County Antrim duo nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album at Grammys

A hymn writing duo from Co Antrim have been nominated for a Grammy Award.

Keith and Kristyn Getty's album 'Confessio - Irish American Roots' has been nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album.

The album was recorded along the north coast as the couple spent time at home during the pandemic.

Speaking in Los Angeles ahead of Sunday's ceremony, Keith Getty said: "We've been writing hymns for 20 years and came home to Ireland for a break. We thought we might never go back.

"And then we started to make this album as our love letter to Northern Ireland. Just thinking about our whole lives here."

"The most Northern Irish album to date," Kristyn added.

Keith continued: "At the start, to think there would even be an album was a bit ridiculous but now it's been nominated for a Grammy where we're now against Willie Nelson is a little bit of an out-of-body experience."

American country musician Willie Nelson is the favourite to win the Grammy Award for Best Roots Gospel Album this year.

Kristyn said: "I feel like I need to phone my Mum and say 'Mum, this is really exciting and it is such a privilege to be here and the nomination is great but just to prepare you ... we're not going to win it!"

"But at the same time," Keith said. "You kind of always have this little hope as well. So it is a little bit nerve-wrecking but honestly it's just a privilege to be here."

Other nominees include Gaither Vocal Band, Karen Peck and New River, and the Tennessee State University Marching Band.

The couple, who originally hail from Lisburn and Glengormley, now live between their homes in Nashville, Tennessee and north Antrim village Ballybogey.

Kristyn said: "We come home every year. We look forward to it every year.

"For us, for our girls, it has been our rest place, our home place and our inspirational place even though we've lived in America all these years.

"We're looking forward to being there this June."

The couple are also planning to hold a concert in Belfast while they are back home in Northern Ireland.

"That's going to be a really important home-coming," Keith said.

Kristyn added: "Bringing the band home - they always love coming to Northern Ireland."

They say the album traces their journey back to Northern Ireland to explore the connection between the island’s enduring faith music heritage and its legacy in America.

Keith said: "I think this is the one we would have wanted because it is a 20 year retrospective on the music.

"It is this wonderful journey of Ireland to America. People who brought their music, people who brought their faith and people who were richer than all of us for having that."

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