Rocking you toward God
Published Thursday, July 8, 2010
Photo by Charlie Passut
Mickey Rose, guitar and lead
vocals for the Christian rock band
Stronghold, sings “Stop
From God” during a recent re-
hearsal. At right is drummer
passersby, the small farm off Seacock Chapel Road looks like your typical
Southampton County homestead. But pull over, shut off the engine, listen
very carefully and you might hear . . . hard rock. It’s too far away to make
out the lyrics, but that jammin’ sound is unmistakable. Queensrÿche?
Megadeth? Iron Maiden?
the domain of Stronghold.
last 40 years or more, churches have had weak messages, weak ministries,”
said Mickey Rose, the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist. “They’ve
gotten away from everything that was the whole character of God. They’ve
only stayed on one side – God is love.”
there’s another side, one that the band — Rose, his wife, Ann, on
keyboards, Ron Lee of Virginia Beach on bass and Jim Writesel of Virginia
Beach on drums — wants you to hear.
don’t look at the wrath side of it alone, but the whole picture,” Rose
added. “What our second CD will do is bring focus to that.”
was founded in 2002 and rehearses at the Roses’ home, on the second
floor of a barn that has been converted into a modern recording studio. It
was here that they put together their debut album, “A Cross And A Crown,” in
little bit of a ride, but it’s worth it because this is my sanctuary,”
Writesel said. “That’s the way I look at it.”
name for the second album hasn’t been decided — Writesel jokingly suggests
that since Jesus gave his blood for our sins, it should be called the
“Blood” album — “A Cross And A Crown” was nominated for a Momentum award by
Indieheaven and the Christian Artist Alliance.
has its roots through Ivor United Methodist Church.
didn’t have a choir,” Rose said. “The preacher at the time, Don
Chapman, found out that I played guitar. He was quite a piano player. We sat
down and started writing songs together. He had songs that he had written to
"established music.” Chapman died in November 2002 from cancer. Three of the
songs on “A Cross And A Crown” are Chapman’s, so the band dedicated its
first album to him.
Ivor roots, “We started doing a little bit at church and at other churches
in the area,” Rosenfeld said. “We just kept the ministry going. But now for
the first time in our whole ministry we feel like we’ve got something solid.
We’ve got four committed people with the desire to go.”
Stronghold wants to play bigger venues, including Christian colleges. “We’re
still honing down a decent 90-minute concert,” Rose said. “If you’ve
got that much time, that’s good. But we can also do a 60- or 30-minute
concert as well. We still have the same revival-type message.”
album will feature a familiar tune, Sammy Haggar’s “There’s Only One Way To
Rock.” Rose recently received permission from The Red Rocker to
re-record the hit to different lyrics. Stronghold’s version will be called
“There’s Only One Way To God.”
“It was a
simple change,” Rose said. “We added a few words here, changed a few
words there and it was done. When we go out and play it, people recognize
wanting to hear the band play live, the band has several gigs scheduled for
the summer, including at The Light House Café in Virginia Beach on July 24
and at Magnolia United Methodist Church on Aug. 14.
also has a fan page on the social networking site Facebook and an “artist”
page on the website indieheaven.com.
called to be the salt and light of the world,” Rose said. “We’re called
to go out and make disciples. We can’t do that sitting inside a
stained-glass building. We have to get out of it and we have to talk to
second album, he says, is about getting oneself right for the last days.
CD was about God’s promises, His goodness and that He’s always there for you
— which is all true,” Rose said. “With this CD, the day’s coming, so
prepare yourself. You’ve been told. You’ve heard it before. It’s not a