Maree Gallagher works behind the scenes on behalf of local musicians | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Maree Gallagher works behind the scenes on behalf of local musicians 

The "TR" in TR Creative Services, the company Maree Gallagher founded five years ago, stands for "Tenacious Ree," an apt nickname for an insistent promoter. But simple tenacity does not an effective publicist make. It's a penchant for people -- those on either side of the industry -- that makes Maree Gallagher a well-respected, well-liked fixture in the local music scene.

Though she's long been a music fan, Gallagher became directly involved only after her three children grew up and she found herself with more time to devote to her passion.

"I'd always been kind of a latent fan of The Gathering Field. When Bill Deasy went solo, he issued a call for street-team members, and I joined. I started throwing all these ideas at his management, and eventually I wore her down," she says, laughing.

Connections in the local scene -- some made through brother-in-law Mike Gallagher, a local Irish musician -- led to more management and booking work.

"I forged relationships with the local media, and artists started coming to me for help," Maree Gallagher recalls. "It was John Hayes from the Post-Gazette who first said, 'You know, you could charge for this!'"

Sometimes, in fact, she's able to combine her day job -- as development director for Focus On Renewal, in McKees Rocks -- with her music business. An upcoming show called "Who's Your Daddy?," at Hard Rock Café in June, is a benefit for FOR's Father Ryan Arts Center and features local musicians playing with their musician sons and daughters.

Gallagher productions often have such clever hooks. "I think I have a knack for getting attention with little things like that," she says.

In addition to ad hoc work -- booking, one-off media pushes -- she does full management for a handful of acts. Gallagher's current roster consists of Rising Regina and The Weathered Road, two rootsy young bands of local provenance. Both bands feature women; Gallagher holds that "women-fronted bands are kind of rare, and it's nice to work with them, especially being a woman-fronted consulting service." 

Gallagher sees a niche for someone like her in the local scene. "It makes many artists uncomfortable to self-promote," she says. "They're humble creatures; some are very talented, but they're not the ones to speak up about themselves."

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