Discover the Legacy of Cherith's Christian Rock Songs! 

In the late 70s and early 80s, Cherith faced considerable opposition from traditional churches in Northern Ireland who cared little for any kind of amplification at the altar or cable twixt choir and chancel. Despite these minor irritations, by the time the mid 80s came around, even Christian rock music had begun to make an enthusiastic debut in the form of new Christian rock bands, "SOS" and "Communiqué".

In the west of the province, there remained a particular hardcore of opposition to pop and Christian rock music in praise and worship. I can think of one particular example where, in 1983, one such protest occurred at a gospel music festival at Manor-Cunningham in Donegal. Cherith and accomplished Christian rock band, "Split-Level", were billed to share a platform in concert at the auditorium of a local community centre. First band of the afternoon was ourselves, Cherith. The arrangement was for Cherith to perform for one hour and thirty minutes, with a break of 15 minutes in the middle, for refreshments. At the end of our second stint - following an inpromptu and standing ovation by hundreds of attendees - it appeared the afternoon was off to a flying start for the organisers. Sadly, however, once "Split-Level" took to the stage for their own performance, half of the audience stood up and began to file out of the auditorium via the rear and side doors: not (may I add) a reflection of the quality of their music, but because of the attitude of the era.

Not only did I find this behaviour extremely disconcerting for those members of Split-Level, but by then I had already taken my seat at the back of the hall in anticipation of what promised to be an interesting blend of Cherith-style Southern gospel music with Split-Level's unique and might I say "daring" Christian rock music of the time.

Today I'm glad to say that church attitudes towards differing gospel music genres has changed considerably (for the betterment of everyone) and both now benefit from this diversity. I never realised then, but recently, however, it was explained to me by another musician the legacy of Cherith's Christian music. "What do you mean?", I asked. He replied, "You're largely southern gospel, yet you've recorded a number of songs in the best traditions of rock music"! He went on to explain rock influence in such tracks as, "Love is the Answer" and "I'm a Believer"! Obviously, this was a surprise to me, as we hadn't planned it that way. So in our ministry, I had discovered a cross-over between Christian southern gospel and rock music. And if you must know, I feel no lesser for it! If you wish to listen to one of these songs, below is a free download. Enjoy!

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