10,000 Maniacs will perform at Sportsmen's Tavern at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door.
For more than 30 years, 10,000 Maniacs have won the hearts and ears of music fans around the world, selling over 10 million records. Robert Buck, Dennis Drew, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo and Natalie Merchant founded the group in the fall of 1981 in Jamestown, with the later addition of Jerry Augustyniak in 1983. Together with artists like R.E.M., they helped define "college rock" and the first wave of "alternative rock" bands with their pop-conscious, literate and lush aesthetic.
10,000 Maniacs first gained widespread recognition with 1987's "In My Tribe" (Elektra). The record featured the hit singles "Hey Jack Kerouac," "Like The Weather," "Don't Talk" and "What's The Matter Here?" The album went to No. 37 on the Billboard Magazine Top 200 chart and sold more than 2 million copies. Rolling Stone Magazine included the album in its "One Hundred Best Albums of the Eighties."
The band sold 3 million copies in 1992 with the landmark "Our Time In Eden" (Elektra), bolstered by alt-rock radio mainstays "These Are Days" and "Candy Everybody Wants."
10,000 Maniacs added backing singer/violist Mary Ramsey in 1991. She performed on the band's biggest selling record, 1993's "MTV Unplugged" (Elektra), which featured the remake of the classic, "Because the Night." The CD sold more than 4 million copies.
Merchant left the band in 1993 with Ramsey assuming the lead vocalist position. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, she "brilliantly rose to the occasion." In fact, the band's top charting single on Billboard was the band's cover of the Roxy Music song "More Than This," featuring Ramsey on lead vocals, from the 1997 album "Love Among The Ruins" (Geffen).
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 the band's groundbreaking music, including several unreleased tracks.
In 2013, 10,000 Maniacs released "Music From The Motion Picture," their first full-length album in 13 years. The album was completely crowd-funded and produced independently by the group. It was hailed as a beautiful affirmation of the band's classic poetic lyrics and dreamy Americana blend.
The band's newest recording, "Twice Told Tales," is a full-length collection of traditional British Isles folk songs. It was released on both CD as well as a special 180-gram 12-inch vinyl format on Cleopatra Records in April.
Founding member and keyboardist Drew said, "Folk music of all types has been a strong influence on the band. One of the songs on the new record, 'Do You Love An Apple,' has been in our repertoire for 30 years. We've also recorded Carter family songs and other American, Irish and British Folk music in the past. These are timeless melodies."
"Some songs are funny, some are heartbreaking. Most are 100, 200, 300 years old. It's crazy how they can be turned into 21st century pop songs!" he added.
The band continues to tour incessantly in the U.S. and has made many new fans in Mexico, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Brazil with their Pledgemusic campaigns, which have also raised money for Children's Hospital of Buffalo and The Robert Buck Memorial Scholarship fund in honor of the late guitarist who passed away in 2000.
Visit 10,000 Maniacs online at http://www.maniacs.com.
Sportsmen's Tavern is located at 326 Amherst St., Buffalo. For more information, call 718-874-7734 or visit http://sportsmensbuffalo.com/.