Jeremy Camp’s seventh studio album “Reckless” needs a warning sign: not for the faint of heart. Camp hopes that the album, released in February, has inspired listeners to surrender everything, even what they never thought they could give up.
This happened to Camp when he felt God ask him, “Are you willing to surrender everything?” For him, “everything” was music — something he has been quite successful at for the past decade, with 32 No. 1 radio hits, a Grammy nomination and five Dove awards. Even with this success, Camp says God brought him to a place where he could, if the day ever came, surrender music.
“Not that it wouldn’t be a challenge,” Camp said, “but I wouldn’t be devastated because this is not my life. Christ is my life.”
Camp will perform at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville. Tickets are $25 for seats in the balcony and $35 for orchestra and mezzanine seating.
It was with the mindset of surrendering music that Camp wrote “Reckless,” the first single on his latest release. “Reckless” tugs at the listener with its call-to-action lyrics: I’ll lay my life down and give it up / I’ll give it up … I will not be afraid to surrender my way to follow who you are / I want to be reckless.
Camp explains the concept of recklessness through the life of Paul. In Acts 14, Paul returns to Lystra to share the gospel. It was in Lystra that Paul had been stoned and left for dead just days before. Sounds crazy that he would return to a place like that. But as Camp explains, it’s more reckless than crazy, and there’s a difference.
“[Paul] wasn’t being crazy for crazy’s sake, saying ‘I don’t care what’s going to happen. I just want to go.’ No, when you feel God calling you to do something, you have to be obedient. And that’s the difference. Paul was just obedient. That’s what reckless is.”
Camp co-wrote “Reckless,” along with several other songs on the album, with producer and longtime friend, Andy Dodd. Dodd produced several of Camp’s earlier albums, including “Stay” and “I Still Believe.” With Dodd back on as producer, Camp says he feels like he is getting back to his roots yet creating a new sound.
“Musically and vocally, it’s more raw,” Camp said, “but in a good way.”
As a part of giving everything to God, Camp has also penned his story in his book “I Still Believe.” (Tyndale). In “I Still Believe,” he shares, with unflinching candor and emotion, the extraordinary story behind his award-winning lyrics — from his impoverished childhood, rebellious teenage years and spiritual awakening at Bible College, to the tragic loss of his first wife, Melissa, to cancer and the heart-wrenching spiritual journey that followed — a journey that reignited his faith, inspired some of his most beloved songs and paved the way for a second chance at love with his second wife, Adrienne.
For tickets to Camp’s concert in Greeneville or for more information, call (423) 638-1679 or visit www.npacgreeneville.com.