HOW I GOT HERE
Jim Gillum is a singer/songwriter from Cincinnati (say that ten times fast!), strumming a mix of original music and covers, everything from the Beatles to Buffet to Zak Brown. His original songs reflect that mix as well, with a healthy dose of country and classic rock like a generous plate of biscuits and gravy.
With his new album (“Soak it Up”) scheduled for release in the Spring of 2017, he is currently preparing a release show scheduled for April 9, 2017 at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley, Ohio (just a few miles north of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio), with special guest band “The Sunburn Junkies” backing him up.
As the son of a Church of Christ minister, he was raised on a steady diet of Gospel music and Hank Williams, Sr. As a teen, he discovered a taste for the Beatles, smuggling their records into his basement bedroom when mom wasn’t looking. He never lost his love of country music, playing in a high school “garage country band,” that included a repertoire of Merle Haggard and Neil Young. But it was right out of high school that he met a musician who would completely change the course of his musical career, the late Rich Mullins, contemporary Christian recording artist and Dove award winner. Rich pulled Jim into his musical circle as he began to develop his own notoriety, and the two would occasionally perform in churches throughout the Midwest.
After Rich moved on to Nashville, Jim stayed in Cincinnati where he developed his songwriting and stagecraft. Mixing in occasional humor in his shows (he still does an impersonation of a duet featuring Willie Nelson singing with Barney Fife), he performs regularly around the Greater Cincinnati area. Additionally, for the past 15 years He has become a successful music educator, mentoring several students along the way, teaching music at St. Gertrude School in Cincinnati.
He has previously released two albums recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, “Back Road Home” (1997), and “The Last Road” (1999). “Back Road Home” features an appearance by country music legend Steve Wariner, a 4 time Grammy award winner who has charted over 50 singles in his own career. “The Last Road” features several award winning musicians including Grammy award winning fiddle player Glen Duncan. Rick Bird of the Cincinnati Post wrote in 2000, “Gillum’s ‘The Last Road’ is a slickly produced project, recorded in Nashville featuring several solid session players and Gillum’s own well-crafted contemporary Christian songwriting.”
Perhaps the crowning achievement of “The Last Road” was Gillum’s own song “The Message of the Man,” written in honor of his father, John Gillum, a song which placed 3rd in the Gospel Music Association’s “Music in the Rockies” in 2004.
Recently, he has honed his skills with the academic help of Berklee College of Music, where he won the Phil Spector award for songwriting in 2012. The result of his work at Berklee is the new album, “Soak it Up,” which features a healthy dose of country and rock, along with the consistent thread of a faith that has sustained him and his music over the years. Kind of like biscuits and gravy.