Singer/songwriter and popular touring artist Mark Wagner releases his fourth national studio album, NeedLove. The project will be available exclusively through non-profit organization Mocha Club on May 15.
In true Wagner fashion, NeedLove showcases his aptitude for accessible lyrics intended, on this record, to remind listeners of their need for God’s love. Songs like “All I Need” and “Carry Your Love” speak to the redemptive quality of His love, while “Made For Love” emphasizes our reason for being–to be loved by Him.
Wagner explains, “Our deepest longing is to be known and to be loved. For most of us, we spend years chasing after all the wrong kinds of love before we find the right kind, the kind we really need. I created this album as a reminder that God created us in order to know us and love us.”
In addition to enlisting Ben Shive (Matt Wertz, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves) as a co-producer and session player on NeedLove, Wagner tapped songwriters Andrew Osenga of Caedmon’s Call and Mark Trussell, recently a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” among others. NeedLove also includes a cover of the popular Rich Mullins tune, “Creed.”
The project will be available in cooperation with non-profit organization Mocha Club. Those who partner with Wagner and Mocha Club, supporting Women at Risk in Ethiopia, will receive his album free, along with an exclusive music video, lyrics, chord charts, as well as monthly communication from Wagner and Mocha Club about how their contribution is impacting lives in Africa. Existing Mocha Club members can also receive NeedLove for free simply by inviting friends to join.
“We’re thankful for our continuing partnership with Mark Wagner and are excited that he’d want to
release his new album exclusively with us,” says Jeff Jackson, artist relations director for Mocha Club. “His efforts will make a significant and lasting impact on Mocha Club’s outreach in Ethiopia with our Women at Risk ministry.”
For more information on how to get your copy of NeedLove, visit:www.themochaclub.org/artists/wagner. To find out more about Mark Wagner, go towww.markwagnermusic.com or follow him on Facebook:www.facebook.com/markwagnermusic.
About Mark Wager
A Tennessee native, Mark Wagner began his career performing locally at coffee houses and music clubs. In 2008 he released his debut label record, Sun’s Gonna Rise, also produced by Ben Shive, on Otis Alan Records. To date he has three albums to his credit with sales exceeding 25,000 units.
Wagner has also produced projects for other artists including Ryan Long and Josh Johnson (of the
band Elenowen). He tours consistently, having performed alongside such well-known names as Brandon Heath, Paul Wright and Rachel Lampa as well as for thousands of high school students along the Young Life circuit. For an updated list of tour dates, visit:www.markwagnermusic.com.
About Mocha Club
Formed in 2005, Mocha Club is a new generation of activists giving up the cost of two mochas – or $7 – to strategically fund relief and development projects in Africa. They work in five main project areas: Clean Water, Education, Child Mothers + Women At Risk, Orphan Care + Vulnerable Children, and HIV/AIDS + Healthcare. Their vision is to provide a way for people who don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a real difference in Africa. To learn more about Mocha Club visit www.themochaclub.org andwww.themochaclub.org/artists/wagner.
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December 30, 2011
A review by Lee Younger
Mark Wagner is about to do something that almost no one else is doing. He’s making a record that is much more than just a record you listen to. You see, most songwriters and recording artists simply write, play, record, promote and tour their music because of the music itself. The music is the end of the thing. They want you to hear it, buy it, support it and love it because of what it is, and that’s that. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this philosophy. Being simply an artist is a good, honest living and the world needs folks like that. Every iPod is populated with artists and records and songs that are just about the work itself, and that’s great, but that’s not what Mark Wagner is doing.
Mark is making a record that isn’t just a collection of songs. This record is actually a box of tools. It’s a collection of medicines and antidotes. For most artists, the question they ask themselves when they are writing or recording is something along the lines of, “What do I want this song to sound like?” or maybe even, “What do I want this song to say?” But Mark is taking things a step further and asking the question, “What can this song do?”
Music is powerful stuff. Music has the ability to get into a person’s head and heart in a way that no other artistic medium can. Mark is trying to harness the staying power of music as a way to do ministry. The record ‘Need+Love’ is a ministry tool. The lyrics are not just poetic, they are powerful. You see, the goal of ministry is to help someone move closer to the Lord. In other words, God is always drawing people to Himself all the time; but people get stuck because things get in the way. Maybe the obstacle that’s keeping them from the Lord is a feeling of guilt or shame over a past failure. The job of a minister is to come in, bring the truth of God’s forgiveness and acceptance, back it up with Scripture, which removes the lie of guilt. Now that the obstacle is out of the way, that person just gets drawn closer in.
The job of a well planned sermon is to do just that: Remove obstacles, undo lies and tear down strongholds so that people can get closer to the Lord. But, a sermon takes 40 minutes, whereas, a well written song takes 3 minutes and is way more fun. Mark sees himself as more than an artist. He is a minister… a missionary. His songs are tools that tear down strongholds. The truth is catchy and has a groove. It gets in your head and heart and before you know it, you’re set free from the thing that was holding you back. If a spiritual lie is a poison, this record is an antidote. Mark Wagner’s ‘Need+Love’ is lush and beautiful art, but it’s not art for the sake of art alone. No, it’s a carefully planned, strategic tool for ministry. And not only will it set you free, but pretty soon, you’ll be repeating the lyrics in your own conversations – using those tools to set others free as well.