Home Waynesboro City Councilman Terry Short Jr. releases record of new music created during pandemic

Waynesboro City Councilman Terry Short Jr. releases record of new music created during pandemic

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

terry short jr.
Terry Short Jr.

WAYNESBORO — Waynesboro City Councilman Terry Short Jr. invites you down A Road Not Traveled,” a record of 15 new songs to be released Friday under his nom de plume, That Mighty Bumble.

“I’m super proud of this [record], because I completely committed to the production of this one,” said Short, who was a member of different bands and recorded a few records when he lived in Chicago.

When his daughter, Molly, was born in Chicago 18 years ago, Short wrote a song titled “You” about her, which appears on the new record.

Last year, Short returned to music after five years of not writing. He said the pandemic gave him an opportunity to focus on his music again, a passion which began as a child.

“It was kind of almost an opportunity to do self-guided, self-directed things that you’re interested in,” Short said of the pandemic.

After completing some home improvement projects, Short said he ran into a friend at a coffee shop one day and he was reminded of his love of music during their conversation.

He began writing songs as a child.

“I always as a kid, always loved music. It has created sanity for me to have it,” Short said.

His grandfather lived just outside of Waynesboro and gave Short his first instrument: a harmonica. Soon, piano lessons followed. When he was a teenager, Short got his first guitar, which, he said, sealed the deal on his love of music.

Now he also plays drums, mandolin, banjo, bass and the organ; all of which can be heard on his new record.

“I really honed some of the mechanics of recording and tried things I’ve never done before,” Short said of the new record.

Orchestration and sequencing of the different instruments is “really sprinkled throughout the record.”

From Johnny Cash to Motley Crue to Otis Redding, Short said he is a fan of all music genres, so he does not put a label on what genre his music falls under.

Short, who appreciates local art shows, said he considers the record “an auditory art show.”

“Here’s an exhibit of a year’s worth of work that somebody’s pretty proud of,” he said.

a road not traveled coverA Road Not Traveled contains different styles and themes than Short has previously explored with his music.

He said that when he decided to make a new album during the pandemic he had a goal of completing the music by Dec. 31, 2020.

“An auditory archive of my personal experience and what I spent my time on during COVID. Almost a memory box,” Short said of the record.

By his deadline, he had 17 songs written, including songs such as “You” which had never been recorded. He chose 15 for “A Road Not Traveled,” because two of the songs did not seem to fit this record.

“They all have a connection to one another,” he said of the 15 songs chosen.

The album title was inspired by Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.”

The songs are his observations of individuals adapting and living during a pandemic.

“The good, the bad, the light, the dark, the hope, the hopelessness, the road behind, the road ahead,” Short said.

Besides “You,” the song he wrote 18 years ago for his daughter, another song on the new record, “The Waiting,” is about getting to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Short, the last song on the record, “You Ain’t Wrong,” contains a recording of a train going by his house on the Tree Streets in Waynesboro. Sometimes he leaves the door open, a cool breeze comes in and he can hear the train.

Short said the train going by is a reminder that “things keep moving. There’s a new day. There are new destinations to get to.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.