10,000 Maniacs Signed & Ready To Record; Merchant In Top 10

No, we don't have a photo of the new 10,000 Maniacs, so here's Natalie Merchant, who is also in the news today.

The revamped 10,000 Maniacs have signed a new record

contract and plan to recording their first album for Geffen Records in the

Spring. The future of the group was uncertain when Natalie Merchant left. We

reported last year that former violinist and 10,000 Maniacs backup singer Mary

Ramsey stepped into Natalie's Bruno Magli's, and by all accounts filled them

with grace and talent. Those who've heard the band say that there is real

chemistry with this new configuration. 10,000 Maniacs hope to have a new album

out by the end of the summer. They also intend to tour, aiming at the larger

festivals in the U.S. and UK. As for Merchant, with her first solo album in the

Top 10, she is currently concentrating on her good works. She headlined a Rock

For Choice benefit in Washington DC last month, and is currently scheduled to

perform, along with the sainted Michael Stipe, and equally sainted Patti Smith

in a benefit concert for the Tibet House, an organization that raises money to

aid the Tibetans--a beleaguered people who have been long ousted from their

homeland by the Chinese Communists who currently occupy the area. The concert

will take place at Carnegie Hall on Monday. Feb