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10,000 Maniacs - 2/14
at City Winery Chicago
- 6:00 pm
- 8:00 pm
One of the most critically acclaimed bands of the last three decades, 10,000 Maniacs, was founded by Robert Buck, Dennis Drew, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo and Natalie Merchant in the fall of 1981. Jerry Augustyniak joined in 1983. Together with artists like R.E.M., they defined college rock and created the first wave of alternative rock bands and what became know as the alternative rock format on FM radio.
Writing and performing powerful, danceable, and socially conscious original material in and around their hometown of Jamestown, New York, the group toured extensively and produced two independently released records.
By producing, manufacturing, and marketing their own recordings, 10,000 Maniacs were the original “indie” band before signing with Elektra Records and making The Wishing Chair in 1985 with producer Joe Boyd. 1988 saw the band debut on national television with appearances on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and Saturday Night Live.
1993 began with the Maniacs memorable performance at Bill Clinton's MTV Inaugural Ball where host Dennis Miller famously referred to them as “Chelsea Clinton's favorite band.”
MTV Unplugged was released in October '93 (a few months after Merchant's departure), featuring a remake of the classic "Because the Night." The record sold 4 million copies.
The new lineup with Mary Ramsey released Love Among the Ruins for Geffen Records in 1997, featuring a cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This," which went to #24 on the Billboard charts, the highest-charting single in the band's history.
The Chicago Tribune noted: "If the 11 new singles rolled out are any indication of things to come, the new incarnation of 10,000 Maniacs may eclipse the old." Chicago Sun Times simply said, “Natalie Who?” 10,000 Maniacs continued their grinding touring schedule, finding new fans in Mexico, Portugal and Brazil.
In 1999, the band released The Earth Pressed Flat on Bar/None. An Album that Angelfire.com called “...arguably 10,000 Maniacs' greatest achievement, the perfect post-punk Celtic folk rock album.” 10,000 Maniacs returned in 2003 with long time friend and former guitar tech Jeff Erickson on lead guitar.
In 2004, Elektra/Asylum/Rhino Records released Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings, a two CD set compilation featuring a broad array of their groundbreaking music including several unreleased tracks.
Their latest and long-awaited studio album "Music From The Motion Picture" was released in 2013 and the band is currently touring in support of it!
The 10,000 Maniacs are
- Mary Ramsey (Viola and Lead Vocals)
- Dennis Drew (Keybord and Vocals)
- Jerry Augustiniak (Drum and Vocal)
- Jeff Erickson (Lead Guitar)
- Steve Gustafson (Bass and Vocals)