Recently rediscovering 10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant

I was delighted to recently find:

Verdi Cries (1987) – A younger Natalie Merchant with very accessible lyrics, on the piano with a string ensemble. I love combinations like this.

Photograph (1993) – I’m also a huge fan of R.E.M. It turns out Michal Stipe and Natalie Merchant were once lovers.

Motherland (2001) – This reminds me of leaving San Francisco.

Must have been quite the ensemble with a mix of Indian and Russian musicians and instruments. This review from sums it up nicely:

Ravi Shankar, the figurehead of world music, was invited in 1988 to work with Russian musicians on a concert to mark the end of an Indian Festival in the Soviet Union. This recording was made on July seventh of that year, with over 140 musicians present: Shankar’s Indian Ensemble, the Russian Folk Ensemble, the Government Chorus of Ministry of Culture of USSR, and the chamber orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic. Shankar composed all seven of the pieces here as a melding of the musics of India and Russia. “Prarambh,” the opening piece, is an ethereal sort of sound created by the amalgamation of Indian and Russian instruments both playing ragas.