Virginia Wagner is not an ordinary singer/songwriter – she is a master story teller, weaving verbal landscapes of emotion through melodic threads. Time and again, people remark that when they listen to Wagner’s songs, it as if they were a part of the story.
Born in Jersey City, NJ, in 1958, Wagner taught herself how to play the guitar beginning at the age of eight. During that time, the 60’s were in full bloom, with anti-war demonstrations, and musicians who really believed they could “change the world” with their music. Wagner believed it, too, and began writing songs and performing at coffeehouses in New Jersey at the age of 13. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, and Jefferson Airplane were early influences. Wagner received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Fast forward to 1990. What has been called, “the new folk movement” was percolating and Virginia Wagner joined fellow singer/songwriters such as Jeff Buckley, and Joan Osborne, on the Greenwich Village club circuit in New York City. Sin-é, the Lonestar Roadhouse, The Bitter End, Kenny’s Castaways, and the Cornelia St. Café, were among the clubs she played.
From 1991 to 1993, she aggressively sought a major record deal, and was promised a contract by an A&R person at a major label in exchange for a fully realized MTV-style video. She presented him with “Left-Handed Moon,” an iconic anti-racism statement, however, the label failed to deliver on their promise. This prompted Wagner to found her own record label, Anvil Records, and release her debut album, Broken Hearted Angel in 1994.
Broken Hearted Angel was produced by Gold Record winner Rahjta Ren, and recorded by Grammy winner, Jeff Jones (the Jedi Master). The album was well received by folk radio programmers, and received extensive airplay and press reviews. Of the 10 songs, three found new homes on other compilation disks, and the song Hammer & the Anvil, was placed in a movie by writer/director, Amos Kollek, called Queenie in Love.
In 1995, Wagner was honored by the State of New Jersey as a songwriter at the New Jersey Folk Festival. She continued to tour until 1997, and then took a break from performing. During this period, she refined her piano skills, and continued writing.
In 2001, Wagner relocated to South Florida and released her second album, Darkness Visible, again produced by Rahjta Ren, with Gregory Galfo as executive producer, in 2007. It is carefully crafted, and a personal statement about surviving in the modern world.
Wagner’s albums and singles are available on CDBaby.com, iTunes, and other music download web sites. She is currently at work writing for her third CD, however, she has already begun releasing singles as they are complete.
Virginia Wagner continues to believe she can change the world with her music, and actively seeks to manifest positive change through her songwriting. She and her publishing company, Queen of Swords Music, are affiliated with BMI.