Lead singer and violinist for the American alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs and a member of folk rock duo John & Mary, Mary Ramsey, joined Rockabilly Greg In the Flamingo Lounge on May 3, 2023 to talk about her early years getting in to music, her teaching and her songwriting process.
Mary Ramsey was born in Washington D.C. and then moved to Fredonia, NY. She has been playing the violin since age 5, has worked with the Erie Philharmonic and founded the Lexington String Trio. Mary joined with John Lombardo in 1989 has been performing in her critically acclaimed folk duo John and Mary. She continued to expand her musical horizons when she stepped up to the plate and replaced Natalie Merchant in 1995 as the lead singer and songwriter of 10,000 Maniacs. She brought the band back in the spotlight with her top 40 hit “More Than This”.
In addition to writing and singing with 10,000 maniacs, she played both viola and violin, touring the world with the band, even playing for troops in Kuwait and Bahrain. Mary has worked with other well-known artists such as Jackson Browne, Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Bragg, Warren Zevon, Alex Chilton and Ani DiFranco.
Along with singing and writing, Mary has performed in various orchestras across the country including the Fresno Philharmonic, the Santa Cruz Symphony and the Monterey Symphony and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. She has also worked as a performer and music director for the Irish Classical Theater in Buffalo, New York. She teaches private lessons in violin, viola, voice and piano.