Josh Gallagher

Country musician Josh Gallagher performs as the opening act for Cole Swindell at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

With a new single set for release and shows all over the country, Josh Gallagher is a performer on the move.

On the heels of a successful six-song EP this spring, Gallagher’s latest song – “Boots Like Mine” – will go public Friday.

The Cresson native lives and writes songs in Nashville.

But he’ll be in Philipsburg for a concert on Saturday and back in the area in September for a series of shows. Gallagher will also perform in New Mexico, Virginia and Florida before year’s end.

“I feel like I live on an airplane,” he said in a phone interview from Nashville.

Gallagher offered a preview of “Boots Like Mine” on his Facebook page. The song features a blue-collar country sound with relatable lyrics, including a call to “salute the shoes that paved the hard route through the dust, the mud, the blood – the ones who paid the price ... for boots like mine.”

The single will be followed by a new extended-play set this fall, Gallagher said.

His first six-song EP, “Josh Gallagher,” was released in March and then re-released in May.

The songs include the rambunctious rocker “I Drink Beer” and the love song “Look At Me Now” – written for his wife.

The other tracks are “Preacher’s Kid,” “Tough As I Think I Am,” “How ‘Bout You,” and “Just A Number” – all available on iTunes, Amazon Music and elsewhere, or through the website jgmusic.net.

“I get people constantly asking me or messaging me, seeking me out on Instagram or Facebook, telling me how much they love the songs on that record, or that they like this song or that song,” Gallagher said. “This being the first full project that I put out, I wanted to gauge people’s attachment to every song.” 

‘Booked up’  

Saturday’s performance will be part of a Centre County YMCA anti-hunger fundraiser.

The activities run all day, with Gallagher taking the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Upcoming local concerts include: Sept. 6, Woodside Bar and Grill, in Johnstown;

Sept. 7: Matt Baker Cancer Fundraiser, Six Mile Run; Sept. 14: Windber Country Club,

7 p.m.; Oct. 4: Mount Aloysius College, Cresson; Oct. 25: St. Francis University, Loretto.

Gallagher will also perform at a NASCAR event Sept. 21 at Richmond International Raceway.

“Every weekend is booked up for me the rest of the year,” he said. “And a lot of the shows are back home, which is great.”

The singer/songwriter got his start on the NBC program “The Voice” now nearly four years ago.

Since then, he’s performed for the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, sung the national anthem at local baseball and hockey venues and served as a spokesman for the Johnstown Vision 2025 movement.

And he’s been playing a lot of shows and writing a lot of music.

“The momentum is starting to gain,” Gallagher said. 

‘Just A Number’ 

The final track on the “Josh Gallagher” EP grew out of a Nashville friend’s struggles with substance abuse.

Gallagher said “Just A Number” touches on a universal theme, as so many have experienced challenges with alcohol or opioids.

“He just one day said he had enough of it and he just up and quit, cold turkey,” Gallagher said. “He’s two years sober now, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Gallagher admitted to apprehension about putting such a deeply personal song on his first album.

But the feedback from fans and the reactions at his shows have told him that he and his team made the right decision when including “Just A Number” – which focuses on the moment an addict decides to make the call and seek help.

“It’s a heavy-hitter,” he said. “But it’s a favorite with the majority of the fans that hear it. This is one of those topics that people are scared to acknowledge or talk about.

“When we wrote it, that day when we came out of the room, we knew we had something special. Addiction is something that should not just be brushed under the rug. This problem does hit so many people, whether it’s you personally going through an addiction issue or it’s somebody you know.”

Chip Minemyer is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat and TribDem.com, and CNHI regional editor for Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio. He can be reached at 814-532-5091. Follow him on Twitter @MinemyerChip.

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