Singer Mary Ramsey knows what 10,000 Maniacs fans want.
Celebrating their 35th anniversary, 10,000 Maniacs are planning to play a retrospective of hits, and a “few surprises,” when they come to the Crescent Ballroom on Tuesday, August 8.
The biggest surprise? Realizing that the band has been together for more than three decades.
“When those numbers pop up, it’s surprising,” says Ramsey, who has been with the band on and off since 1995, when singer Natalie Merchant left.
“We share in this reunion with the fans because a lot of people who come to our shows have had a lot of different experiences during those years.”
Ramsey was introduced to 10,000 Maniacs through member John Lombardo. The two founded the duo John and Mary, who opened for 10,000 Maniacs.
“We did a lot of shows with them,” she says. “Then they wanted me to be a part of the show, playing violin and viola, and singing background. That’s how it all came into my life.”
Ramsey has recorded a handful of records with 10,000 Maniacs, including the live collection Playing Favorites. The album includes “Like the Weather,” “Trouble Me,” “Because the Night,” “These are Days” and “Hey Jack Kerouac,” among others.
“We had this show in Jamestown (New York) and we said, ‘Let’s bring the audience into the record,’” she says. “They make us play a bit different. It’s wonderful to go in the studio and record, but it’s wonderful to get that sense of the audience being part of the band.”
The hits will surely be on the Crescent Ballroom setlist, along with Celtic songs.
“The fun part about being an instrumentalist is that I can change things here and there,” she adds about the tone of the show. “We jam together and every show is a little different, but we still have that sound.”
10,000 Maniacs, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, luckymanonline.com, 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 8, $36-$39. The show is 21 and older.