Josh Gallagher of Cresson is a 22-year-old who loves singing and playing country music and has written some songs of his own.
Gallagher will get some bigtime exposure on Saturday when he opens for country singer Randy Houser at the free Tailgate Concert Series in Stampede Square adjacent to the stadium at the University of Buffalo in New York, where the Bulls will go up against the University of Connecticut.
Houser is widely recognized as one of the fastest rising stars in country music today.
Gallagher landed the gig because his father, Dan, is buddies with the athletic director at Buffalo.
“They called me and wondered if I’d be interested,” Gallagher said.
“Of course, I said yes. I can’t wait. This is an incredible opportunity for me. I’m hoping it’s a step in the right direction for me to follow my dream and accomplish what I want as a county music artist.”
Gallagher’s family has backstage passes and hopes Houser will be able to give him some guidance.
He plans to visit Nashville next year and see what can happen in his musical career.
Gallagher tried out for “American Idol” a few years ago and for “The Voice” last year, but didn’t earn a spot on either show.
“He’s excited about this weekend because he plays Randy’s songs,” said Gallagher’s aunt, Sandy Felix of Nanty Glo. “He doesn’t get nervous when he performs, he just goes out and sings.”
Gallagher wanted a backup guitar for this weekend in case he breaks a string and was able to buy one with some money his grandfather left him.
“All of his equipment comes from Pap,” his aunt said.
Gallagher started singing country in 2011 and has played at weddings, bachelor parties, retirement parties and other venues from Lilly to Altoona.
“I listened to country for a long time, and I played rock and blues,” Gallagher said. “When I started with country, it took off from there.”
Gallagher played at this year’s Cambria County Fair along with Nashville singer Justin Lynch.
“Josh got to meet him and get a picture with him,” Felix said.
“Justin Lynch gave him his set list in his own handwriting.”
He has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old and singing since he was even younger.
Gallagher is a 2009 graduate of Penn Cambria High School, studied at Penn State and works at J-Lok in Cresson.
He has performed on “We Are Central PA Live” three times this year.
His music is available on YouTube, and his four-song CD includes the originals “Cowgirls in Cowboy Boots,” “Calloused Hands,” “Welcome to the Show” and “Where Your Heart Is.”
Gallagher’s website is
Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/ RuthRiceTD.