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Religion Inspires Shirock's Music, Charity

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, February 13, 2009

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Chuck Shirock was only an aspiring musician when he was a teenager living in Bloomfi eld Hills and Northville. “I played with friends and stuff but never played shows or had bands or anything,” says Shirock (pronounced SHY-rock), 27. He now leads a Nashville-based modern rock group that bears his surname. “I spent a ton of time by myself, sitting with my acoustic guitar in the basement, just hours and hours of practicing and starting to write songs.”

It’s paid off in “Everything Burns,” the first album by Shirock, whose five members — including Shirock’s wife, Pap — met while attending Belmont University in Tennessee. Though identified as such, Shirock says the group “is not a Christian band by any means,” though he acknowledges “a constant kind of searching and striving” in the lyrics that draw from the musicians’ faith. (Shirock’s father, Bob, is a minister at Oak Pointe Church in Novi.)

“There’s moments where the lyrics are almost like a prayer,” Shirock notes, “where it’s almost as if I’m asking God questions. It’s a very personal thing, but our goal is being personal and honest and vulnerable and opening up like that to the audience.

“That can be a really scary thing at times.”

Shirock’s faith has, however, steered the group toward charity partnerships on its “Everything Burns” tour. In Detroit tonight, the group, whose nonprofit foundation is also called Everything Burns, is teaming with Goodwill Industries’ new Generation Goodwill initiative to steer students and young professionals toward social and philanthropic projects. Proceeds will also go to Goodwill’s efforts to combat rising unemployment in the metro area.

“We feel strongly that many people our age, in their 20s, have a strong desire to get involved,” Shirock explains. “We wanted to bring these young people together with organizations that are doing something and put them in the same room and let the band and the music act as a bridge and put legs on these young people’s ideas.

“If Detroit can do this, it will be an inspiration for so many other cities we’re going to on this tour. It’s more than giving back; it’s creating something.”

Shirock performs Friday (Feb. 13) at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com or www.everythingburns.org.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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