New Maniac Takes Merchant's Place

Maniacs continue with out Natalie Merchant.

Taking a cue from their rock brethren Van Halen, who taught us that

the loss of a front man (or two) doesn't necessarily spell the end of a band,

the four remaining members of 10,000 Maniacs have rebounded from the 1993

departure of school-marmish singer Natalie Merchant.

They've found her

replacement.

Following the departure of the highly sensitive Merchant, who

quit the band to pursue a solo career, band members Robert Buck (guitar),

Dennis Drew (keyboards), Steven Gustafson (bass) and Jerome Augustyniak (drums)

set out in search of a new lead singer and didn't have to look far to find Mary

Ramsey. Ramsey played viola, violin and sang back-up on the Maniacs' last two

albums, Our Time in Eden and MTV Unplugged.

In addition to

Ramsey, original member John Lombardo has re-joined the group for their new

album, Love Among the Ruins (June 17), produced by John Keane (R.E.M.,

Indigo Girls) and Fred Haher (Lou Reed, Lloyd Cole).