40 Years of 10,000 Maniacs

Celebrating with 2 Shows in Michigan.

The iconic band 10,000 Maniacs is celebrating 40 years of making music with a national tour, including 2 shows in Michigan. The shows are scheduled for Saturday, June 18th at the Ark in Ann Arbor, and Monday, June 20th at the Waterfront Stadium in Grand Haven. Ticket prices start at $45 each. 

Album cover for their 2016 album Playing Favorites, via their press release.

It may be hard to believe it has been 40 years since the band formed in Jamestown, NY. Four of the six original members are still in the band. The newest member, Jeff Erickson who plays lead guitar, joined 19 years ago after the passing of original lead guitarist, Robert Buck. Mary Ramsey, who first toured with the band as a viola player and backup singer, has been the lead vocalist for 27 years. Ramsey replaced the original lead vocalist, Natalie Merchant, who went solo in 1993. 

The Maniacs shot to fame in 1993 with their performance on MTV’s hit show, Unplugged. The recorded show sold millions of copies. All in all, the band has sold over 10 million albums, and has recorded nearly 20 studio albums. They are currently writing a new album slated for release in 2023, per their website. 

The currently touring 10,000 Maniacs band who will play at The Ark on June 18. Photo by Jeff Fasano.

Just as the rest of the world suddenly stopped with the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown, the Maniacs saw an abrupt end to their 10-year, nearly nonstop, touring schedule. While the pandemic has had its share of negatives, the band, like many other musicians, were able to use this forced downtime to create new music. 

“The time during the pandemic has been a weird kind of gift…time for introspection and creativity. I have used the time to rekindle my love for writing and recording music,” Erickson said in a press release from May 2021, continuing, “After a while you really begin to miss the live experience though…your bandmates, the crew, the venues, and the travel. I am very much looking forward to getting back to it and can’t wait to see all those smiling faces!”

Their celebratory tour kicked off in September 2021 and will continue through the summer of 2022. 

10,000 Maniacs is touring, featuring four of their six original band members. Photo by Jeff Fasano.

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