Mary Ramsey

Mary Ramsey (born December 24, 1963) is a member of folk rock duo John & Mary and lead singer and violinist for the American alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. Ramsey has also worked with other well-known artists such as Jackson Browne, Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Bragg, Warren Zevon, Alex Chilton and Ani DiFranco.

Mary Ramsey
Mary Ramsey
Mary Ramsey with her viola in 2005.
Background information
Birth nameMary Jeanne Ramsey
Born (1963-12-24) December 24, 1963 (age 57)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
OriginBuffalo, New York, U.S.
GenresFolk, folk rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, violin, viola, cello
Years active1989–present
LabelsRykodisc, Geffen, Bar/None
Associated actsJohn & Mary, 10,000 Maniacs


Ramsey is a classically trained violinist who has been playing the violin since age five. She has worked with the Erie Philharmonic and was a founder of the Lexington String Trio. She has also performed with the Fresno Philharmonic, the Santa Cruz Symphony and the Monterey Symphony in California and is currently a member of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra.

With John Lombardo, former member of 10,000 Maniacs, Ramsey formed the folk rock duo John & Mary in 1989. The pair made two recordings under the name John & Mary, Victory Gardens in 1991 and The Weedkiller's Daughter in 1993. Both albums were released on Rykodisc and are out of print. Mary Ramsey played violin and viola for 10,000 Maniacs and sang backing vocals on the 1993 album MTV Unplugged.

Ramsey returned to the Maniacs as lead singer and songwriter in 1995 after Natalie Merchant's departure, along with Lombardo. The duo released two albums with the Maniacs, 1997's Love Among the Ruins, which contained a cover of the Roxy Music song "More Than This" that became a top 40 hit on the U.S. charts, and The Earth Pressed Flat in 1999. While with 10,000 Maniacs, Ramsey toured throughout the U.S. and in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Panama, England, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. The band also played USO shows in Kuwait and Bahrain. One of the highlights of her career was a performance at the inaugural ball for Bill Clinton's second term as president. In 2002, after leaving the Maniacs following the death of guitarist Rob Buck, John & Mary released The Pinwheel Galaxy (2003). With their current band, the Valkyries, they released Peace Bridge (2007).

Ramsey was rehired by 10,000 Maniacs as a viola player and backing vocalist for the 2006 shows with Oskar Saville and returned to the lead vocalist spot after the departure of Saville in 2007. She continued as lead vocalist through 2011 during which she performed on a 30-city 30th anniversary tour as well as a new EP Triangles (2011) [1] and their albums Music from the Motion Picture (2013), Twice Told Tales (2015) and Playing Favorites (2016).

Other projectsEdit

Ramsey has performed with a group of friends under the name Mary Ramsey and the Healers. Other members include Sandra Williams Gordon on percussion, Craig Gordon on bass and acoustic guitars, Dr. Marc Rosen on electric guitar, and Ben Clarke on lead guitar and bass.[2] In another project, she was joined by fellow Buffalonians Theresa Quinn, Susan Rozler, and Alison Pipitone in a group called Girls Gone Mild.[3] Ramsey 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.


With John & MaryEdit

With John & Mary & the ValkyriesEdit

With 10,000 ManiacsEdit

Other creditsEdit


  1. ^ 10,000 Maniacs official website, Band News.
  2. ^ Mary Ramsey and the Healers Facebook page
  3. ^ "Girls Gone Mild official website". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2020-03-27.

External linksEdit