Whether it’s mellow or high energy, most of us respond viscerally to music. And Steve Short is all over the place, keeping the pulse going. The Yukon drummer is one of four Oklahomans touring with the Sooner State’s Darci Lynn Farmer of America’s Got Talent fame.
“I started touring with Lynn on her national Darci Lynn, Fresh Out of The Box Tour in early 2019,” says Short. Now on a pandemic hiatus, he says, “fingers crossed, we should be back on tour in mid-July.”
But he’s also backed up a catalog of legendary names. Ranking Oklahomans at the top, he explains: “One of the more notables includes Reba McEntire. I toured and recorded with her for three years. And I’m happy to have played on her Christmas album, which is double platinum at over two million records. And I played in the new Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., with Reba. I’ve recorded with other Okies such as Byron Berline, Vince Gill, Kyle Dillingham, Wanda Jackson and Mason Williams.”
And Short’s favorite experiences include his performances on the iconic Hee Haw country-music-and-humor television variety show.
“I played drums on one show when Reba sang a duet with Roy Clark,” says Short. “Playing while Roy sang was one of the highlights of my career.”
He’s also drummed for Johnny Gimble, Leon McAuliffe and Leon Rausch, who was known as the voice of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
“Western Swing is my favorite thing to play,” says Short. “It’s a lot of fun. I’ve also done a lot of faith-based stuff. I’ve performed on over 600 Trinity Broadcasting Network shows.”
Besides making the traps sizzle, Short also produces, mixes and engineers music for other artists. Quick to laugh and somewhat of a comic, Short doesn’t sit still. He’s played the entire U.S., plus China, much of Europe, and Canada.
“I’ve been everywhere, man,” he says. “And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Short has turned down relocation opportunities, including to Nashville.
“I love going to other places to work,” he says. “But I love coming home to Oklahoma. I’ve had a very blessed career. I am so proud to be an Okie.”
Jerry Short’s son, Steve Short, found those good vibrations early. Jerry’s country gospel band, The Countrymen, recorded several albums, and Steve wanted to be part of the music. So, Jerry gave 10-year-old Steve his first drum, and that’s where it all began.
“My training started almost immediately,” says Short. “That summer I went on tour with dad’s band, quietly playing one drum with brushes.”
Short never took music lessons; instead, the Countrymen’s seasoned musicians taught him to play drums. At age 13, Short played in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry in Ryman Auditorium with his family.
“It’s hard to top playing at the Ryman,” he says.
Adding fuel to the excitement, Steve recalls a particularly fond memory: “Sitting on George Jones’ tour bus with just George, his wife and me, talking about anything and everything for 30 minutes. I will never forget how I felt at that moment.”