"Truckstop Salvation," by Leigh Lundin, in The Great Filling Station Holdup, edited by Josh Pachter, Down and Out Books, 2021.
This collection of stories inspired by Jimmy Buffett songs starts off with a bang, with a tale by my friend and fellow SleuthSayer Leigh Lundin.
It's 1978 in eastern Tennessee. The narrator is a TV reporter and he witnesses the arrival of Tommy Peters, a hometown boy who made it big as a country singer.
The town is about to be flooded to make room for a dam, and Peters offers to hold a benefit festival to raise money. That makes him a hero for some people, but not all the locals love him. Like the sheriff whose ex-wife used to be Peters' lover. And the ex-wife's brother, now a fire-and-brimstone preacher. No surprise that bad things are going to happen at the festival.
Some clever lines here: "Sheriff Bulwark hadn't yet succumbed to the fat-Southern-deputy stereotype, but he'd been studying the brochure."