First published on 21 July 2009, and updated on 27 Feb 2010
I like to think of myself as someone who keeps up with trends. That’s what I do for a living after all (see http://www.graemecodrington.com, if you’re interested). But I now confess to you that I have only recently realised that the legacy of John and Charles Wesley and other great hymnwriters of ages past is being carried forward by a new couple: Keith and Kristyn Getty.
I am a bit of collector of two specific types of music: Christmas albums (I have bought a minimum of two new Christmas albums every Christmas for the past 20 years, and have nearly 60 Christmas albums in my personal collection), and worship music. Listening to worship music is probably the most powerful way for me to personally do daily devotions. Over the past few years, though, good worship music has been a bit hard to come by. The big music houses around the world realised worship music was a winner (financially, I mean) about 7 years ago, and so most major Christian recording artists have realised (at least one) worship album in the past few years. But, as with all things, they’ve become a bit stale – formulaic, repetitive – and worst, we’re now getting compilation after compilation album that just repackages old stuff.
So, it has been refreshing to discover some great worship writing talent in the UK (I moved to London last year, and we have now been at our church, Dundonald since September 2008 – our worship leader, Andy Fenton is a fan of the Gettys).
Keith and Kristyn Getty are a husband and wife team from Ireland. They are best known for pioneering “modern hymns”. Many of their songs are co-written veteran British songwriter and worship leader Stuart Townend. The most widely used of the Getty-Townend hymns are “In Christ Alone”, “The Power of the Cross” and “Speak, O Lord”. They are currently living in the United States where they write music and tour.
I’m a fan!! Their words are inspired and inspiring – and superbly Biblically based. Their attitude is humble – I really like their “behind the hymns” interviews. Their music uplifting and powerful, yet with the British simplicity of rendition. (To be honest, I’m looking forward to them being discovered by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, because some of their songs need a full voiced inner city choir and jazzed up full orchestra to raise the rafters). I also am a huge fan of female worship leaders – they bring something different to the praise and worship of our Saviour.
For those who want something fresh from their worship, check out the Gettys. Just search YouTube for them to get a taster!!
Some of my favourites are:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppcOA_HSs9U – O Church Arise
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZuU2wPms38 – There is a higher throne
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGCISQQ7Zo – The Power of the Cross
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZuIyrwSqHY – In Christ Alone
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=234szPddcak – Come, People of the rise King
You won’t regret it. And those of you who have known about them for years – stop sniggering at how late I’ve found them. And then repent for not telling me about them sooner!!
2 thoughts on “Keith and Kristyn Getty – modern hymn writers extraordinaire”
Comments from the original post at the old website:
Thanks for the introduction to these wonderful Christian artists! I have passed on this information to others also, so perhaps we won’t have to repent, like some others we may know !!
Have a blessed day, Grahame !
And another comment from my friend, Jeremy Farrell:
Hallelujah! (if you will forgive the irony). Thanks for the Getty tip, but also for calling out our commercialised formulaic worship recordings of the past few years. I think the same comment applies to CCM as well. I bought myself the latest WOW compilation, and it all sounds the same – or at least the lyrics do. Can we not, with all the creativty God imbues us with, come out with more fresh music? Every now and then someone breaks the mould and cuts a new path, but then it becomes mainstream/conformist too.
Maybe the publishers also need to get back to basics and reward inspired worship instead of what sells. When the machine grows to a certain size it needs a certain size engine to sustain it, and so we have to generate x number of albums a year to cover costs with margin to fund growth. Then we start to go the route of pop(ular) commercial worship, and we get what we have.
When last did you hear a worship album that sounded like actually being intimate worship with believers? I love MW Smith’s ‘Worship’, but are the crowd screaming for Jesus or for Smitty?