JACKSON — A Jackson man who has been playing music around the area for years is set to perform once again on the main stage at the Jackson Apple Festival.
Jason “Pudge” Gillum will be performing on Friday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m on the Bellisio Foods Stage. Gillum is playing prior to the headline act of Phil Vassar.
Gillum previously told The Courier that he got his musical start while going to college and living in Athens.
"I picked up the guitar to simply just play a few a songs and for something to do," Gillum said. "One thing led to another and I started playing in a country band in Athens. I sang back ups and played rhythm guitar at the college and local bars."
Gillum continued, "I moved back to Jackson in 2005 and the music for me was kind of at a 'stalemate,' and I was focused on other aspects of my life at that time. Around 2007, I started playing with Charlie Manring, a good friend of mine. He really helped jumpstart my music career again. Charlie and I played as a duet at a handful of shows around the southern Ohio area and were well received."
After that "jumpstart", Gillum formed the band known as "Local Yocals" and began playing pretty consistently for several years. He also continued to play whenever he could with friends like Mike Thompson of Athens, Bart Wiseman of Wellston and Gary Everett of Jackson.
"I learned so much from jamming with those guys ... I really owe them all a great amount of my musical success," stated Gillum. "For many years, I played in honky tonks and bars with my band the Local Yocals."
The band disbanded in 2012, and since that time, Gillum has been mainly playing as a solo artist.
"I am having a blast always meeting new people and playing new venues," said Gillum. "I always try to cater to the audience that I am playing for and play songs that I think they want to hear."
Gillum said, "There is a big difference in the new modern day country versus the ‘old’ country music. The good thing is I love it all. A lot of the newer music is coming from out west."
When he's not playing music, you can find Gillum behind a mic co-hosting a podcast "The Chubby Bartenders" with Chad Reynolds. The entertainment podcast features a special guest each week.
Gillum is married to Mindy and they have a son, Gibson.