10,000 Maniacs is one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the last three decades. Founded by guitarist Robert Buck, keyboardist Dennis Drew, bassist Steven Gustafson, guitarist John Lombardo and vocalist Natalie Merchant in 1981, the band defined college rock. Coming together with artists like R.E.M , they became the first wave of alternative rock bands and pioneered what became known as the alternative rock format on FM radio.
Although Natalie Merchant is no longer with the group, they have the added distinction of helping to launch her solo career. The singer-songwriter parted ways with the band in 1993.
2016 marks 35 years of 10,000 Maniacs and in honor of the anniversary the band released their first live album with lead vocalist Mary Ramsey, Playing Favorites.