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"Troy Record"

2Late Makes Differences Work
by Don Wilcock

Vicki Gayle: “We always say in 2Late I am the leader singer and rhythm guitar player, and Mike is the rhythm singer and lead guitar player. So, I wanted guitar lessons. Mike does teach. So, we decided to work that out. Mike says to me….”

Mike Short: “I’m not going to give you guitar lessons.”

Vicki: “And I said, ‘Why?’”

Mike: “Because I’d like you to be my partner, and I’d like to go and sing around and stuff.”

Vicki: “I was shocked and mortified because I had just come off of two very bad partnership experiences.”

Mike: “The partner from Hell.”

Vicki: “The partner from Hades, yeah, basically.

Mike: The Catholics are allowed to say Hell. Episcopalians are more conservative.”

Vicki: “We don’t have the Virgin Mary up there kinda plugging for us, so I say Hades. Okay, Mike?”

Mike: “Fair enough.”

Creative duos are high wire balancing acts. Think about Simon & Garfunkel, Sam & Dave, Hall & Oates, Cephus & Wiggens, Heart, or the Righteous Brothers. For what one didn’t do well, the other had talents to balance things out. If both considered themselves equals creatively, the wire they walk could get particularly taut.

Vicki: “I first met Mike when he came and substituted as an organist at our church. He came to the 10 o’clock service as the substitute organist, and at that time I was actually working with the youth choir. So I came up and did my little, ‘Welcome to the choir’ kind of thing.’ He says, ‘Oh, what song ya doing?” And I said, ‘We’re doing “Shine, Jesus, Shine,” and he goes, ‘Oh, I hate that song.’ So, I immediately pegged Mike as…..”

Mike: “A jerk!”

Vicki: “Yeah! Actually, not a jerk. You were full of yourself.”

It took Vicki and Mike more than a year of running into each other at various events to decide to team up as 2Late, a duo that’s secular in presentation but Christian in ideals. Even when they started performing together, Vicki didn’t let Mike play on her solo CD “Half A Lifetime.” Their first public performance was at the Knox Country Store.

Vicki: “I was going to play, and he was going to come and do five songs, and it was what, two hours later that we quit?”

Mike: “Yeah, it got dark, and the bugs came out.”

Vicki: “Yeah, we had to quit at that point.”

Mike: Five songs took three minutes to play.”

Vicki: Somebody speeds up when he gets going.”

Mike: “To me they sounded like they were backwards, they were so slow, but when I looked down at my watch after doing all five, it was three minutes after six. I was playing in a church choir. Whole different feeling! You’re really not the focus of attention.

Vicki: “I was the one with playing-out-in-public experience.”

Mike: “I had never done that before. I had played Godspell back in 1975 in Madison, Wisconsin.”

Three and a half years later, 2Late (who took the name because they collectively admit to being more than a century old) have one released CD “Comments from The Kitchen” and another one in the works. Their music sneaks up on you the way Lou Reed used to. The lyrics seem simple, almost naïve, until you think about them or reach an O’Henry surprise ending as on “Janie.” Written by Vicki, it tells the story of an emotionally abused girl who commits suicide. Vicki says she couldn’t have written it until her mother passed away two years ago.

Mike wrote “Days That I Have You” for Vicki. “She has dark days, and I wrote that for her to remind her that there are bright days, too. I will contribute to them where I can.”

“The joke is that we’re married but not to each other,” says Vicki. “I think that’s what helps it work.” Their faith and their creative work together have helped both Mike and Vicki through dark times. Both their spouses have been in the hospital with heart disease.

2Late has balanced their way across a long and open chasm in three and a half years. Mike remembers early on when Vicki asked him to play at her CD release party, and he responded, “Sure, I won’t charge too much to do that.” He’s a little embarrassed about it now. “I’d only really known her for six weeks. She said it was a business relationship, but the relationship has changed so much that I wouldn’t dream of it at this point even if she was to do another solo CD.”

“Or if I did do another solo CD,” she responds, “it would probably be in your studio.” - September 2007


Comments From the Kitchen - 2006
Just 2Late - 2008



It had to be fate.

Vicki and Mike lived within miles of each other for years in Guilderland, a suburban community in upstate New York. Then suddenly their paths crossed again and again. First, they became friends. Then they found out that when they sing together, magic happens.

Vicki Gayle was born in Jacksonville, FL, and first played in front of an audience at age seven. For many years, she performed country, folk and soft rock music around the New York Capital Region. Her philosophy about music is simple: it has to be good, and it has to be fun, and that comes across clearly in 2Late’s performances.

Mike Short grew up in Madison, WI. His mother started training him on the piano very early with formal lessons starting in fourth grade. He picked up the guitar in seventh grade and never put it down. His family gets together whenever it can to play bluegrass, folk and country gospel tunes. His experience in the family band has paid off in 2Late, as Vicki’s lead singing is the perfect foil for his harmonizing. Mike is an accomplished songwriter, specializing in Christian Contemporary and modern acoustic folk music. 2Late features six of his songs on its new album, Comments from the Kitchen, released on February 18, 2006.

Veterans of several upstate New York venues, 2Late plays acoustic music ranging from country to angst-filled folk, with just about every emotion in between. Vicki is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, and Mike is the lead guitarist and rhythm singer. Together, they far exceed the sum of the parts, with hot licks and cool harmonies to please any audience.

2Late is a family affair. Vicki’s daughter, Emily, joins us on stage from time to time – when we can get her nose out of the iPod (“Hey, want to sing?” usually turns the trick.) Vicki’s husband Rik and Mike’s wife Monica load the van, set up and tear down gear, run our sound board, and attend almost every concert. Without our families, we would just be a couple of singers It is the family tie that binds 2Late together on so many levels.