In 2001, an album called New Irish Hymns was released in Europe by Joanne Hogg, Margaret Becker, and Maire Brennan. If you had read the liner notes, you would have seen that all of these songs were written and arranged by an unknown composer named Keith Getty. Four years later one of those songs, “In Christ Alone,” had become a favorite of churches around the world. Keith Getty had also married singer Kristyn Lennox and moved to the United States, where the couple began recording songs under their own names.
Now the Gettys have dozens of songs that have blessed congregations. They use melodies inspired by the folk songs of their native Ireland so that the songs can be easily led by a piano or by a band or even an organ. The texts are also theologically rich. Nine of their songs are included in the new Lift Up Your Hearts hymnal—a remarkable feat for contemporary songwriters.
Over the past decade, the Gettys have not only become seasoned composers but also outstanding performers and worship leaders. Getty events are equal parts worship service and concert: along with their impressive band, they present these songs in imaginative and interesting arrangements and invite the audience to sing along.
Live at the Gospel Coalition, their fifth album, is an excellent example of one such event. While it features many of their most-loved songs, it is unfair to characterize it as merely a greatest hits collection; their concerts and this album are more than just a bunch of good songs. The Gettys want these events to tell the story of the gospel of Jesus. This album does just that. (Getty Music)
About the Author
Robert J. Keeley is Professor of Education Emeritus at Calvin University and a music leader at 14th St CRC in Holland, MI.