10,000 Maniacs

After recently listening to the 10,000 Maniacs compilation Campfire Songs, a solid 2-CD collection of singles and rarities from the band's Natalie Merchant era, I found that my John and Mary review page (which discusses the careers of sometime-Maniacs John Lombardo and Mary Ramsey) needed some updating. The Maniacs' 1997 album Love Among The Ruins (which featured Lombardo and Ramsey) is out of print. Since leaving that band in 2002, the duo have recorded a CD called The Pinwheel Galaxy, which they released without a record label and is therefore somewhat hard to find. I've added reviews of both to the John and Mary page:


So what has become of 10,000 Maniacs? They have only recorded two studio albums since Merchant departed in 1993: Ruins and The Earth Pressed Flat (1999), both of which featured Lombardo and Ramsey. Since that pair departed in 2002, the Maniacs took on a new singer named Oskar Saville. (She has recorded her own album titled A Girl Named Oskar). Saville has a huskier singing voice than Merchant and Ramsey; she actually has more in common with Sass Jordan than with either of them. This lineup of the Maniacs has yet to record, and they lately seem to be playing small venues (i.e. college campuses, casinos, and Hard Rock Cafes). Guitarist Robert Buck died from liver disease in December 2000. Three original members remain: keyboardist Dennis Drew, bassist Steve Gustafson, and drummer Jerry Augustyniak.

Relevant links:

Official 10,000 Maniacs site:

Official John & Mary site:

The Pinwheel Galaxy is available at CD Baby: