Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
Danny Oertli (in case you want to know how to pronounce his surname, rhyme it with “shortly”) is a singer/songwriter and guitarist from Denver, Colorado, and first came to real prominence in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. Danny had worked amongst the kids at several schools, including Columbine, and knew several of the victims and he was asked to sing at the funeral of Cassie Bernall, who wrote the poem which was turned into the song “Whatever It Takes” by The Kry. Danny wrote a song specially for the funeral, “My Last Breath”, which became a big radio hit on UCB Europe in 2001, and it’s part of this excellent 11-track CD. I know I’m onto a winning album when several songs catch my attention on the very first play; two instant radio hits are “God Wrote A Song”, a track based on Zephaniah 3:17, which also inspired Matt Redman’s “The Father’s Song”; and “Wind Through The Trees”, a jaunty folksy hymn of praise to the Creator who made the heavens and the earth and everything in them. The title track, in contrast, is a prayer of dedication and commitment (“My pride collides with insecurity/And I’m not sure where I stand/But I’ll place my hope in you Lord/’Cause you know who I am“). Danny is no stranger to personal sorrow; quite apart from the Columbine business, he tragically lost his young wife Cyndi recently, although that didn’t happen until after this album had been completed. It remains to be seen how that will affect his songwriting, but the sheer sense of peace and serenity in this album (even in the way he performs “My Last Breath”, and also his rearrangement of Angus Toplady’s old classic “Rock Of Ages”) makes me believe that his faith will remain unshaken and firm. A beautiful album.
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