editions, Donahew incorrectly was listed as the first repeat headliner.

Last modified May 30, 2024