As part of the poet-genius lyricist cannon of the 1980s-1990s (other members include Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco and Johnette Napolitano), Natalie Merchant reigned supreme on the folk-pop circuit with 10,000 Maniacs, where her frank and often disturbing message-rock songs merged perfectly with the upbeat rhythms and instrumentation of the Maniacs players. Following her departure from the group in 1993, she achieved spotty mainstream success with much weightier solo compositions, and while that darkness drove some away, it became a part of the poet’s process. 2010's Leave Your Sleep, Merchant’s first studio album in seven years, proved to critics and fans alike that this emotionally complex writer doesn’t just paddle across the surface of artistic genius, she cannonballs in.
Wed., May 9, 9 p.m., 2012
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